According to Recode, Irwin Jacobs and his wife, Joan, have given $1.5 million to a super PAC that backed the Democratic primary election bid of their granddaughter Sara Jacobs in California’s 53rd Congressional District.
Out of the 14 candidates running to replace retiring Rep. Susan Davis, Jacobs, a former state department contractor and an adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, garnered 29.6 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Jacobs’ campaign outspent her competitors by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Irwin Jacobs is worth an estimated $1.2 billion, according to Forbes. He and his wife have donated about $12 million over their lifetimes to Democratic campaigns and outside groups. They’ve also hosted fundraisers for Clinton and former President Obama.
And earlier this winter, the couple launched a new super PAC called Forward California and dropped $1.5 million into the group, which went on to buy ads depicting Trump as a Cheeto and portraying their granddaughter as part of a “new generation of leadership.”
Recode reported that the Qualcomm heiress, 31, also plunged $1.5 million of her own money into her election bid.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United ruling in 2010, which overturned restrictions on independent expenditures from corporations and labor unions, corporations and individuals can spend unlimited funds on super PACs, which cannot contribute directly to a politician or political party but can campaign for or against candidates.
“The idea that a PAC funded by millions of dollars from the Jacobs family is actually independent from Sara Jacobs is laughable,” a strategist for her main rival, San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, told one reporter.