25 Wealthy Political Donors Who've Given Millions in 2012

Money has always played a central role in American politics, but money -- huge, overflowing pots of it -- has never loomed as large in an American presidential election as it does in 2012. Since the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in the Citizens United case, there are now fewer limits to how much cash deep-pocketed political partisans can pour into a campaign. Corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals are flooding superPACs with hundreds of millions of dollars, with Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans enjoying more of the benefits. As part of the Ross Unit's "Money Trail" coverage, a regular feature of each presidential election cycle, we've compiled stat sheets on 25 individual "superdonors."
Some will call them cranks, other crusaders, but all have qualified for the list by contributing at least $1 million or more to the party, superPAC or other entity of their choice. Every day through the end of the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 6, we'll introduce one or more new superdonors, complete with the details of their private obsessions and their public spending. (Mouse over images for more information.)
*All donation figures according to the Center for Responsive Politics and were current as of publication.