Since 1999, Betsy DeVos' family has reportedly donated almost $200 million as regular donors to several Republican leaders who preceded Governor DeSantis — including the $50,000 that just went to the governor himself.
With their extensive network, the Michigan-based DeVos family has showered far-right Republican leaders with campaign cash for years to keep them as governors leading in Florida.
The recent donation that is making news is the one that went to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, amounting to $50,000 in support of his presidential bid, according to financial records filed by the political action committee.
This donation is said to have been made by the team as a "corporate donation" from the Florida business to the State's governor, and representatives have urged the public not to read anything into it.
According to a Michigan Campaign Finance Network analysis, the DeVos family has contributed more than $82 million to political causes since 1999.
- However, it is impossible to tell the extent of these donations, as some estimates put that figure closer to $200 million.
The family owns the NBA's Orlando Magic which Richard DeVos helmed before transferring ownership to his children.
During the 2016 election, the family, which has a net worth of $5.6 billion from a sprawling business, donated more than $10 million to Republican candidates and group, according to Snopes charter.
Richard reportedly has a net worth of $5.4 billion. And hence he made a donation of more than $200,000 that the family donated to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC during the Florida governor's 2018 campaign.
On the other hand, Betsy DeVos happens to be former President Donald Trump's education secretary for four years, and last month, she gave $5,500 to a super Political Action Committee (PAC) supporting DeSantis' re-election bid.
But the contribution from the family is said to be massive, with more than $280,000 going to Florida Governor Rick Scott's campaign.
According to state campaign finance records, the donations from her family have been tracked as follows:
- Dick DeVos, Betsy's husband, who happens to be the former chief executive of Amway, contributed more than $80,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis super PAC in 2021.
- Their son, Rick DeVos, Betsy and Dick's son, contributed $2,500 directly to DeSantis' campaign.
- Dalton DeVos, their grandson, pledged something, including niece Olivia DeVos, who is also said to have donated.
- Dick DeVos' brother Daniel and his wife Pamela kicked in more than $70,000 to the Friends of DeSantis super PAC.
- Douglas, who is Dick's other brother and Betsy's brother-in-law, has footed more than $60,000 in contributions.
- Dick's sister Suzanne Cheryl DeVos and Betsy's sister-in-law came in and added another $50,000 to what was already donated.
The recently tracked donations to Governor DeSantis do not end there due to a $200,000 pledge that the DeVos family made during the Governor's 2018 campaign.
Betsy has since shifted her focus to parental rights bills, including the war that Republicans seem to be focusing on, such as "wokeness," critical race theory, and the 1619 Project.
The parental bill has been controversial, as it is meant to prohibit classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity and the dismissal of school instructors and librarians.
The former education secretary reportedly supports Governor DeSantis' push to limit public school curricula.
The effort is said to have resulted in the prohibition of books about race written by people of color, which led to a massive controversy and backlash from the public.
And even though Betsy DeVos ceased donating to political causes while serving as Education Secretary during Trump's reign, her family continued to do so, an article from The Guardian has noted.