Facing critiicism about his corporate raiding through Bain Capital, Mitt Romney was asked on Wednesday, “are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as envy, though?” He said in response that, “I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like.”
Maybe one of those quiet rooms he’s referring to is at an upcoming fundraiser he’s hosting in New York City with a who’s who of Wall Street executives and other wealthy donors.
Here are the highlights:
- One of the co-chairs is Wayne Berman, the chairman of Ogilvy Government Relations, a powerhouse lobbying shop. The firm’s biggest clients in 2011 included Blackstone Group, Chevron, Hess Oil, Visa, Verizon, and several finance and investment companies.
- Another co-chair is Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman of Blackstone Group, a large private equity firm. He is the 66th richest person in America.
- As we reported last week, at least six of the co-hosts and co-chairs are also major donors to the Romney-aligned super PAC.
- Other co-chairs work for financial firms like Barclay’s Capital, Skybridge Capital, CVC Capital Partners, Investment Bank Credit Suisse, Stanwich Advisers, and High Star Capital. And let's not forget John Hess, the CEO of oil giant Hess Corporation.
- 21 of the event's co-chairs of the event have contributed over $5.5 million to federal campaigns over the last 20 years and $1.2 million to state political campaigns.*
- 12 of these co-chairs are also long-time Romney donors, having given about $280,149 to his campaigns and committees over the years.**
Mitt Romney thinks corporations are people, that we don't need contribution limits to candidates, and that you should be rich to run for office. The 2012 election is going to be expensive, with millionaires and billionaires on both sides pouring money to make sure their guy gets elected. Wall Street is going to place its bet heavily on Mitt Romney, and it's a fair question to ask what return will come attached to that investment.
*Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics and National Institute on Money in State Politics. These totals may include stray donations from contributors with the same name, but the best effort was made to remove those donations from the totals included above.
**Committees included in this research include contributions to Mitt Romney's own campaigns, the Restore Our Future super PAC, and Romney's Free and Strong America PAC.