By Peter H. Stone
and Michael Isikoff
Jan 6, 2011
A small network of hedge fund executives pumped at least $10 million into Republican campaign committees and allied groups in last year’s elections, helping bankroll GOP victories that changed the balance of power in Washington, according to a review of campaign records and interviews with industry insiders.
The review by the Center for Public Integrity and NBC found that some of the heaviest contributions from industry leaders came late in the campaign or were funneled through obscure “joint fundraising committees” and other independent GOP allies — some of which were set up to maximize campaign fundraising or to avoid disclosing the names of big donors. The Center and NBC analyzed campaign data compiled by CQ Moneyline and the Internal Revenue Service.
Bitterly opposed to economic and regulatory policies backed by President Barack Obama and Democrats — including proposals to increase taxes on some of their profits — top Wall Street hedge fund moguls were unusually energized during last year’s election. They held multiple fundraisers and coordinated strategy to direct what appear to be unprecedented sums into the coffers of GOP and allied political committees.
The net effect has given hedge funds important new allies at a time when they are fending off some regulations mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and an aggressive Justice Department investigation into insider trading.