Secret money to boost Trump

MELBOURNE, Fla. — One of the top funders of the #NeverTrump movement is now using his name and connections to raise big money to help elect Donald Trump, but he’s telling fellow mega-donors that they can write huge checks without having their names disclosed.

Todd Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, has raised $30 million for a pair of pro-Trump groups and has discussed a $70 million goal before Election Day, according to three Republican fundraisers familiar with the effort.

They and others in GOP finance circles say Ricketts is making a particular effort to win over donors who want to help Trump but are leery of having their names publicly associated with the polarizing Republican nominee. Ricketts’ pitch to these donors focuses on the fact that one of the pro-Trump groups he’s fronting can accept unlimited checks while keeping its donors’ names secret.

The group, which is called 45Committee, is registered under a section of the tax code — 501(c)(4) — that allows tax-exempt groups to accept contributions of unlimited sizes that can be used to air political and issue-based ads without disclosing their donors’ names.

Ricketts also has assumed control of a linked super PAC called Future45 that is required to disclose its donors. But Future45 is one of several pro-Trump super PACs jockeying for donors’ attention, whereas 45Committee is the only secret-money nonprofit with access to elite GOP donors. And sources in conservative finance circles say that the pitch is resonating.





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