Since its founding, Purple PAC has raised about $2 million. Nearly two-thirds of that — $1.25 million — has come from Philadelphia investor Jeff Yass, a founder of the Susquehanna International Group who favored Paul in the GOP presidential race.
Other top donors to the super PAC include Philip Harvey, the head of sex toy company Adam and Eve, who has given $400,000; Richard Masson, the owner of a thoroughbred horse racing and breeding operation in Kentucky, who has given $250,000; and real estate investor Howard Rich, who has given $50,000.
Harvey himself has also donated $2,700 to Johnson’s presidential campaign committee.
Purple PAC entered July with about $570,000 in its coffers, according to its most recent campaign finance disclosure.
Meanwhile, because it's so new, it is unclear how much money Americans Deserve Better has at its disposal.
Neale, the treasurer, said a "major donor” had provided seed money to the group, but he declined to identify the funder.
The nascent super PAC will not be required to publicly disclose its donors until later this fall.
Americans Deserve Better’s ad strategy is starting with an experiment: It’s focused on voters in the 2nd Congressional District of Maine. Maine is one of two states that awards Electoral College votes to the victor in each congressional district, rather than winner of the statewide popular vote.
The group will be spending about $80,000 on a combination of broadcast, cable TV and radio ads in Maine during August, according competitive data provided to the Center for Public Integrity by ad tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG.
Neale said that Maine was a good site to see “how far we can move the needle.” He added that hoped success there would “inspire other donors to give more money” to Americans Deserve Better.
Purple PAC, too, is ramping up its efforts.
It has so far spent about $35,000 on its pro-Johnson ad campaign, according to campaign finance filings. The group’s ads have so far targeted viewers of Fox News, according to Kantar Media/CMAG.
Libertarian activist Ed Crane — a co-founder of the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., and the founder of Purple PAC — told the Center for Public Integrity that “there will be additional ad buys starting next week.”