Fred Eychaner is one of the most powerful political players you’ve never heard of. Just this past May, the Chicago media mogul lent his 5,600-square-foot glass-and-concrete mansion to Hillary Clinton, who raised a quarter-million dollars there. Bill Clinton and President Obama have likewise raised fortunes at multiple such gatherings. Eychaner (pronounced Eye-can-er) claims to support campaign finance “reform” and to despise “dark money,” yet the Center for Public Integrity says he was likely the first Super PAC donor ever.
In the 2012 cycle, he was the Democrats’ largest super PAC donor at $14.1 million. He and his Alphawood Foundation (assets of $169 million in 2013) have also donated $25 million or more to the Clinton Foundation. Forbes estimates Eychaner is personally worth at least $500 million, possibly much more, yet the reclusive moneyman keeps a low profile, rarely appearing in public or giving interviews. When he does speak, he pours vitriol on Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Republicans in general. The son of “teetotaling Methodist” Republicans, the openly gay Eychaner also supports the ballet, HIV treatment, and the ACORN-affiliated Project Vote.
For a complete report, see the Capital Research Center’s September Foundation Watch.
Scott Walter is executive vice president of the Capital Research Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C.