Way Out Of Balance
April 24, 2012
For all the talk these days about activists trying to rein in corporate spending on political campaigns and conservative outfits like ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), I’m a little surprised there hasn’t been more of an upwelling against the individual donors who are, arguably, having an even more outsized role in the post-Citizens United landscape. I wrote recently about fledgling efforts by some state treasurers to consider using their states’ pension funds as a way to encourage greater transparency in political spending by big Wall Street money managers.
States vs. Plutocrats
March 29, 2012
Thanks to Citizens United and other recent rulings, the nation’s ultra-wealthy have a lot more latitude than they did a few years ago when it comes to pouring money into the political system. And, according to the latest campaign filings, they aren’t skimping. During February, Ken Griffin, founder of the hedge fund Citadel, and Henry Kravis, co-founder of private equity giant KKR, each gave $100,000 to the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, while American Crossroads, the group co-founded by Karl Rove, received $500,000 from the financial services firm S.W.
The Big Split
March 14, 2012
In May 2007, when Barack Obama was but an upstart challenger of Hillary Clinton, he attended a gathering of several dozen hedge fund managers hosted by Goldman Sachs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was not a fund-raiser, just a chance for Obama to introduce himself to the investment wizards who had helped turn the hedge fund sector into the most lucrative and alluring corner of the financial universe. And the first question for Obama was as blunt as one would expect from this crowd.