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Hedge Funds Love Spitzer...Really!

Several top hedge fund firms and star managers have thrown their support behind the gubernatorial campaign of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Leading the way is activist hedge fund firm Atticus Capital.

Eliot Spitzer
Several top hedge fund firms and star managers have thrown their support behind the gubernatorial campaign of New York Attorney GeneralEliot Spitzer. Leading the way is activist hedge fund firmAtticus Capital. Run byTimothy Barakett, it plunked down $50,100, according to data from theNew York State Board of Elections. Also backing Spitzer isJames Chanos, well known manager ofKynikos Associates, who donated $50,000. Chanos is no stranger to politics, having recently formed a new hedge fund lobbying group (AIN, 1/23).

Billionaire brothersDirk and Daniel Ziffalso contributed to Spitzer, writing $12,500 checks each.David Shaw, who runsD.E. Shaw & Co., also wrote a check for $5,000.Mari Kooi, who runs fund of fundsWolf Asset Management International,plunked down $15,000. EvenNoreen Harrington, one-time informant who brought the mutual fund market-timing scandal to the forefront and is now prepping her own hedge fund, chipped in $1,000.

Also in the mix are some hedge fund managers who are personal friends of the AG.Emmanuel Pearlman, who runs activist firmLiberation Investment Group, said his firm's $2,500 contribution was due to his friendship with Spitzer. The two attendedHorace Mann School, a top private high school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Fund of funds firmGordon Asset Managementchipped in $10,000 because its head,Arthur Gordon, is friends with the Spitzer family, said a firm spokesman.

There are other well-known denizens of the hedge fund industry on board as well, including billionaireLouis BaconofMoore Capital Management($15,000) and retired legendMichael Steinhardt($10,000). These two were introduced to Spitzer by another contributor,Lee Hennessee, who runs theHennessee Group. Hennessee said she is a longtime friend of Spitzer's wife,Silda, as both originally hail from North Carolina.

On the GOP side,Stanley DruckenmillerofDuquesne Capital Management,gave $48,527 toWilliam Weld, the former Governor of Massachusetts who is now seeking to be chief of the Empire State. AndBruce KovnerofCaxton Associatesis backingJohn Faso, a former Assemblyman. He has given $60,700 to the campaign. Records also show a Stanley Druckenmiller of Manhattan contributing to Spitzer's campaign, though it was unclear at press time if the Druckenmillers--listed under different addresses--are one and the same.

Spitzer is widely presumed to be his party's nominee. No front-runner has yet emerged from the Republican camp.

Federal campaign finance laws limit the amount of the money individuals may contribute to candidates seeking federal office; state elections have no such restrictions.

Contributions To Eliot Spitzer
Atticus Capital$50,100
James Chanos$50,000
Louis Bacon$15,000
Mari Kooi$15,000
Dirk Ziff$12,500
Daniel Ziff$12,500
Michael Steinhardt$10,000
Gordon Asset Management$10,000
David Shaw$5,000
Hennessee Group $5,000
Liberation Investment Group$2,500
Noreen Harrington$1,000
GOP Contributions
Bruce Kovner$60,700John Faso
Stanley Druckenmiller$48,527William Weld
Source: New York State Board of Elections

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