Unless you are a conservative politician planning to run for office, the name Robert Mercer is mostly unknown.
The billionaire businessman from New York is a major donor to the Republican Party in the sense that he backs candidates he likes with huge checks. He is also an investor in Breitbart News. However, last week, the billionaire said he is distancing himself from Steve Bannon and Breitbart and is handing over his shares in the news business to his daughters.
Mercer also voiced displeasure over his recent financial support of the unhinged, conservative personality known as Milo. The former Breitbart employee quit the company last year after a video surfaced of him making questionable comments about child molestation.
But Mercer’s disconnect from Milo Yiannopoulos had nothing to do with the video. Rather, Mercer said his recent investment in Milo Inc. was a mistake because he thought the outspoken gay conservative would be a voice of reason but instead has become a divider of people.
Mercer’s statements about Breitbart and Milo put the billionaire in the spotlight last week. But this week, his name is resurfacing as leaked documents, known as the “Paradise Papers” allegedly reveal the billionaire built a $60M funding arm for conservative causes and candidates.
The Guardian is reporting that the $60M ties to the Mercer family’s foundation which was using an offshore investment vehicle to avoid U.S. taxes:
“The offshore vehicle was part of a network of companies in the Atlantic tax haven of Bermuda led by Robert Mercer, the wealthy hedge-fund executive and Bannon patron whose spending helped put Trump in the White House and aided a resurgence of the Republican right.”
It goes on to report, “Mercer, 71, appears as a director of eight Bermuda companies in the Paradise Papers, a trove of millions of leaked documents on offshore finance reviewed by the Guardian, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other partners.”
According to popular DC blogger, Mike Allen, Mercer declined to comment on the situation when contacted by Allen’s progressive-minded company, Axios.
Allen points out that Mercer financed the Trump campaign and has personally donated $41M to federal election campaigns.