Monday, October 27, 2014

Big Outside Sullivan Backer Also Supports LGBT Rights, Immigration, Role Of Government

Things get curiouser and curiouser as Alice said.   As I was following the tracks on Paul Singer, a major donor to the Dan Sullivan campaign, identified as the money behind Opportunity PAC which is funding letters to folks in Anchorage that list their neighbors and their voting records, I discovered a much more complex man than the standard image of Rich White Republican Billionaire. 

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:
Meet the wealthy donor who’s trying to get Republicans to support gay marriage
. . .   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.
Depending on your own views, that makes Singer an activist investor, or a "vulture capitalist."
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. 

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.


  1. Singer wants you to believe his brand of vulture capitalism can be expeditiously and miraculously renamed or rebranded and that will make it all fuzzy and warm. Not buying it.

    And when billionaires throw a few token millions at what appear to be contradictory issues to their primary ideological stance, remember that gaining and maintaining control is always the underpinning behind their ultimate goals.

    Beware of anyone supporting causes only after family circumstance dictates a supposed change of heart. Control still may be the goal. Maintaining familial peace and shoring up appearances may be all there is to it.

    If the wealthy control freaks can bolster the 'appearance' of leading the way on an issue, they can better bend the manipulation of that issue to their ideological ends. ( of war and all that Machiavellian schtick)

    Oh, look, Singer wants to be seen as 'accommodating' towards regulation of Wall Street. (…a position from which it's all the better to control that regulation of Wall Street. Oldest trick in the book.)

    Oh, look, Singer appears to be supporting the gay. (…again, all the better to maintain control)

    Singer's donations still represent right wing plutocratic control. Singer's far larger and more repetitive donations to such individuals and groups such as Club for Growth, GW Bush, Mitt Romney etc, exposes his long term end game.

    Corporate control of government is the goal. Appearances are for subterfuge.

    GW, Mitt and the rest of the elites have slipped their masks enough times that appearances should be given little credence. It's the actions behind the appearances that count, and there's been far too many actions to give way to appearances at this late date.

    Singer sits as the chair of the board of trustees for William Casey's Manhattan Institute, the oligarchy's policy mill.

    Corporate elites and the uber-rich wish to control government and 'appearances' are deceptions they adopt as the need arises.

    The end game is never forgotten, never compromised, despite any short term appearances.

    Ohio Dan Sullivan is just a shill for those elite and corporate interests.

    His 'appearance' is a total construction, thoroughly manipulated by his masters.

    As would his representation be best manipulated to better serve his masters.

    Alaskans are naught but another patsy in their end game.

  2. Nothing to add. I agree with your basic theme. The main point I meant to make was that Sullivan, who's been anti-same sex marriage, is taking big money from one of, if not the, leading Republicans who have made same-sex marriage a legal reality in the US.

  3. Well, Sullivan has no scruples whatsoever about who he takes money from,

    ...and Singer isn't at all particular about what kind of unethical miscreant he gives his money to.

    I'm not about to credit any Republican with making same sex marriage legal, it appears to me it was a combination of the courts and the tide of public opinion.

    Left to their own ideological devices, I'm not convinced any Republican would have moved beyond the talking stage.

    1. Left to their own ideological devices, I'm not convinced any Republican would have moved beyond the talking stage.

      For sure, all the gay Republicans would have continued to do nothing except lie to themselves and the electorate.


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