Hi everyone! I got a late call time on the movie I’m shooting today, so I wound up having time to chat with you guys after all!
And I’ve got an interesting one for you today.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin has given hundreds of millions of dollars to political campaigns in recent years, Crain’s Chicago Business reports this morning. That includes $86 million in federal races in just the last 3 years.
$63 million of that came in 2020 alone. And if that weren’t enough, the Citadel LLC founder put $122 million into elections just in Illinois!
The money appears to be opening doors for Griffin and Citadel:
“When you’re making very large political contributions, it increases your access to sitting officeholders if they win,” says Peter Quist, deputy research director at OpenSecrets, the nonpartisan research group that tracks political spending nationally. Griffin’s increased spending “seems to indicate that he is being successful at being able to set up those meetings.”
Perhaps Griffin is aiming his firehose of cash at politicians in order to protect his business from regulation.
Some call in influence peddling. The Russians call it “krysha,” or roof.
Either way, any professional investor like Griffin is going to want to see a return on that investment. The question is, why should anyone, especially a highly controversial billionaire, be allowed such disproportionate influence on our elections?
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