Report: Pro-Marco Rubio nonprofit primarily funded by two anonymous megadonors – Florida Politics

Report: Pro-Marco Rubio nonprofit primarily funded by two anonymous megadonors

A nonprofit organization that raised $22 million for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s failed presidential bid could be a two-man show that went a little too heavy on its support for the Florida Republican’s campaign, according to a report on Open Secrets Blog.

Conservative Solutions Project, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization, brought in over 90 percent of its funds from one or possibly two anonymous donors according to tax documents obtained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Of the $22 million raised, $20.5 million came in through two anonymous donations, one for $13.5 million in 2014 and another for $7 million in 2015. Social welfare organizations aren’t required to disclose donor information, so it is unclear whether the two multimillion dollar contributions came from the same source.

The bulk of the money raised was spent on ads and campaign research to boost Rubio’s presidential bid, and it appears that little if any money was doled out for activities that could be deemed “social welfare.”

The nomenclature of “Conservative Solutions Project” is also strikingly similar to Rubio’s own political committee, “Conservative Solutions PAC,” and the web only gets more tangled from there.

Both CSPs, along with the Rubio campaign and the Rubio Victory Joint Fundraising Committee passed money around to largely the same people during the course of the Florida Republican’s presidential campaign.

Team Rubio didn’t deny the close relationship between the two groups when asked about it in 2015.

“Absolutely, the two groups are related,” said Jeff Sadosky in an interview with National Journal. “But they are separate and distinct entities. One is focused on supporting Marco Rubio’s potential presidential campaign, and one is focused on issue education.”

Sadosky’s “issue education” frame may be a little misleading, though, since the bulk of the ads run by the social welfare group were shining a spotlight on Rubio’s positions on taxes and national security. And since the ads were more than 60 days before an election, none of them had to be reported to the FEC.

That also runs afoul of nonprofit rules, which outlaw groups that primarily benefit one person. The IRS rarely pursues such cases, but if they did a former head of the IRS exempt organizations division said investigators “would probably say there’s an overwhelming private benefit to its activities” as well as possible campaign intervention “depending on if the messages got close to ‘vote for’ or ‘vote against’” in substance.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


  1. Reading this make me wonder just how crooked is politics I mean your in politics all your life then one day you have millions of dollars in your bank acct I like Marco Rubio but when you read this you got to ask yourself when two mega donors donate 22 million dollars to the campaign WHAT DO THEY GET OUT OF IT not cause they like him

  2. You likeMarco Rubio? I’m interested to know what could possibly be considered favorable action for his Florida constituents? He voted for the ATROCIOUS “tax cut for the rich bill” disguised as a “healthcare bill” which would have taken healthcare away from millions of Floridians. He was MIA from his Senate job almost the entire year of 2016… just to name a couple of things. The man is nothing more than a spineless party puppet. He talks about doing the right thing but always tows the party line in the end. Shameful Rubio doesn’t care about the working people of FL. These campaign finance shenanigans don’t surprise me at all!

  3. Yea you are right but look at Debbie Wasserman Schultz now she is as crooked as it gets wait till the truth comes out and people will be in a maze read about her but I would bet it will be bush under the rug she is too close to h. Clinton by the way Rubio on his president run had two mega donors that gave 22 million dollars he is in their watch pocket

  4. This way of financing campaigns is just plain wrong. We don’t know who these people are, what their objectives are, where they got these millions to give out. How can our fledgling democracy hold out against this kind of big money pressure? Can a normal, everyday person ever run for office against this type of backdoor funding? Truth is, they can’t. This all came about through the Citizens United case where corporations were given rights as individuals by the Supreme Court. A very bad decision- IMO, it undermines democracy.

    Look at the Koch Bros. with their deep pockets they have virtually bought the Republican Party. They want to convene a Constitutional Convention to shape this country into a “corporate paradise” having no environmental laws, dumping Social Security and Medicare and all safety net programs then gutting voting rights to enable themselves to stay in power. This is the danger our country faces with “dark money.” This is what we’ve got to deal with now because of Republican control of so many state houses. Is this what you Republicans voted for? The story of the Koch brothers and an allied group of billionaire donors is told in a new book by New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.”

  5. Why oh why does the media tirelessly stalk and promote rubio as if he were not just stalking the presidential role Again?
    We are all tired of his self-promoting changes of heart, his stupidity that he touts (“I am no scientist, but I know the world is only 6000 years old and that there’s No such thing as climate change”), his criminal misuse of state-funded credit cards, his fake claim about his parents as “refugees”…
    Get over him, Media, you are promoting an empty suit, one who COULD NOT CARE LESS ABOUT THE COMMON GOOD..ever hear him even Say that?

    Here’s what this video caught him saying about equal treatment for girls and women: PS All other nations created since WWII already have adopted ERA-similar language!
    “US is ‘exceptional'” ?

    Let’s hear more about other promising candidates, Media. Puhleeeez?

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons