They may spend hundreds of millions of dollars on mega yachts but not every boldfaced name from the business world is keen to part with a few thousand dollars, or even a few hundred dollars, in the 2008 presidential election. And while titans of the business world are often stereotyped as Republican, a look though the donations of today's Gilded Age belies a more bipartisan, often Democratic bunch.
Take for example the Forbes list of the richest Americans and their campaign donations, or lack thereof as far as current FEC records show. Just one out of the wealthiest 13 Americans gave Republican, three gave Democrat, and the rest gave nothing as individuals.
1. Bill Gates - $2300 Obama
2. Warren Buffett - $4600 Obama, $4600 Clinton
3. Sheldon Adelson - nothing
4. Larry Ellison - nothing
5. Paul Allen - $4600 Clinton
6. Jim Walton - $2300 Huckabee
7. Christy Walton, - nothing
7. S. Robson Walton - nothing
9. Michael Dell - nothing
9. Alice Walton - nothing
11. Helen Walton - nothing
12. Sergey Brin - nothing, and nothing from his new bride Anne Wojcicki
13. Larry Page - nothing
Not making the top 13 were the crop of hedge fund managers that rake in hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Despite increasing scrutiny over their tax rate, many support Democrats, and some of the Greenwich-based bunch showed their love for Dodd.
Showing their state pride, New York Sutton Place resident Richard Perry (Perry Capital) and his wife each gave $4600 to Clinton, while Greenwich resident Steven Cohen (SAC Capital) gave $4600 to Dodd.
James Simons (Renaissance Technologies Corporation) gave $4600 to Clinton and $2300 to Dodd. Ken Griffin (Citadel Investment Group) and his wife each gave $4600 to Obama, while Ken also chipped in $2300 to Dodd.
And Avenue Capital's Marc Lasry, of the Avenue Capital that recently hired Chelsea Clinton, has been politically monogamous, forking over $4600 only to Senator Clinton while his wife did just the same.
Meanwhile the Blackstone biggies are giving Republican. Steve Schwarzman has handed $4600 to Giuliani and $2300 to Romney. Co-founder and former Nixon administration member Pete Peterson has given $4600 to McCain, but also $2000 to Democrat Dodd.
Bruce Kovner (Caxton Associates) has maxed out with $4600 for Giuliani. Meanwhile Paul Tudor Jones (Tudor Investment Corporation) has hedged his bets, with $4600 to McCain, $2500 to Giuliani, $2300 to Romney and $2300 to Obama.
T. Boone Pickens (BP Capital Management), who made over $1 billion in 2006, gave Giuliani $2500. Boone is an executive-committee member of his Presidential Committee and recently wrote a fawning article touting Rudy for the National Review Online.
Joining the Google guys in coming up dry, at least so far, Apple's Steve Jobs has given nothing and Yahoo! Founder Jerry Yang and his wife both turned up with no donations. But, recently ousted CEO Terry Semel and wife Jane have each cut $4600 checks to Clinton and $2300 checks to Obama.
Finally, billionaire Carl Icahn gave Republican, but barely. The corporate raider gave $200 to Rudy, and the checks stopped there. Donald Trump has yet to give a dime, despite his children by Ivana, Don Jr, Ivanka and Eric, giving generously.
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