You are hereThink Progress: Who Is Foster Friess? Seven Facts You Need To Know-
Think Progress: Who Is Foster Friess? Seven Facts You Need To Know-
-By Adam Peck
February 11, 2012- Foster Friess, the multi-millionaire financial investor who—until recently—was practically single-handedly bankrolling Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign, has a long history supporting Republican candidates and conservative causes. And unlike some of his fellow mega-donors like the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson, Friess has never tried all that hard to hide his intentions or methods.
On his personal YouTube page, more than a dozen sparsely-viewed videos show Friess discussing his philanthropic endeavors as well as his thoughts on President Obama, health care reform and the cause of the economic crisis. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting things about Friess that you may not know:
1. He has a long history funding Islamophobic organizations. One of Friess’ biggest beneficiaries is a collection of some of the largest Islamophobic organizations in the country, including Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy and David Horowitz’s Terrorism Awareness Project.
2. He filmed an introduction video to Clarion Fund’s Islamophobic “Obsession” Documentary. The controversy and outrage over the film “Obsession” has been well documented, but that didn’t seem to faze Friess, who filmed a five and a half minute promotional video in which he encouraged viewers to purchase the full DVD and use it “as a voting guide when you go into the election booth on election day.”
3. He preached intolerance in a commencement speech at the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University. “Be more intolerant,” urged Friess to a room full of graduating students in 2007. “There’s a group of people—maybe the secular Taliban is a good name for them—who have morphed this idea, that you have to accept my values being every bit as cherished as your values. That’s not tolerance…there are too many things in this world which we sit back and tolerate.”
4. Friess has given A LOT to Republican politicians. Rick Santorum’s not the only beneficiary of Friess’ campaign contributions. Over the years, Friess has contributed millions of dollars to Republican candidates and committees across the country, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry’s also not the only former Santorum competitor who cashed big checks from Friess. Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign has received $5,000 from Lynette and Foster, Mitt Romney received $1,000 for this election (and the campaign maximum $4,600 from both Friess’s in 2007) and even Tim Pawlenty’s presidential exploratory committee deposited a cool $5,000. Talk about hedging your bets.