Dueling groups of deep-pocketed hedge fund managers are hoping to have an outsized impact on the U.S. congressional elections this year.
Baupost Group's Seth Klarman and Elliott Management's Paul Singer have contributed a combined $800,000 to the Ending Spending Action Fund, a so-called "super PAC" dedicated—primarily—to supporting Republican candidates for Congress. That money has been countered by a $2 million contribution by Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons to the Senate Majority PAC, which aims to keep Congress' upper house in Democratic hands.
Klarman and Singer's donations amount to more than half of the $1.35 million raised by Ending Spending in the first quarter. The rest came from the group's founder, TD Ameritrade's Joe Ricketts. Simons' gift was part of an impressive $11 million fundraising drive by the Senate PAC.
Singer's giving hasn't been limited to Ending Spending. He gave $1.75 million—and Klarman $1 million—to a Republican PAC that supports same-sex marriage, according to regulatory filings. He also gave $500,000 to the Republican Governors Association, matching the gift made by Third Point's Daniel Loeb. Citadel Investment Group founder Kenneth Griffin gave $250,000 to that group.