Corporate Executives Fund No Labels 2024 Presidential Ticket

A new disclosure revealing a fraction of No Labels' donors shows the group has been fundraising from corporate executives, many of whom sit atop private equity firms.

Corporate Executives Fund No Labels 2024 Presidential Ticket
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) at the Meeting to Make America Work! in 2013

The dark money group No Labels is putting millions of dollars behind preparations to run a third-party 2024 presidential ticket, composed of a Democrat and Republican, in the event of a rematch between President Biden and former President Trump. Many political observers have written that the plan from the self-described centrist group, whose recurring funders have reportedly included several Republican megadonors, would likely pull votes from Biden’s re-election campaign.

While No Labels declines to identify the sources of the vast majority of its funding, documents released by the Internal Revenue Service offer a window into some of the donors to its effort to secure ballot access in all 50 states.

Of the 36 donors it recently disclosed, only two are not either corporate executives, retired corporate executives, or their spouses, according to Sludge’s review.

The donors all gave in August 2022 to a group formed by No Labels called Insurance Policy for America that is spending money on the ballot access campaign. Insurance Policy for America is a 527 political organization, so it files its disclosures with the IRS rather than the Federal Election Commission. Its registration filing shows it was formed on Dec. 20, 2021 and received $2.4 million from No Labels three days later. The Insurance Policy for America donors were first mentioned by Politico last week and covered by Mother Jones.

The donations were listed on a periodic report covering the third quarter of last year that was signed on May 2 by Jerald Howe, Jr., a No Labels board of directors member and the group’s custodian of records who is also an executive vice president and general counsel at defense firm Leidos. The report shows the group raised $190,800 that quarter. It spent $173,075 in August and September with vendors such as Capitol Advisors of Alexandria, Virginia on ballot access.

Matthew Kaplan, an executive at investment firm Neuberger Berman, gave $5,600 to the group last August. Kaplan is chairman of the Almanac investment business at the firm, which invests in real estate assets and interests, and so far this year has donated to the campaigns of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), No Labels ally and potential presidential pick Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), among others. The firm Neuberger Berman belongs to at least two trade associations that lobbied against revenue elements in the Democrats’ budget reconciliation plan. The Investment Company Institute (ICI), which represents investment firms, has mentioned in lobbying disclosures that it worked on supporting a preferential capital gains tax rate and opposing a financial transaction tax. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which represents securities companies, investment banks, and other firms, put out a statement in September 2021 from Tim Cameron, managing director, expressing concerns with tax changes in the Democrats’ reconciliation bill. With help from Sinema, the investment industry succeeded at blocking the Democrats from passing legislation in the later Inflation Reduction Act to raise taxes on investment managers through addressing what is known as the “carried interest loophole.”