Ask a Donald Trump supporter about the developer's appeal as a candidate and you'll likely hear - at least in the early days - about how, since he was so rich, no one could buy him. For many, it was an article of faith that the guy would simply underwrite his campaign.
It sounded plausible, on the surface: If a man worth $10 billion, as Trump liked to proclaim he was, really wanted to run for president, surely he could come up with a tenth of that to fund a campaign.
It didn't work out that way, of course. Trump is surely worth less than $10 billion - how much less is unclear - but he is evidently unable to get his hands on more than a few million at a time. He has spent some money on the race (some of which has been recycled through his businesses), but he most certainly has taken campaign contributions.
At one point last summer, NBC TV reported the Trump campaign was planning to fundraise enough that the candidate can be repaid for his own "contributions" to the campaign.
Trump has been raising contributions.
A lot of contributions, in fact.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Trump's campaign has raised $218.8 million. About $92 million have come from individuals, but a sizable chunk of that comes from big contributors.
Beholden? He's plenty beholden. - rs