By Jonathan Swan
Hedge fund moguls are pouring stunning amounts of cash into the main super-PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
George Soros and Donald Sussman, liberal financiers based in New York, have now given at least $10.5 million each to Priorities USA, an outside group that has already reserved more than $150 million in advertising to help Clinton win the White House.
Pushing him over the $10 million mark, Soros sent the super-PAC an additional $2.5 million in August, according to the latest reports from the Federal Election Commission.
Sussman sent $2 million in August too, giving him an identical total donation to Soros.
Soros, a Hungarian-born Wall Street speculator, came to national political prominence during the 2004 presidential cycle when he spent more than $18 million trying to defeat then-president George W. Bush.
Soros scaled back his political spending during the Barack Obama years. Stories later emerged suggesting he'd been unhappy with the way he'd been treated by the president.
An email released last year by the State Department showed Clinton ally Neera Tanden telling the then-secretary of State that when she spoke with Soros at a dinner, he’d told her he regretted supporting President Obama over Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary.
Recounting her conversation with Soros, Tanden told Clinton: “He's been impressed that he can always call/meet with you on an issue of policy and said he hasn't met with the President ever (though I thought he had.)”
Beyond his political spending — which is minor by comparison — Soros commits millions of dollars annually to a variety of causes, with a major focus on spreading human rights within oppressive regimes abroad.
Sussman gets far less media attention than Soros. A March 2016 article in Reuters described his Paloma Partners as “a $4-billion hedge fund that has spent much of the last three decades politely turning away would-be investors … ”
The same article says Sussman “is often called the hedge fund industry's grandfather who helped launch one of the world's biggest firms.”
The latest injections of cash from Soros and Sussman continue a trend of Wall Street money flowing overwhelmingly to Clinton over her Republican rival Donald Trump.
It's highly unusual — perhaps unprecedented — for a Democratic presidential candidate to out-raise a Republican among the financial sector by the margin by which Clinton is out-raising Trump.
Citing data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, the Wall Street Journal reported in July that “seven financial firms alone have generated $47.6 million for groups working on Mrs.Clinton’s behalf.”
The comparable amount raised for Trump at that time was $19,000. And though his haul from the financial industry has increased substantially by now, it still pales in comparison to Clinton’s.