Political donations from people at hedge funds have vaulted this election, and far more has gone to the Democratic nominee than to the Republican
By John Carney and Anupreeta Das, Wall Street Journal
Hedge funds are playing a far bigger role in 2016 than in past elections—and Hillary Clinton has been the single biggest beneficiary.
Owners and employees of hedge funds have made $122.7 million in campaign contributions this election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics—more than twice what they gave in the entire 2012 cycle and nearly 14% of total money donated from all sources so far.
The lines around what constitutes a hedge fund aren’t always clear in the data, or in the financial industry. But the numbers are stark. The top five contributors to pro-Clinton groups are employees or owners of private investment funds, according to federal data released last week and compiled by OpenSecrets.org, the center’s website. The data show seven financial firms alone have generated nearly $48.5 million for groups working on Mrs. Clinton’s behalf.
The total for Donald Trump : About $19,000.
Mr. Trump, of course, didn’t start actively soliciting campaign contributions until recently and even shunned outside political groups working on his behalf. Hedge-fund employees have contributed heavily to other Republican groups this cycle—$65.8 million so far—mainly in support of candidates who opposed Mr. Trump in the primaries. Some who had supported other Republican candidates are now beginning to give to pro-Trump groups.
Still, Mrs. Clinton’s big haul from hedge funds also reflects the topsy-turvy politics of this election. In the 2008 campaign, hedge funds contributed just $14 million to Democratic candidates and groups. And amid criticism that Mrs. Clinton has cultivated close ties with the finance industry, her campaign has emphasized her plan to confront Wall Street.
Hillary Clinton outlined her goals as a presidential candidate — from overturning Citizens United to protecting Main Street — and shared some of her key beliefs. “If you share these beliefs, this is your campaign,” she said.
“Hillary Clinton has the toughest plan to reform Wall Street, clean up the abuses…and close the carried-interest [tax] loophole that benefits hedge funds,” a campaign spokesman said.
That said, to many on Wall Street, the Democrat in this election is the safer bet.
“There are two reasons I’ve given more than ever before,” said J.B. Pritzker, managing partner of private investment firm Pritzker Group, who has donated $7.9 million to Clinton-friendly groups and helped raised funds for her campaign. “First, I think she ought to be president. Second, I want to defeat Donald Trump. I believe that he would be terrible for the country.”
Continue reading, WallStreetJournal.com