Private equity firms and hedge funds are big business. These arrangements have made their owners and contributors billionaires. Washington started to notice and about the same time, these firms also started making sure they were noticed by Washington--through their campaign contributions.
This year donations are soaring--twenty senior managers have given $360,000 to party committees and candidates so far in 2007. This is close to the total $470,000 given in 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Why are contributions from this industry skyrocketing? It might have something to do with some legislation currently making its round in the Senate that would raise taxes on private firms that go public.
Reuters quotes an industry lobbyist saying, "the industry is investing more in Washington-related activities than it has in hte past, but this would be the case even without pending tax issues."
He might be right. It just looks a little odd that the industry is giving money at a level set to double its contributions from 2006. These people are smart investors to make the kind of money they are pulling in. They know what will get them a return.