Political contributions by hedge funds to the 2013 mayoral
candidates are minuscule in comparison with the sums they invest in
Hedge fund titans are making a $170,336 bet that Christine C.
Quinn is the best candidate to run New York City.
Ms. Quinn, a Democrat and the City Council speaker, has received
that amount in donations from the hedge fund industry. Paltry though
the sum seems, it is more than twice the amount received by the next
closest recipient in the mayoral race, Joseph J. Lhota, a
Republican, according to records compiled by Common Cause, a public
affairs lobbying organization.
Political contributions to the 2013 mayoral candidates are
minuscule in comparison to the sums the hedge fund executives invest
in financial markets, largely because New York law caps individual
contributions to mayoral candidates at $4,950. The New York Campaign
Finance Board records for 2013 are notable for their paucity of
political contributions from hedge fund managers. Some of the
industry's biggest personalities are missing from the donors' list
altogether, while a few have donated amounts as small as $100.
The loudest and boldest of hedge funds have been the quietest in
Consider William A. Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management,
who resigned from the board of the retailer J.C. Penney two weeks
ago after a dispute with other board members and just sold his
entire stake in the company. Mr. Ackman is a dominant figure in
financial headlines and has made a public bet against Herbalife, a
nutritional supplement company that he contends is a pyramid scheme.
Mr. Ackman has made no donations to any current mayoral
candidate, and he declined to comment.
James S. Chanos, founder of Kynikos Associates, and John A.
Paulson of Paulson & Co. have also not yet donated and declined to
comment on whether they planned to make any contributions.
George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management, publicly
announced his support for the Democrat Bill de Blasio several weeks
ago. While there is no record of a campaign contribution, a
spokesman said Mr. Soros had donated $2,000 to Mr. de Blasio's
campaign and "will give again" for an expected runoff after the
The top campaign givers, on the other hand, have thrown all their
resources into backing Democratic candidates.
Orin S. Kramer, the founder of Boston Provident, tops that list,
having given $10,700 of his own money to three of the party's
candidates: Ms. Quinn, William C. Thompson Jr. and John C. Liu. Mr.
Kramer, who raised more than $2 million for President Barack Obama
during the 2012 presidential election, has donated $4,950 each to
Ms. Quinn and Mr. Thompson and $800 to Mr. Liu, who is the New York
This month, the city's Campaign Finance Board voted to withhold
as much as $3.5 million in matching public money from Mr. …