What many have tacitly known for a long time was finally confirmed overnight when an analysis of Federal Election Commission data by Vocativ and The Daily Beast found that of the 60 or so ultra-rich Americans - aka the mega-donors - who have contributed to both Jeb Bush’s and Hillary Clinton’s federal campaigns, seventeen of those contributors have gone one step further and opened their wallets to fund both Bush’s and Clinton’s 2016 ambitions.
None of this is a surprise: back in March, when showing the support of what may be the most important backer for any future president, Goldman Sachs, we explained as much. In "As Jeb Bush Pounces On The Hillary Email Scandal, The Real Winner Is... Goldman Sachs" we wrote:
"Goldman likes to play both sides of the fence and that’s especially true of a race like this where either of these two candidates — Bush and Clinton — could ultimately be helpful to them,” said Charles Geisst, a Wall Street historian at Manhattan College. Campaign finance experts say Goldman is hoping another President Bush or President Clinton would both push for Wall Street-friendly policies and draw on Goldman’s executive ranks for expertise, a practice that has fallen out of favor in the years following the financial crisis.
Today, we get confirmation that what Goldman is doing is precisely the same tactic employed by all the other super-donors: "why support just Hillary Clinton or just Jeb Bush when you can hedge your bets and donate to both? This seems to be the thinking of a group of powerful men and women—racetrack owners, bankers, media barons, chicken magnates, hedge funders (and their spouses). Some of them have net worths that can eclipse the GDPs of small countries.
Larry Noble, senior counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, told The Daily Beast that it’s a common practice among a small number of people. "Some of them will say they believe in the process, but the truth is you usually see them giving to people who will be most helpful to them if [the politician] gets into office,” he said. “They are not necessarily Republicans or Democrats, they are business people first.”
Some of them said personal connections are driving the double donations. Many work in industries that depend on the federal government for their continued operation. A few have had brushes with the law. One donor said he’s soured on Hillary, and is now on Team Jeb. Another claimed that he gave to Clinton by mistake.
Some examples of bet "hedgers" include David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, whose chief economist Larry Yun has been the butt of jokes for decades:
David Stevens, the CEO of the real estate lobbying group the Mortgage Bankers Association, was in the government himself. Stevens served in the Obama administration as the assistant secretary for housing and as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from July 2009 to April 2011.
But that doesn’t mean he’s completely onboard with his fellow administration alum.
His résumé reflects dual political loyalties. He’s served every Republican president since Richard Nixon and in 1997 was appointed to a task force by President George W. Bush to help study the best way to overhaul social security.
However, he also advised then-President-Elect Obama as part of the Economic Transition Team in 2008. Parsons did not return attempts for comment.
“I want to focus on candidates who best represent issues of housing and issues important to me and are not extreme, especially on the social issues that are important to me,” he said. Stevens has given $2,700 to Hillary For America and $1,000 to Jeb 2016. He said he has watched with great concern about the increased polarization of both parties.
But at the end of the day, Stevens conceded it’s also about access. “While [Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush] don’t make commitments, obviously, I want to make sure my views are presented to them, because they are considered more center-left or center-right,” he said.
Richard Parsons, the former head of Time Warner and now a senior adviser at Providence Equity Partners Inc., has donated the maximum $2,700 to both the Clinton and Bush presidential campaigns.
James R. Borynack, the owner of Wally Findlay Galleries — is another supporter of both sides, although he prefers to keep a low profile:
“[Borynack] has no detailed comments at this time, other than to support both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush equally as presidential candidates,” a spokeswoman said.
Curiously, another such ambi-supporter is The other is Robert Foresman, head of Barclays’s business in Russia. Foresman’s Russia ties include the state-owned energy company that is one of Putin’s biggest levers against the West. Russia’s state-owned Gazprom provides critical gas to nearly two dozen European countries—and has shut off energy to countries in dispute with Russia. In the early 2000s, Foresman was nominated as a candidate to the board of directors of Gazprom, but was never actually appointed to the board, according to the company’s website.
Some unmasked donors prefer to remain in the shadows: "one Wall Street donor, who asked to remain anonymous because he considered the donation to Hillary “embarrassing,” said he gave money to her Senate race after a bundler friend asked him for a contribution. He noted he asked the bundler friend to donate to a Republican in return."
There are many more such donor,s who like Goldman Sachs are all about "hedging" their bets, and the full list can be found in he original Daily Beast piece, a summary of which is shown below:
... and while none of this will come as a surprise to our readers, it may be a shock to the rest of America.
Or maybe judging by the surging popularity of such anti-establishment candidates as Donald Trump, the realization that the left and the right all serve the same masters, has finally seeped out.