Paloma Chief Packs Punch In Maine Politics

Jan 3 2011 | 4:22am ET

S. Donald Sussman doesn’t live in Maine, at least not full time. But the Paloma Partners founder has one of the loudest voices in the state’s politics through his checkbook.

Sussman was the largest donor to Maine political candidates and organizations last year, giving about $1.3 million. All of it went to Democrats of Democratic-leaning causes, including the reelection campaign of his fiancée, Rep. Chellie Pingree.

The Paloma chief resides primarily in Greenwich, Conn., where the hedge fund is based, but has a home in North Haven, Maine.

Sussman’s relationship with Pingree became a focus of Republican attacks against the congresswoman: Her trips on Sussman’s private jets became an issue. The two announced their engagement to quell the controversy.

Pingree’s political action committee received $10,000 from Sussman. The biggest beneficiaries of his largesse were gay rights group Equality Maine, the Maine Democratic State Committee and a PAC that battled a Republican plan to overturn a tax reform plan passed by the state’s Democrats.

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