Potential Republican presidential candidate, US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is looking at the polls and taking lessons from Eric Cantor’s recent election loss and publicly fighting Wall Street control. But do his words back his actions?
“We cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street. Corporate welfare should once and for all be ended,” he told a New Hampshire audience this past April, sounding all the right chords.
Rand Paul’s desires might run into a snag
But, as Bloomberg’s Dawn Kopecki reports, Rand Paul’s desire to shed Wall Street control from Washington may have run into a snag: his own fundraising efforts.
While Paul was on the campaign trail gaining popularity with the message that Wall Street must be held to a similar accountability and legal standard as all Americans, his campaign’s leading financiers – a $13.6 billion hedge fund – are shoring up the finances on Paul’s potential presidential bid.
In addition to the hedge fund being a leading contributor, the fund’s co-founder, Kenneth Garschina, has also given the single-biggest contribution, $250,000, to America’s Liberty PAC, a political action committee run by longtime supporters of Paul, the report notes. Garschina has contributed $15,100 directly to Paul’s campaign or to funds the senator controls while Michael Martino, the fund’s co-founder, has given $12,600 to Paul’s campaign and funds.
A look at Rand Paul’s generosity
The generosity extends to the entire company as nearly half of the firm’s 33 employees have given at least $75,000 to Rand Paul and funds he controls since he started his first U.S. Senate campaign in 2010, according to Federal Election Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. The report notes Mason Capital staff members have been Rand Paul’s second-largest source of campaign funds, according to Opensecrets.org, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
“Rand is looking to lots of different places for financial backing and that would certainly be one of them,” Doug Stafford, Paul’s former chief of staff, now the executive director of RAND (Reinventing a New Direction) PAC, Rand Paul’s leadership committee, was quoted as saying. “And if he chooses to run, his campaign will be well funded.”
Separate sources inside the financial lobby note a distinction between accepting money from the large banks and their official lobby group than an individual hedge fund – which typically has a different agenda in Washington DC. Nonetheless the Libertarian Rand Paul finds it easy to strike out against “Wall Street” while relying on their generosity to make the campaign possible.