The Free Beacon has a brief profile of Kareem Ahmed from TPM, one of the few million dollar donors to Obama’s SuperPACs.
You’d be forgiven if you don’t recognize Ahmed’s name. Before this year, his political giving was limited to a few four-figure checks to California candidates. Several veteran California politics watchers contacted for this story had no idea who Ahmed was, either. But here’s the thing: so far in 2012, Ahmed’s contributions to Obama, Democrats, and the outside spending groups that support them have totaled more than $1.1 million. Ahmed’s wife, Tayyaba Farhat, has contributed another $75,000. At a time when Democrats were most worried about their ability to attract the big-dollar donors that made Republican outside spending groups such behemoths, Ahmed became a gift that kept on giving.
Ahmed’s big checks started coming in February. The first, on Feb. 6, was for $35,800 and made out to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee supporting both the Obama Campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Only a few weeks later, two $250,000 donations went to Priorities USA Action, the most prominent Democratic super PAC. In March, Ahmed sent Priorities another $500,000. In April, the Obama Victory Fund got another $40,000. In May, his wife gave the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee $30,800. In June, Ahmed gave $50,000 to House Majority PAC, a super PAC supporting Democratic efforts to retake the House of Representatives. Thousands of dollars from Ahmed and his wife have ended up in the campaign coffers of Democratic state parties and candidates across the country, including Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida, Senate candidate Tim Kaine in Virginia, and Rep. Brad Sherman in California.
Ahmed’s donations have allowed him to rub shoulders with many of the most powerful people in the country. He has been to high-priced fundraisers and events with Obama and the First Lady, including a headline-grabbing May 10 dinner with the President at the California home of the actor George Clooney.
“I hang out with governors, U.S. Senators, Nancy Pelosi is a personal friend,” Ahmed said. “OK, listen, a lot of people are my personal friends.”
Ahmed’s donations to Priorities alone put him in elite company. According to figures maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics, only 55 individuals and married couples have given $1 million or more to super PACs this cycle. As this article was going to publication, Ahmed ranked 15th on the center’s list of the top donors to outside groups who generally support liberal candidates,