Michele Bachmann may have bowed out of the race to become the Republican candidate for the US 2012 presidential election this week, but it appeared that the Tea Party favourite had one rather significant financial backer.
According to Federal Election Commission records, someone going by the name of Robert Diamond, with a job description of “President” of Barclays PLC, pledged $220 to Bachmann in June last year.
Sadly, closer inspection of the entry suggests that Diamond isn’t quite who he claims to be – and not just because Diamond was promoted from president to chief executive of Barclays at the beginning of last year, and could afford a lot more than a mere $200 donation.
The residence given for Robert Diamond was a Bronx address – which a quick search on Google Maps shows to be a high-rise block of flats next to a busy highway. A spokesman for Barclays has since confirmed that the donor in question was not its chief executive, Robert E Diamond, Jr.
Nevertheless, a closer look of Federal Election Commission records and analysis by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics shows there are still several other big name financial backers of US presidential candidates, with Mitt Romney, who narrowly secured pole-position at the recent Republican caucus in Iowa, remaining the choice of Wall Street.
Up until December 5, the co-founder of Bain Capital had received $7.8m from finance, insurance and real estate donors, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Romney and affiliated super PACs have received $32.2m to December 5 in total.
As a co-founder of the US private equity firm Bain Capital, Romney has considerable connections on Wall Street. Direct contributions to Romney for President from individuals affiliated to Bain total more than $100,000. Individuals affiliated to Goldman Sachs top the list, having donated $367,200.
Notable Romney donors include hedge fund supremo John Paulson, who has donated $1m to the Romney-affiliated Restore Our Future super PAC, and $2,500 to Romney’s campaign. Paulson’s wife, Jenny, has also donated $2,500 to Romney.