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

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hedge-fund school reformer Griffin says 'ultra-wealthy' have too little influence

You wouldn't think that Mitt Romney could saunter into Barack Obama's home town and raise millions in one night and walk away unscathed. But that's exactly what he did. Here's how.

Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, Chicago's second richest man (behind Sam Zell) and a major player in Chicago's corporate-style school reform, raised thousands for both Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008. But this year he’s not hedging his bets: he’s going all or nothing on Romney. The founder of the $13 billion Citadel Investment Group and his hedge-fund manager wife Anne Dias Griffin co-sponsored a $3.3 million Chicago fund-raiser for Romney at Chicago's Pump Room on Thursday.

Ultra-conservative Griffin has given more than $1 million to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney SuperPAC, since last December. The Griffins have given another $1 million to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads SuperPAC since last August and have donated to the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity.  He's also a big fan and patron of Rahm Emanuel (no surprise there) and the Griffins contributed $200,000 to Rahm's mayoral campaign. What he like most about Rahm is the mayor's commitment to privately run charter schools and his antipathy towards the teachers union.

Griffin told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year that he felt the “ultra-wealthy” like himself had “insufficient influence” in politics.

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