Campaign 2012 | National Politics

The billionaires on Romney's bus

Mitt Romney is a very rich man. But he’s a pauper compared to the “megadonors backing his candidacy.” The big money behind the former governor of Massachussetts is mainly comprised of billionaires nearing their 70s. So it’s useful to review who these guys are and the return they expect for their investment in Romney’s campaign.

Here’s just one entry from a list of “16 donors who have given at least $1 million each to elect Romney – and what they expect in return for their investment”:

GOLDMAN’S SUGAR DADDY: John Paulson

Position: Hedge-fund colossus who profited from the nation’s pain by shorting the housing market before the collapse. “I’ve never been involved in a trade with such unlimited upside,” he bragged.

Age: 56

Fortune: $12.5 billion (Forbes rank: 17) In 2010, Paulson made a record $5 billion haul on Wall Street by speculating on gold.

Past Donations: Gave $250,000 to the Republican Governors Association in 2010.

Current Donations: Gave $1 million to Romney’s Super PAC. In April, hosted a high-dollar fundraiser for Romney at his home in Manhattan that did not appear on the candidate’s schedule.

What He Wants: No federal restrictions on Wall Street gambling. Paulson was a key player in Goldman Sachs’ infamous Abacus deal. The bank let him pick assets to short, then marketed those toxic securities as high-grade investments. Paulson cleared $1 billion on the rigged deal.

Paulson is one of the very few slightly younger power brokers. Also on the list is long time Romney friend and owner of Marriott hotels who wants easy access to foreign workers willing to work for low pay and is pushing for immigration reform. And my personal favorite, the guy who wants “to store radioactive waste from 36 states in an underground dump in Texas; has been sued repeatedly by the Justice Department for failing to clean up contaminated Superfund sites.”

Make no mistake, this is not a complete list. There’s more where they came from and neither is Romney the only politician they’re subsidizing. Indeed as the saying goes, money is power, and these guys have pretty much bought and paid for almost the entire Republican party at every level of governance. They managed to get control of a lot of statehouses in 2010. Their end game it to take over every branch of the federal government in November 2012 and they expect Romney to be their rubberstamp president. I’ve seen nothing that suggests they’re wrong. [original graphic]

Libby Spencer
Libby Spencer is a social media maven whose political commentary has been published on a wide variety of websites including a rather short lived guest blog at Fox News. She has been practicing her particular brand of punditry at the Detroit News Politics blog since April 2004.