Wall Street is spending more on midterm elections than ever before—particularly in support of Republicans, who have a good shot of taking control of the Senate. But the donations are not coming from whom you might think.
A small group of ultra-wealthy private fund managers are dominating political spending this cycle, making up for declining involvement from banking executives.
CEOs like Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan have tossed a few thousand dollars to a candidate or two of choice. Dimon, for example, gave House hopefuls Jeb Hensarling, a Republican, and Joe Crowley, a Democrat, $2,600 each this year, his only direct political contributions of 2014.
But hedge fund investors like Paul Singer of Elliott Management and Bob Mercer of Renaissance Technologies have poured millions of dollars to influence a slew of races across the country. Singer, for example, has given between $1 million and $2 million to three different conservative political action committees this year alone, groups that work to shape elections in numerous states.