Movie Producer And Son Of Phillies Co-Owner Is The Big Donor Behind Roger Stone’s Controversial Group
Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
Roger Stone’s pro-Trump super PAC raised roughly $310,000 in the first quarter of this year, with approximately 80 percent of the money coming from television and film producer John P. Middleton. Stone previously pledged his group would be “funded by small donors.”
Stone is a longtime Trump friend and ally who heads the super PAC Committee to Restore America's Greatness. He is also involved with the newly formed and related 527 group Stop The Steal. Stone and the super PAC have been claiming that Republicans are attempting to “steal” the GOP presidential nomination from Donald Trump; they are also spreading false claims that Trump has been the victim of election fraud. Stone has come under heavy criticism for his plan to release the hotel room numbers of delegates who are purportedly stealing the nomination.
The Committee to Restore America’s Greatness recently filed its quarterly report with the Federal Election Commission. The group states that it raised $310,806 from January through March, while spending $191,063.
John P. Middleton gave the group $250,000 this year, accounting for roughly 80 percent of its total receipts. (Middleton gave $100,000 total and John Powers Middleton Companies gave $150,000.) Middleton, the son of Philadelphia Phillies co-owner John S. Middleton, is a regular Republican donor and activist. He works in the television and film industry and co-produced The Lego Movie and executive produced Run All Night, Bates Motel, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Middleton has promoted Trump on his Twitter account.
Middleton is supporting Stone despite the consultant’s virulent attacks against the Bush family. Middleton hosted a 2015 fundraiser for a super PAC supporting Jeb Bush. Stone has said that Jeb and the Bush “crime family” ran drugs in Latin America; claimed the Bush family was behind the attempted assassination of President Reagan; and attacked Barbara Bush for being “shit face drunk.”
When he helped form Committee to Restore America's Greatness last year, Stone pledged the group would be funded by small donors, telling the Associated Press: "I don't expect large contributions from anybody. This will be funded by small donors who are opposed to Marco Rubio and the establishment Republican candidates.” At the time, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski -- a target of Stone criticism -- called the group "a big-league scam.” Lewandowski’s power in the campaign now appears to have been diminished with the ascendancy of Stone’s former business partner and friend Paul Manafort.
The PAC disbursed $84,000 to a Florida business called Citroen Associates. Citroen is owned by John Paul Kakanis, who is also the registered agent for Roger Stone Exploratory Committee LLC (Stone had explored a run for Marco Rubio’s Senate seat). Citroen received money
The group also spent money on advertising with WND.com ($5,093) and Newsmax ($5,230).