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Meet Mitt Romney’s Hedge Fund Backers

The Republican presidential candidate hasn’t revealed his top fundraisers. But it’s a safe bet that supporters from the hedge fund community, like Third Point’s Daniel Loeb and Paulson & Co.’s John Paulson, are contributing plenty of cash to Romney’s campaign coffers.

Anthony Scaramucci makes no apologies for backing U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “Most of the hedge fund managers I know are very pragmatic,” says Scaramucci, founder of New York–based hedge fund firm SkyBridge Capital. Many managers supported President Barack Obama in 2008 because they believed in his promise of governing for all Americans and uniting government, he adds. “Since he failed at that, a Republican who can work with the late Ted Kennedy” — as Romney did when governor of Massachusetts — is the practical choice, Scaramucci contends.

He’s in rich company. On September 14 the Romney campaign held a breakfast with the candidate at the Hilton New York. For a table of ten, suggested contributions ranged from $25,000 to $50,000. Scaramucci couldn’t attend because he was in Beijing, but he and his 117 fellow co-chairs of the event were a who’s who of Romney’s Wall Street backers, including several top hedge fund founders and financiers. Among them: Blue Ridge Capital’s John Griffin, Third Point’s Daniel Loeb, John Paulson of Paulson & Co., WL Ross & Co.’s Wilbur Ross, Ricky Sandler of Eminence Capital, Paul Singer of Elliott Associates and Appaloosa Management’s David Tepper. The previous night Lee Ainslie, founder of hedge fund firm Maverick Capital, and his wife, Elizabeth, co-hosted a cocktail reception for Romney at their Long Island home.

In the U.S. direct individual contributions to federal candidates remain capped at $2,500 a head per election, so presidential campaigns value the art of bundling ­— fundraising from many individuals. Some reward their bundlers with special titles. In Romney’s case there are the Stars and Stripes, who respectively pledge to raise $100,000 and $500,000 apiece. Although the Romney campaign hasn’t released the names of the Stars and Stripes, its fundraising events point to hedge fund managers. Loeb, Ross and Singer were three of the four co-chairs for a May 22 shindig in New York.

Pragmatic or not, hedge fund support won’t guarantee Romney the White House.

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