Wall Street executives are spending millions of dollars on Republican primaries over US Senate seats in Pennsylvania. With veteran Dr. Mehmet Oz and former Bridgewater CEO Dave McCormick taking the lead in voting, the primary will be the most expensive in mid-2022. selection.
According to federal elections, in the first quarter, dozens of male allies and close friends (current and former Wall Street CEOs and executives) hosted fundraising, directed donations to the campaign, and candidates. And donated directly to the Political Action Committee in support of the bid. Commission submissions, invitations to private fundraising, and interviews with people near both men. Some of them asked not to name them so that they could speak freely.
Competition on behalf of retired Republican Senator Pat Toomey is an important one that can help determine an evenly divided balance of power between Republicans and Democrats. Cook’s Political Report marks the Senate as a toss-up, and polls’ RealClearPolitics averages show McCormick, a Republican primary and superior to Oz.
The contest is endorsed not only by Goldman Sachs executives, but also by Billionaire CEOs such as The Blackstone Group and Citadel.
To date, over $ 45 million has been spent on television, radio and digital advertising. In the Republican primary, According to the data provided by the ad tracker AdImpact. Oz, McCormick, and Honor Pennsylvania, the super PACs that support McCormick, each spent more than $ 11 million on advertising their primary races. American Leadership Action, a similar super PAC that supports Oz, has so far spent over $ 3 million on primary advertising.
Super PAC is a tool for allies to provide external support to federal candidates.Although the campaign does not control how they spend their money, Super PAC can raise and use an unlimited amount of money to support the desired candidate.
Both men were incredibly well connected before entering politics. As the host of The Dr. Oz Show, Oz has a long and successful television career nurtured by Oprah Winfrey, and McCormick runs Bridgewater, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. rice field. McCormick’s wife, Dina Powell McCormick, is an executive of Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs.
With such a connection, it was not difficult for either candidate to raise money. The Oz campaign has raised more than $ 13 million so far, and the $ 7.5 million in the first quarter included nearly $ 6 million in loans from Oz. Meanwhile, McCormick’s campaign raised $ 11 million in the first quarter. This includes a little less than $ 7 million in loans from candidates who officially participated in the race in January.
Goldman executives are supporting McCormick’s campaign, with nearly 60 of the company’s leaders donating directly to his activities, according to FEC records. Goldman CEO David Solomon hosted a fundraiser for the candidate in February, and Goldman’s Board Chief of Staff and Secretary John Rogers sent other Goldman leaders to the campaign. I am calling for donations.
Solomon personally donated $ 5,800 to McCormick’s campaign in January.. Rogers donated $ 50,000 to parent McCormick Honor Pennsylvania late last year, According to the election record. Unlike campaign donations, which are capped at $ 5,800 per candidate per election cycle, donors can donate an unlimited amount to Super PAC under the Campaign Finance Rules.
According to a copy of the invitation, Rogers was also one of a group of January business leaders who co-sponsored a fundraiser in New York for McCormick’s campaign.
A Goldman spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital and a close friend of both McCormicks, told CNBC that Wall Street support feels that it comes from the belief that former Bridgewater CEO’s policy is more “centrist”. rice field. Records show that he has not yet donated to McCormick’s campaign.
“Wall Street is a centrist,” Novogratz said.
Wall Street businesses usually assist candidates on both sides of the aisle. For example, Goldman’s Political Action Committee and its employees donated a total of $ 1 million to Barack Obama’s campaign when Barack Obama first ran for president. 2008, According to the Responsive Political Center.President Joe Biden $ 70 million From Wall Street in his run for the White House.
McCormick is considered to have the potential to form an alliance with business leaders in Washington if he wins the November general election.
“Supporting Dave is a simple call for many executives,” said Reginald Brown, a partner at law firm Kirkland Ellis, in an email. Brown gave $ 5,800 to McCormick’s campaign in January at the FEC filing show. “He has a strong sense of being ready to be a politician in a very challenging world, not a loose cannon.”
“Dr. Oz is a television personality who was a member of the Presidential Council on Fitness. It’s not a difficult choice for a working business leader,” Brown said.Oz was sitting in front of Biden on the sports, nutrition and fitness council of former President Donald Trump. drop he.
Some of Wall Street’s millionaires seem to agree with McCormick.
Ken Griffin, CEO of Chicago-based investment firm Citadel, has so far donated $ 7.5 million to Promacormic Super PAC. This includes $ 2.5 million in March.
Blackstone CEO Steve Schwartzman donated $ 500,000 to the parent McCormick Group in February, and hedge fund giant Elliott Management founder Paul Singer donated $ 1 million in the same month.
Nelson Peltz, co-founder of investment firm Trian Partners, donated $ 80,000 to Prooz Super PAC in the first three months of the year. John Paulson, the founder of the Billionaire Hedge Fund, donated $ 5,800 directly to the Oz campaign.
According to data from the Independent Responsive Political Center, the American Leadership Action, which PAC is supporting Oz’s campaign alone, has spent more than $ 3 million on McCormick.
Representatives of Schwarzman, Singer, Peltz and Paulson did not respond to requests for comment.
Griffin said he recommended McCormick to run.
“When I heard that David was considering running for the Senate, if a talented and devoted individual like him was elected to public office, our country would be good, so do so. I urged him to do so, “Griffin said. He pointed out McCormick’s military service in the Gulf War and his records in government, including his role in the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance under then President George W. Bush.
both McCormick and Oz We have a close personal relationship with the billionaire Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater, who has not donated to either campaign.
Oz also has his own friends on Wall Street and counts Trump among his supporters.
Former CEO and Chairman of Morgan Stanley, John Mack, donated $ 600,000 to parent Oz’s Super PAC in the first two months of the year, according to federal election records. Mack told CNBC that he’s helping Oz for a variety of reasons, including his job in New Orleans at Hurricane Katrina and his fighting spirit to bring to Washington if he becomes a senator. Mack was known as “McThe Knife” on Wall Street due to his cost-cutting efforts and attention to detail efficiency at Morgan Stanley.
“He’s fighting for what he believes,” Mack told CNBC in a text message.
Trump recently approved Oz, but some of Trump’s old allies donated to McCormick Camp.
McCormick received a donation from Ray Washburne, the real estate tycoon and former Treasury Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Brian Ballard, a veteran lobbyist and major fundraiser for Trump. And Christine Tretti, a member of Trump’s transition team and an oil and gas executive nominated by the Senate before being appointed Ambassador to Malta.
Washburn is a heavy hitter on the campaign trail. He was also a member of Trump’s transition team and was one of Bush’s political fundraiser during the 2000 and 2004 campaigns.
Jess Simanski, spokeswoman for McCormick’s campaign, An email statement downplayed McCormick’s Wall Street relationship. She also said former Bridgewater executives raised $ 1 million from Pennsylvania donors in all 67 counties, and he’s well-supported to win expensive races.
“Dave McCormick is the only one to lead one of the country’s most expensive and important Senate races in this race and have the broad support and funding needed to stay in the Republican hands. He showed that he was a person, “Simansky said.
The Oz campaign had the opportunity to target McCormick.
“David McCormick is the ultimate established insider, despite spending millions of dollars on a China-funded smear campaign, he suffered terribly,” Oz spokeswoman Brittany Janick said in an email. I have. “