search
Sections List
American Journal News

Washington GOP Senate nominee bankrolled by right-wing megadonors

Tiffany Smiley’s funders include several top backers of former President Donald Trump.

By Josh Israel - October 18, 2022
Share
Tiffany Smiley
Republican Tiffany Smiley, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, at a Republican Party event on Election Day in Issaquah, Wash., east of Seattle. Smiley and Murray advanced Tuesday to the fall election in Washington's top-two primary system in which the two candidates with the most votes move on to the November ballot, regardless of party. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Tiffany Smiley, the Republican nominee for the Washington state U.S. Senate seat held by incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, is pointing to a large fundraising haul as proof of her “commanding position” in the race. An American Independent Foundation review of Smiley’s contributors found that several of her top donors were also major funders of other Republican and right-wing campaigns, including that of former President Donald Trump.

The contributors include Scott Wagner and Peter Zieve, two donors with a history of bigotry.

“As a small town Washington farm girl, I never dreamed that one day I would be running to represent the amazing voters of Washington State,” Smiley said in an Oct. 7 press release announcing her latest campaign fundraising totals. “I am blown away and humbled by the groundswell of support we have received, and I am so thankful to my team and our grassroots volunteers for all the hard work they have poured into this campaign.”

To date, Smiley has reported receiving contributions totaling $5,800, the legal maximum donation allowed, from investor Walter Buckley Jr.; Ronald Cameron, the chairman of the poultry producer Mountaire Farms; former Amway CEO Richard DeVos Jr.; Marvel Entertainment Chair Isaac Perlmutter; and Richard Uihlein, a founder and owner and the CEO of the shipping supplies company Uline.

Each of the donors contributed at least $400,000 during the 2020 campaign cycle to America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC. They contributed nearly $15 million combined to Trump’s failed reelection effort.

Smiley received at least $2,900 from Kenneth Griffin, a billionaire serving as the CEO of the hedge fund firm Citadel. CNBC reported that Griffin has spent more than $100 million on donations to Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections, making him one of the biggest political contributors in the country.

Frank VanderSloot, CEO of the wellness supply company Melaleuca, has also contributed $2,900. The national finance co-chair for the unsuccessful 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has been a major donor to GOP super PACs.

Smiley has also accepted donations from people with documented histories of bigotry. Her campaign took $5,800 from Scott Wagner, a former Republican Pennsylvania state senator, who during his unsuccessful 2018 gubernatorial campaign came under criticism for antisemitic comments after he was recorded calling the philanthropist and progressive donor George Soros a “Hungarian Jew” with a “hatred for America,” adding: “I have a lot of friends that are Jewish friends, and I, I, I have a friend that, uh, that his father and uncle and broth — there were three brothers that were in a Jewish concentration camp.”

Peter Zieve, who donated $4,900 to Smiley, is a Trump donor with a long history of anti-Muslim behavior. Zieve and the aerospace parts company he founded and runs, Electroimpact, reached a settlement in March 2017 with the Washington state attorney general’s office after they were investigated over claims that, according to the office, they “refused to hire Muslim applicants, engaged in religious and/or national origin harassment, discriminated against employees based on marital status, and retaliated against employees who opposed such unfair practices.”

The Seattle Times reported in 2017 on the culture at Electroimpact, with Zieve sending emails to his employees that contained anti-Muslim comments. Echoing the so-called “great replacement theory” that there is a global conspiracy to replace white people with nonwhite people, Zieve wrote to his employees of people who use sterilization to prevent conception: “When they choose not to repopulate and allow our wonderful country to be backfilled with rubbish from the desperate and criminal populations of the Third World I find that to be disgusting and I find those persons to make those decisions to be repulsive I don’t like them around me.”

In another message, he wrote: “I note that 381,000 terrorist savages have gotten into Europe this year, and if we don’t make more babies the light will go out on civilization.”

A spokesperson for Smiley’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


Read More
AJ News
Latest
Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

Republican Bernie Moreno’s rags-to-riches story exposed as a lie

By Jesse Valentine - May 24, 2024
What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

What happens to clinics after a state bans abortion? They fight to survive.

By Chabeli Carrazana and Shefali Luthra - May 22, 2024
Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte took job at Caterpillar after tax fraud probe

By Jesse Valentine - May 21, 2024
Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

Alabama OB-GYN residencies dropped over 20% after Dobbs, state abortion ban, says analysis

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector - May 21, 2024
House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

House GOP celebrates National Police Week while pushing to defund local law enforcement

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

Republican Jay Ashcroft backs anti-abortion clinics that push lies and disinformation

By Jesse Valentine - May 14, 2024
Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

Republican Sam Brown’s assault on teacher unions could backfire

By Jesse Valentine - May 09, 2024
Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

Florida abortion ban puts GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s anti-choice views in spotlight

By Jesse Valentine - May 07, 2024
Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

Trump leaves door open to banning medication abortion nationwide

By Jennifer Shutt, States Newsroom - April 30, 2024
Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

Republican Caroleene Dobson wants Alabama abortion ban to go nationwide

By Jesse Valentine - April 30, 2024
Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

Ohio Gov. DeWine said he didn’t know of millions in FirstEnergy support. Is it plausible?

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - April 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Louisiana declares abortion drugs ‘dangerous substances’ to add harsher penalties

Louisiana declares abortion drugs ‘dangerous substances’ to add harsher penalties

By Greg LaRose, Louisiana Illuminator - May 24, 2024
These U.S. Supreme Court cases could affect abortion access nationwide

These U.S. Supreme Court cases could affect abortion access nationwide

By Charlotte Rene Woods, Virginia Mercury - May 24, 2024
Mike Rogers’ ties to Chinese telecom giants fuel hypocrisy scandal

Mike Rogers’ ties to Chinese telecom giants fuel hypocrisy scandal

By Jesse Valentine - May 23, 2024
New rules protect pregnant workers, but red states sue over abortion provisions

New rules protect pregnant workers, but red states sue over abortion provisions

By Anna Claire Vollers - May 22, 2024