Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Griffins -- hedge fund power couple

Ken Griffin and wife Anne, have become two of the most prominent and powerful names associated with Chicago's corporate-style school reform. As the founder and head of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel, Griffin is reported to be worth $2.3 billion, making him the fifth-richest Chicagoan and 159th-richest American, according to the 2010 Forbes 400.

He and his wife, Anne Dias Griffin, have been major players in the world of political money: Campaign finance records show that the Griffins have donated more than $3 million to candidates and political action committees—including $450,000 last fall to Republican Bill Brady in the tight 2010 Illinois governor’s race.

The Griffins, along with other Chicago billionaires like Penny Pritzker and Bruce Rauner, also helped underwrite the anti-union lobbying group Stand For Children, headed by Jonah Edelman.  In 2010, Ken gave $500,000 each to two different political action committees—on October 25th to American Crossroads, an organization, according to its website, “dedicated to renewing America’s commitment to individual liberty, limited government, [and] free enterprise” and on December 15th to Stand for Children Illinois.

He also contributed  $150,000 to Mayor Daley in 2006 and $200,000 to Rahm Emanuel's mayoral campaign.

Noted art aficionados, they own works by Monet, Degas, and Cezanne, and paid $80 million for a Jasper Johns painting reportedly worth $2.3 billion, Ken bundled money for both Obama and John McCain during the 2008 election. In the 2012 election cycle, the couple has given $500,000 to the Republican Governors Association, $300,000 to Rove's American Crossroads, and $150,000 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Bonus: Charles Koch named them as part of alist of elite donors who have pledged $1 million to his and his brother David's conservative fundraising machine.

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