Amazon Mogul Jeff Bezos just donated millions to elect veterans to Congress

Matt Saintsing
September 06, 2018 - 2:56 pm

Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones

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Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are donating $10 million to a veteran-focused super PAC aimed at getting candidates with military service elected to Congress. 

With Honor, which bills itself as a “cross-partisan” political action committee, will be the recipient of the Bezoses largest political contribution ever. They’ve made it their mission to elect the next-generation of military veterans who will commit to working across party lines. 

The donation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. 

With Honor isn’t just supporting one party or the other. They hope to get 19 Democrats and 14 Republicans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The cash influx from the Bezos donation will be one-third of the PACs $30 funding goal. 

Unlike other billionaires such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, Bezos hasn’t been eager to throw his money around to charitable causes, until now. Last year, he told Fortune he looks to concentrate on investments that “are contributing to society and civilization in their own ways.”

In 2012, the Bezoses donated $2.5 million to support a proposal that legalized same-sex marriage in Washington State. They’ve also given small dollar donations to a mix of Republicans and Democrats, but nothing close to as large as the $10 million total to With Honor, which launched last year. 

According to campaign finance filings, Mr. Bezos’ parents, Mike and Jackie Bezos, have donated about $2 million to With Honor, which did not respond to requests for comment. 

This large cash influx represents the Bezoses first apparent major donation to veteran organizations. Their overall largest donation was this year when $33 million was given to fund scholarships for undocumented immigrants who graduated from American high schools. 

Amazon, on the other hand, has announced plans to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2021. At a White House event last year, Mr. Bezos called them “incredible leaders.” In November, Amazon said they had so far employed some 17,500 vets and spouses, “on track to far exceed its pledge.” 

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