George Soros is famous, generally, for breaking the bank of England and also for underwriting the left wing. And of course every year he seems to pop up on a list of the highest earners in the universe. But just because a top earning portfolio manager has plenty of money in his checking account, it doesn’t make donating $30,400 to a senatorial campaign committee a mere throwaway gesture. Nor does it necessarily mean anyone is ending up in that manager’s pocket. Still, it’s interesting to see which hedge fund industry members are actually doling money out to campaigns, how much, and to which parties.
Adding in gifts given in the name of spouses and children, a politically minded individual can legally hand out is $115,000 in any one election cycle. No hedge fund manager has hit that limit yet in the current cycle (roughly the past 12 months), though the largest donations among hedge fund managers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, went to Democrats. Jim Simons, the recently retired founder of Renaissance Technologies, was the single largest hedge fund industry donor with total contributions of $94,100 so far, all but a few hundred dollars going to Democratic senators, including Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.), or to PACs. The second highest hedge fund political donor was ex Goldman Sachs star trader Eric Mindich who gave $89,600 to a variety of Democrats, including Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
In all, hedge fund managers have donated $3.16 million to politicians; $1.93 million to Democrats and $1.22 million, according to CRP data.
The CRP also recently ran some numbers on newsmaker John Paulson. They found he gave $213,000 in political contributions over the past decade, and that he was fittingly, somewhat hedged, giving 60 percent to the GOP and 40 percent to the Democrats.
Harbinger’s Phil Falcone has also demonstrated bipartisan support; he gave $30,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $10,000 to the Republican Party of Minnesota.
Obviously not an Al Franken fan.
Quant figure Cliff Asness leans mostly to the right but is apparently not averse to taking a flyer now again. Of the $72,090 he gave out, 99 percent went to Republican causes. He did however give $490 to Dodd.
The most famous hedge fund manager of them all, Stevie Cohen, is among the top ten donors among hedge fund donors, but he barely made the cut, donating $68,400. All but $4,800 went to Republicans, including embattled Nevada Senator John Ensign.