Eric Cantor's Chicago speech--will he invite his billionaire donors?

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) will finally give his speech on income inequality on Friday in the Chicago area—a week after he canceled one in Philadelphia because Occupy Wall Street protestors planned to attend.

It looks like he’ll face protestors in Chicago too, but maybe Cantor has some friends in the area he can invite. After all, his 2011 fundraising shows he has some (though they definitely aren’t in the 99%).

  • On July 7th, Cantor received maxed out contributions from Chicago residents Kenneth and Anne Griffin ($5,000 each), according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Kenneth, the CEO of the hedge fund Citadel Investment Group, has a net worth of $2.3 billion. He’s #171 on the Forbes 400, a list of the world’s richest people. On August 1st, Griffin also donated $300,000 to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
  • Also on July 7th, Cantor received maxed out contributions from John and Rita Canning. John is the chairman of Madison Dearborn Partners, a hedge fund that “has raised over $18 billion of capital since its formation in 1992.”
  • On June 21st, Cantor received $5,000 from Chicago’s Thomas Pritzker, the executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels. With a net worth of $1.8 billion, Pritzker is #242 on the Forbes 400.
  • On May 10th, he received $2,500 from Hank Paulsen, the former treasury secretary and former CEO of Goldman Sachs.
  • Cantor received $101,400 in donations of $200 or more from Chicago donors in the first two quarters of 2011, according to CRP.

In 2010, Cantor told the Wall Street Journal that financial industry donors had “buyers’ remorse” for giving to Democrats. He called the Occupy Wall Street protestors “a mob.”

As our David Donnelly wrote on Huffington Post after Cantor canceled his first speech, “Cantor can speak (or not) until he’s blue in the face about how he understands income inequality in this country, but until he starts focusing on his constituents and the 99.95 percent of Americans who don’t make big campaign contributions, we know where his allegiances will really lie.”