21 elite fundraisers each collected $100,000 or more.
At least 21 Indian Americans are among top fundraisers for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his Indian American running mate Kamala harris, who collected $100,000 or more each for the campaign.
A list of 820 elite fund-raisers — called “bundlers” in American electoral politics — released by the Biden campaign showed that Indian Americans made up 2.5 per cent of it.
This is more than double the proportion of the community in America’s population reflecting its deep involvement in the nation’s politics as well its status as the ethnic group with the highest income.
President Donald Trump has not released a similar list of top contribution collectors. Overall Trump had raised $1.57 billion by last month, having started earlier than Biden whose collection was $1.51 billion.
But Biden’s take has been outstripping Trump’s in recent months. In the first half of October, his take was more than double that of Trump, $167 million to $82 million.
In the 2016 election, the then Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s tally stood at $1.2 billion, double the size of Trump’s $600 million.
Top Indian American fund raisers on Biden list included prominent activists like Ajay Bhutoria, Swadesh Chatterjee, Shefali Razdan Duggal, Frank Islam, Ramesh Kapur, Neil Makhija, Shekhar Narasimhan, M.R. Rangaswami and House member Pramila Jayapal.
Duggal and Islam were raised more than $100,000 for the last Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as well.
“Americans of all backgrounds are chipping in with whatever they can to help elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States, as evident from the record amount the former vice president raised last month,” said Islam, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, who has been a long-time Democratic donor. “It is an honor and privilege to be part of that effort. The country is fed up with the divisiveness and incompetence of Donald Trump.”
The Potomac, MD, resident was one of the top bundlers for the Clinton campaign, for whom he raised more than $1 million.
Kapur, president of the India Security Council, Inc. (USISC), another member of the Biden/Harris National Finance Committee, said Indian Americans were offended by Trump’s rhetoric. He asked “elected congresswomen to go home where they came from” and it’s “very offensive to us, our kids and grandchildren,” Kapur told the American Bazaar.
The others on the list include Bela Bajaria, Shailen Bhatt, Swadesh Chatterjee, Kiran Jain, Sonny Kalsi, Deven Parekh, Satya Patel, Rahul Prakash, Deepak D. Raj, Erik Ramanathan, Radhika Shah, Raj Shah, Rajan Shah, Jill and Raj Singh, and Nidhi Thakar.
Many of the Indian Americans on the list are entrepreneurs in technology and related fields.
Bhutoria, a California entrepreneur, said that he had held a fundraiser with Biden’s wife Jill in March.
He produced the campaign’s video, “Chale Chalo, Biden, Harris ko vote do”, (Let’s go vote for Biden, Harris) based on a song from the Hindi hit film, “Laagan”.
Makhija is the executive director of the Indian American Impact Fund, an advocacy and political action group, which has raised $10 million to support Indian American and Asian American candidates running for office.
Narasimhan is the co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Indo-American Council and executive director of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Victory Fund that supports candidates of the ethnicity.
Rangaswami is the founder of Indiaspora, an organization to promote Indian American activism.
Indian American Republican Danny Gaekwad launches ad blitz for Trump (October 8, 2020)