Deep pocketed donors have long played a role in national politics, but perhaps no group has become more influential in this election cycle than the financial titans known as asset managers.
In this series, which will appear over the next two weeks, we take a close look at hedge fund managers, private equity executives and their less glamorous but equally powerful Wall Street counterparts to discover who is supporting Romney and who is backing Obama—why, and for how much.
Bruce Kovner, Caxton Associates
If you want to know which way hedge fund billionaire Bruce Kovner leans politically, here’s a hint: New York Magazine dubbed him “George Soros’s Right-Wing Twin” in a 2005 profile.
Kovner, who founded Caxton in 1983 and generated $12 billion in net gains for investors before calling it a day in September 2011, is the former president of the right-wing think tank the American Policy Institute, a backer of the conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and was one of the original investors, along with Conrad Black, in the now-defunct conservative newspaper, the New York Sun.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: he has given $500,000 to the pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future and his 2011/2012 political donations also included $2,500 to Mitt Romney directly, $25,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, $5,000 to Eric Cantor, $2,500 to John Boehner, $10,000 to the 7th District Republican Committee, $7,500 to the National Republican Congressional Committee and $5,000 to the Every Republican is Crucial PAC (although surely some Republicans, like Kovner, whose personal wealth Forbes estimates at $4.5 billion, are more crucial than others).
Kovner has also given generously to All Children Matter, a federal “527” organization formed by Dick and Betsy DeVos in 2008 to recruit, train and fund candidates who promote school vouchers across the country. ACM enjoyed strong support from Walmart heir John Walton. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Kovner gave the group $100,000 in 2008.
Money Managers And Their Donation Dollars