Coachella owner personally gave $187,300 to Republican candidates and Super PACs in 2017
The conservative candidates are fervent anti-LGBT and anti-abortion politicians, in stark contrast to Coachella’s liberal headliners including Beyoncé and Eminem.
In January of 2017, The FADER reported that Philip Anschutz, the CEO of entertainment giant AEG and owner of Golden Voice/Coachella was a Republican mega-donor who gave over $1,000,000 to conservative efforts during the 2016 election. Although 2017 was an off-cycle election year, Anschutz opened up his checkbook again and gave close to $200,000 to Republican politicians and Super PACs.
In March, he gave $5,400 to Senator Cory Gardner, who is one of the most pro-gun senators in the country. In October, Gardner came out against gun control after the Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people and injured hundreds. “This is a tragedy,” he told TIME. “and if you’re trying to politicize it, or if anyone is trying to politicize it, then shame on them.”
He gave Rep. Tipton $2,700 in August. Tipton opposes same sex marriage and abortion. Mike Coffman, a member of the House who opposes abortion, received $5,400 from Anschutz in August.
In 2012, Coffman received national attention for his birther comments about President Obama: "I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America,” he said at the time. “I don't know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."
Other politicians that received Anschutz’s money and attention include Deb Fischer, the pro-life Nebraska senator, and Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, who recently passed a tax bill that experts say will add $2 trillion to the national debt while giving bigger tax cuts to the richest Americans.
Anschutz gave $13,500 to Colorado conservatives directly. But the biggest donations went out through Anshutz’s company The Anschutz Corporation, which gave $138,000 to the National Republican Senate Committee, an organization chaired by Gardner which aims to increase the Republican senate majority. Their 2017 numbers aren’t currently available but in the 2016 election cycle, they spent $39 million against Democratic candidates.
Representatives for Coachella did not immediately respond to a request for comment. When his donations were brought into public last year, Anschutz issued a statement to The FADER: