Liz Cheney’s finest financial backer stands by her side despite the House Republicans attempting to remove her as conference leader.
According to donors who spoke to CNBC, Cheney, who represents the state of Wyoming, is unlikely to lose any of her key leaders even if she is ousted as the official leader within the House’s Republican caucus.
Some even say they will withhold contributions from anyone who opposes Cheney. This signals a split in the wealthy Republican donor ranks between big-money financiers who continue to support former President Donald Trump and those who better match Cheney’s views that Joe Biden won the 2020 election fair.
Eric Levine, owner of Eiseman Levine law firm and Republican fundraiser, told CNBC in an email on Wednesday that Cheney’s corporate supporters intend to continue to support them. These donors are concerned about Trump’s influence on the Republican Party and how these forces will affect future elections. Levine gave over $ 2,800 to a joint Cheney fundraising committee in the first quarter, records show.
“With a few exceptions, this group appears to be all in support of Cheney and is very concerned about Trumpism,” Levine said. “Republicans can only win if we can make significant progress in the suburbs and with women. Donald Trump is a proven loser in these districts,” he added.
Republicans hope to win back majorities in the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. Cheney is up for re-election next year and numerous Republicans have announced primary campaigns against her.
Cheney’s spokesman did not return a request for comment on this story.
New York MP Elise Stefanik has received support from House GOP leaders such as Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., To replace Cheney as conference leader. Kevin McCarthy, minority chairman of the House of Representatives, R-Calif, said in an interview with Fox News that he had heard from members who were “concerned about them” [Cheney’s] Ability to carry out the work of conference leader, carry out the message. “
Although Cheney was more in line with Trump’s positions than Stefanik, according to FiveThirtyEight, the former also supported the indictment against him following the deadly January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. Cheney has consistently accused Trump of instigating the uprising that killed at least five people.
Stefanik, on the other hand, questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated Trump. Trump himself approved Stefanik for the leadership role and beat up Cheney on Wednesday for her stance on the election.
CNBC reached out to many of Cheney’s leading donors, who have donated up to $ 2,800 to Team Cheney, a joint fundraising committee that raises campaign money for Cheney’s political re-election campaign, its Leadership Political Action Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee .
Cheney’s re-election campaign grossed just over $ 1.5 million in the first quarter of this year, Federal Election Commission records show. Part of that success was due to contributions from PACs from companies such as Pfizer, T-Mobile, Morgan Stanley, and General Electric.
Some companies said after the Capitol uprising they were pausing donations to lawmakers who questioned election results.
Tony Fratto, founder of the communications firm Hamilton Place Strategies and former deputy press secretary under President George W. Bush, gave the committee $ 2,800 in January. Fratto has blown the Republican leadership’s move to remove Cheney, saying he will not support anyone who opposes her.
“It’s absurd. Every word Liz Cheney said about the 2020 election result, the events of January 6 and the damage Republicans did for lying about both of them is spot on,” Fratto said on Tuesday. “I will support Liz as long as she is in office, whether in leadership or not. And I will never support a member who opposes her.” The congressman’s father, Dick Cheney, was Bush’s vice president.
A Wall Street executive who submitted a donation to the Cheney Committee in the latter part of the quarter told CNBC that if GOP leaders crack down on Wyoming lawmakers, individual corporate donors will flee the Republican Party. This person declined to be named to avoid retaliation for speaking out against Trump.
“It is one of the last hopes that the Republican Party has not lost its mind. If it is ostracized, many people will go with it,” said this financier. “Corporate donors and lobbyists have to be strategic, but there is a really important principle at stake in what happens to her.”
Reginald Brown, attorney and special assistant to Bush in the early 2000s, told CNBC that for many donors, Cheney acts as a counterbalance to some of the pro-Trump forces within the Republican Party.
“It’s a buy-and-hold investment for those interested in the long Republican game. A GOP that has no place for female leaders or people who think the Capitol attack is insane is nowhere.” fast, “Brown said in an email to CNBC. “Most business people prefer Liz to the bare-chested, horned man in the Capitol and the people who poked him.” Brown gave Cheney $ 2,800 in February.
Devon Spurgeon, a partner in communications company Sheridan Strategies, donated $ 1,000 to Team Cheney in February. Spurgeon said that with these attacks by the House Republican leaders, Cheney is well on its way to attract new donors and ignite their supporter base.
“Liz is an independent thinker, she doesn’t take instructions from anyone. This is clearly a problem for certain housekeeping members,” Spurgeon told CNBC in a LinkedIn message.
The addition of new donors has been an obvious topic on Cheney since she voted to indict Trump.
Lawrence Mandelker, an attorney for Eiseman Levine who told CNBC he was a Democrat and worked with members of both parties, admitted that one of the reasons he gave Cheney’s re-election efforts was her vote to indict Trump.
“Although I disagree with most of your substantive political questions, it was just important enough to thank you for your courageous profile,” said Mandelker in a telephone interview on Wednesday. He gave Team Cheney $ 1,000 in March, records show.
Mandelker said he will continue to support her offer for re-election in 2022 and will not donate to Stefan’s campaign.
“I would never give her money because she drank the Kool-Aid,” he described Stefanik’s appearance of ultimate loyalty to the former president.