Campaign finance reports released last week by Students First PAC continue to show the explosive spending from Jeffrey Yass in the 2022 cycle. Yass, the head of Susquehanna International Group, is a prolific billionaire funder who has spent heavily backing candidates like Josh Hawley and Rand Paul, organizations with ties to the insurrection, hate groups, and has become Pennsylvania’s single largest individual political spender in recent years.
Reports show Yass recently contributed $4.5 million to Students First PAC, on top of the already reported $18 million he has spent in the 2022 election cycle thus far. The Students First PAC continues to use the Commonwealth Children’s Choice Fund and Commonwealth Leadership Fund as pass through entities. The Commonwealth Children’s Choice Fund received $3 million just two days after Yass’ $4.5 million contribution to Student’s First.
One notable recipient of money from the Yass funded Students First PAC was Democratic State Rep. Amen Brown who received $40,000 despite not having a competitive election. Brown made headlines for being on a five-person committee to impeach D.A. Larry Krasner and sponsoring a controversial ‘mandatory minimum sentencing bill’ that numerous Democrats have pulled their support from after the initial announcement.
Additional expenditures include $250,000 to Scott Martin – the current head of the education committee in the Senate, $300,000 to the PA House Republican Campaign Committee, and $250,000 to the Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania PAC.
The Commonwealth Children’s Choice Fund and Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania PAC did not file reports for this filing deadline so it remains unclear as to the totality of candidates and elected officials taking money from Yass aligned entities this cycle or the extent of what this $4.5 million will be used on.
In reaction to the latest campaign finance report, PA Spotlight asked three progressive leaders from around the state about the additional millions being funneled into Pennsylvania by Jeffrey Yass. This comes on top of the previously reported $18 million by Spotlight PA.
“No one should take money from Jeffrey Yass. Full stop. The most recent campaign finance report shows that this isn’t about party, but about where you stand,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, Executive Director of POWER. “We should not allow Pennsylvania’s richest man to purchase up influence in our legislature for his personal financial motives.”
“From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, we are clear what’s happening. The Commonwealth’s richest man is abusing weak campaign finance laws in order to promote his personal agenda,” said Khari Mosley the Director from 1Hood Power. “If he’s investing in your campaign then he thinks you are a mark for his personal biddings.”
“Jeffrey Yass is a threat to our democracy. Billionaires should not have unchecked influence in our society,” said Diana Robinson, Civic Engagement Director for Make the Road PA.