GOP donor's $1 million tornado victim donation challenge
May 21st, 2013
03:58 PM ET
10 years ago

GOP donor's $1 million tornado victim donation challenge

Washington (CNN) - Major conservative donor and multi-millionaire Foster Friess is planning to donate $1 million to help the victims of the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma and is challenging others to match that amount.

In an email to supporters Tuesday Friess announced his donation. He said he and his wife haven't decided exactly where the funds will go but hopes to have some answers in the next 48 hours.

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"We are researching now the best avenues to use in Moore to assure it is delivered with the least amount of overhead and most effectively and efficiently," he said.

Aides said he will fulfill his pledge even if another $1 million is not raised

He mentioned in the note some of his travel to previous disaster sites would help him decide where to direct the funds.

"I learned a lot from prior travels to sites of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, to the 2005 Katrina hurricane, and to the Haiti earthquake about how a lot of money that doesn't get where the donor would like it to get and huge salaries are taken out of by the folks delivering the donations. Our research should be done within a day or so," he wrote. Friess donated to support the relief efforts and did matching grant programs following the tsunami and Katrina.

He told his followers that he wanted to alert them "in case you are thinking of sending money, this might be an opportunity to have it doubled and be more effective in its delivery."

Friess is ranked as the 22nd largest individual donor to outside groups in last year's election cycle, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. Of his more than $2.5 million in donations, $2.1 million went to the Red, White and Blue Fund, the super PAC that supported Rick Santorum in the Republican primary.

A successful businessman and former investment manager, Friess' former company was named by Forbes as having one of the 1990's best mutual funds. An evangelical Christian, he credits his religious faith for helping spur his success. He wrote on his website that in October of 1978 "I did one of those 'born again' things and invited Jesus to become the 'Chairman of the Board; of my life.'"

Filed under: Oklahoma
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    I'm glad he donated the money, just to be clear.

    But if Jesus is the Chairman of the Board of his life, Friess surely would've heard the rabbi's perorations against showy charitable displays.

    And to be entirely bipartisan, I also find it a little tacky when rich liberals make a big deal about their donations. Fortunately, the money will do just as good with or without the self-aggrandizement that may come with it.

    May 21, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    He's just tryin to take the heat off the do nothing gop failures in congress . The party of stupid already let the cat out of the bag that they need to find money from some where else to provide disasters assistance. I suggest they dock gop pay and benifits in their disfunctional house of so called representatives . Vote this gop garbage out in 2014 and protect your families and children . Help will arrive after their dead and buried, maybe??????

    May 21, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The Real Tom Paine

    Perhaps he is donating aspirin: I wonder if he was this generous with Sandy victims?
    Tom? Tom is that really you?!!
    Lol and wink Tom!

    May 21, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh what does it matter if he donated to the Sandy victims, he's donating to the OK vicitims who are in dire need of donations.
    The fact that he's a Republican donating to a Red state and not to Blue state shouldn't really matter.....yada yada yada
    Because this is NOT the time to bring up people's PAST records....yada yada yada.

    Sound familiar to anyone? Maybe it's just me. Or maybe this is "different".

    May 21, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    The reason why we liberals don't like this jackhole (besides the aspirin between the knees comment), is that we don't trumpet our donations to the world to make ourselves look better, we donate the same amount, or more, quietly, without trying to gin up all the fanfare.

    May 21, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    All GOP guys do the same–not go to Bangladesh for greed.

    May 21, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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