Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hedge Funders, Wealthy Sent Secret Campaign Cash to Derail Wall Street Regs

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By Mike Hall

We’re starting to find out where some of the tens of million of dollars in secret corporate campaign cash came from and what the donors were after . No surprise—Wall Street hedge fund managers, who teamed up with extremist groups run by Karl Rove and others, according a new report from NBC News.

A tightly coordinated effort by outside Republican groups, spearheaded by Karl Rove and fueled by tens of millions of dollars in contributions from Wall Street hedge fund moguls and other wealthy donors, helped secure big GOP midterm victories Tuesday, according to campaign spending figures and Republican fundraising insiders.

The two biggest spending groups behind the barrage of attack ads and mailings against Democrats were both founded by Rove and former George W. Bush White House insider Ed Gillespie—American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. Combined reports NBC, they spent $38 million.

A substantial portion of Crossroads GPS’ money came from a small circle of extremely wealthy Wall Street hedge fund and private equity moguls, according to GOP fundraising sources who spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity. These donors have been bitterly opposed to a proposal by congressional Democrats — and endorsed by the Obama administration — to increase the tax rates on compensation that hedge funds pay their partners, the sources said.

The day after the election, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and American Crossroads chairman Mike Duncan, squared off in a post-election debate.

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