Singer, according to this article has been a major backer of same-sex marriage. He's also far more nuanced on the relationship between government and business - calling for regulation of financial sector. He also has been a big supporter of immigration reform. Here are some excerpts from the Washington Post article titled:
. . . Since 2010, Singer has spent more than $10 million trying to get states to legalize gay marriage and get Republicans to join the battle.He's not completely opposed to government regulation of the financial sector:
In April 2009, he wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal stating, "conservative opposition to any expanded role for government is a mistake. There is an urgent need for a new global regulatory initiative that addresses the primary cause of the financial collapse: highly leveraged and concentrated positions."And on immigration:
"He also favors immigration reform, and gave a six-figure donation to the National Immigration Forum last year. "It says he also gave a modest amount to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - that highly deceitful ads that helped sink John Kerry's presidential bid.
He seems to be a competitor, into winning. That's a mindset that reduces life to a game that often overlooks the damage that results. The article says that as a hedge fund manager he's best known for distressed debt investments (though the company does less of that now). The article says:
In the summer of 2013, Singer told Institutional Investor's Alpha Magazine that forcing debt payment is a Singer-flavored form of activism. "We've made the point over and over again that sovereigns that could pay their debts and choose not to may be attempting to save some money but are harming their people and their economies by making investing in their countries more risky and more problematic and by discouraging foreign investment." In Singer's view, he isn't just forcing indebted companies and countries to pay up. He's trying to create a world where distressed debt doesn't exist.I mention this in part because it displays the attitude to debt that David Graeber attacks in his book Debt: The First 5000 Years. Graeber takes an historical view of the moral and business history of the idea that it's morally important to pay one's debts, especially third world countries whose debts were often obligated by dictators who deposited most of the money in their foreign bank accounts. The people who end up paying the debts are the struggling citizens who never would have approved the debt and who find foreigners prescribing the dismantling of what meager infrastructure and social supports the country has to pay wealthy first world banks and their rich investors.
Depending on your own views, that makes Singer an activist investor, or a "vulture capitalist."
This is loansharking at the international level and how Singer apparently got the money he is now using to play power broker in American politics.
And why is supporting same-sex marriage? According to the Washington Post article, that was
"first inspired by his son, who was married to his husband in Massachusetts — the first state to offer same-sex marriage."But in politics, candidates rarely look too carefully at where their money comes from. But I wonder how many of Sullivan's supporters know their candidate is getting lots of money from someone who helped to make same-sex marriage a reality in the US. What does a Senator say to someone who's donated hundreds of thousands to his campaign. I would imagine his door is always open and he's more than willing to help him get legislation that he wants. OK, this is true for every politician who gets big donations. But I don't think very many get such significant help from individuals. Before Citizens United it was illegal. You can compare Begich and Sullivan contributions at Open Secrets. Singer's company is Elliot Management and he also was a big donor to Club For Growth. And these seem to not include all the contributions to PACs that support the candidates.
I also found out in my googling that Dermot Cole reported much of this back in February.