A group that bills itself as Republican women who are fed up with Trump is funded by a male billionaire venture capitalist who backs Democratic campaigns and causes, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The group, Republican Women for Progress, is a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots nonprofit founded by Jennifer Pierotti Lim and Meghan Milloy. CBS News, Glamour, Slate and others have all given the group glowing reviews, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
"We think the best thing that we can do for the party and for the country right now is to make sure there are good women — Democrat or Republican — that are elected to office and who can serve as a check on this administration and on the president," Milloy told the Detroit Metro Times."[This effort] really was inspired by us talking to Republican women in these districts where they said there was just no way that they could vote for the Republican."
What is the group doing?
Most of its activity has focused so far on competitive congressional districts in New Jersey, Kentucky and Michigan.
The Republican Women for Progress’ PAC has spent $231,000 on voter recruitment and advertising efforts in toss-up districts in three states, according to Federal Election Commission filings obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The PAC reportedly spent $76,000 on ads and recruitment that support Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey's 11th congressional district. Additionally, it spent $78,000 on Amy McGrath in Kentucky's 6th congressional district and $77,000 on Elissa Slotkin in Michigan's 8th congressional district.
The PAC’s October quarterly filing also shows the Republican women are bankrolled solely by Reid Hoffman a venture capitalist and the co-founder of LinkedIn, who has made at least several million dollars worth of donations to Democrats. Hoffman gave $400,000 to the PAC on Sept. 27, filings show.
Hoffman’s donations include $3 million to the House Majority PAC, which is closely affiliated with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); $2 million to the Senate Majority PAC and $1 million to Forward Majority Action, a group started by former Obama alumni, according to reports.
Hoffman also sent a maxed contribution to the Democratic National Committee. Additionally, he has donated to the campaigns of Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Tim Kaine (Va.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Phil Bredesen (Tenn.), and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) and others, according to the Washington Free Beacon. Hoffman has also made donations to the Massachusetts Republican Party.
How has the group responded?
The group responded to the publication’s article with the following statement:
"In terms of the Reid Hoffman donation, even a male tech billionaire and major Democratic donor recognizes the important role women should play in the Republican party. We are pleased to have the support of donors across the ideological spectrum to ensure the voice of Republican women is heard across the country."