Dr. Oz has close ties to the du Pont family heirs, and they support his Senate run

Veteran physician and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz has little-known but close ties to heirs to the DuPont chemical fortune who financially back Oz’s Senate race, a review of campaign finance records shows. .

Oz, who amassed his own multimillion-dollar fortune as host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” is related to Ben duPont through the men’s respective marriages to sisters Lisa and Laura Lemole. DuPont, who uses a slightly different spelling of du Pont’s surname on his company’s website and on LinkedIn, donated $70,000 to a political action committee dedicated solely to helping Oz run for office. Senate. Oz also received $50,000 in speaking fees from a political group founded by Ben duPont’s late father, former Delaware Governor Pete du Pont, who died last year.

Family ties also overlap with various business ventures founded by Ben duPont, according to Oz’s latest financial disclosure forms.

Oz, which was recently endorsed by former President Donald Trump, is currently in a Republican primary battle for the Pennsylvania Senate seat with former Bridgewater CEO Dave McCormick. The closely watched primary race on May 17 and the subsequent general election to succeed retired Republican Senator Pat Toomey this fall could play a key role in determining the balance of power in the Senate. Cook Political Report marks the siege as a draw. A Real Clear Politics poll shows McCormick with an advantage over Oz. And with the Senate currently split 50-50, the race is critical to watch to see which party will control that chamber in 2023.

Although Ben duPont doesn’t work in the oil and gas industry or for the DuPont Company, a victory for Oz in Pennsylvania could be good news for the company founded by his grandfather’s great-great-grandfather in 1802 in Wilmington, Delaware. Oz has become a vocal advocate for the need to increase hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of extracting oil and gas from hard-to-drill lands that climate change activists have long opposed. He has teamed up on the campaign trail with the likes of Harold Hamm, chairman of Continental Resources which specializes in natural gas exploration, according to a report.

Ben duPont’s brother, Eleuthere I. du Pont, shares the same name as the company’s founder and serves on the DuPont Company’s board of directors. The company has spent more than $400,000 lobbying Congress and the White House in the first three months of the year on issues ranging from climate change to the construction of the Keystone pipeline, according to the latest disclosure reports from company lobbying.

The influential du Pont family has a net worth of $16 billion and some 4,000 heirs to that fortune, which comes mostly from DuPont, one of the oldest chemical companies in the world, according to Forbes. DuPont’s global headquarters are based in Wilmington, but one of its chemical plants is located in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania.

Although the company’s political action committee did not endorse any of the candidates running for the Pennsylvania Senate, individual family members did, according to Federal Election Commission records and Center for Responsive data. Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group. A spokesperson for chemical giant DuPont declined to comment.

Ben duPont, who co-founded tech consultancy yet2 and ran the now-defunct venture capital fund yet2Ventures, is one of the family’s biggest Oz backers so far. Bridge. The Woman of Oz’s father, heart surgeon Dr. Gerald Lemole, who is not du Pont, donated $1 million in January to the political action committee American Leadership Action, a pro- Oz. Ben duPont, a spokesperson for yet2 and a representative for the Oz campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Although duPont does not work directly for the DuPont Corporation, its consulting firm encore2 lists the corporate giant on its website as one of the company’s premier backers.

In late December, Ben duPont donated $50,000 to the American Leadership Action PAC. The super PAC only supports the Oz Senate race.

The du Pont heir also donated two checks for $2,900, one for the primary election and the other for the general election, directly to the Oz campaign – the most an individual can directly donate to a campaign in an election, according to FEC records.

He then paid an additional $20,000 to the same PAC in February, records show. Super PACs can spend and collect an unlimited amount of money. The super PAC has spent more than $1 million opposing McCormick’s campaign for the Senate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In January, Ben duPont and his wife Laura co-hosted a huge fundraising event for the Oz campaign in Wilmington, according to an invite. The invitation says donors have been asked to donate up to $5,800 per person.

Separately, Oz was paid $50,000 in 2020 by GOPAC, a GOP political organization founded by Ben duPont’s late father.

GOPAC, which was once led by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, describes itself on its website as a resource for Republican candidates “for coaching and best practices on effective ways to communicate ideas and conservative solutions.

GOPAC executive director Jessica Curtis told CNBC in an email that the former governor was not involved in organizing Oz speaking engagements for the group, but she did confirm that Oz had them. speak. The two $25,000 payments covered Oz’s honorarium for two speeches to GOPAC executives in 2020, according to the Senate nominee’s financial disclosure.

Oz promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine to combat Covid-19 in one of those GOPAC speeches, according to a link to his speech on the band’s Soundcloud page. The Food and Drug Administration has warned against using hydroxychloroquine, which is commonly prescribed for malaria, as a way to fight Covid. The World Health Organization strongly advised doctors against using it to prevent the virus, noting that hydroxychloroquine provided no significant benefit to Covid patients.

GOPAC also funded Oz nonprofit HealthCorps, Curtis said, declining to provide further details. HealthCorps’ 2020 annual report shows GOPAC was among a group of donors who gave between $25,000 and $49,999 to the organization.

“Since Oprah introduced Dr. Oz to the American public, many have sought his opinion and advice, which is why we have invited him to speak in the past. As you noted, Dr. Oz’s remarks are publicly available and can be judged on their own merit,” she said.

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