December 31, 2007 — Mike Huckabee is being backed by a bizarre upstate group that has been denounced as a cult, The Post has learned.
Records show Huckabee raked in $20,000 from Sara Bronfman, the Seagram liquor heiress and high-profile devotee of the NXIVM group.
Bronfman made the donation to Hope for America, a political action committee set up in Virginia by Huckabee, according to that state’s public records.
Albany-based NXIVM bills itself as an executive-training program, but detractors have said it is a “cult.”
Its leader, Keith Raniere, was run out of Huckabee’s home state of Arkansas in 1992 after authorities there accused him of running a pyramid scheme. Facing probes in 23 other states, Raniere shuttered his operation.
Bronfman listed herself as an employee of a NXIVM subsidiary when she donated to Huckabee’s PAC in December 2005.
Huckabee shuttered the PAC earlier this year.
Huckabee campaign officials did not respond to requests for comment.