Skip to main content

Billionaire business owners are rich (duh).

Billionaire business owners didn’t get to be rich by throwing millions of dollars away.  They invest; they do not donate.

When they throw a million dollars to a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, they are not doing it solely from the kindness of their own heart.  They are making a purchase.  They seek to buy power, to buy access to the people who make the laws, and they want to make sure that the person signing all the laws in 2013 is the type of person who will only sign laws favorable to them.

This is why it is so revealing when a billionaire business owner heavily bankrolls a political action committee.  By figuring out who the donors are and what their motivations are, we can deduce what kind of policies Mitt Romney will be an advocate for.

Tim Dickinson of Rolling Stone does excellent work putting together a list of 16 megadonors (defined as a donor who has thrown at least a million bones Mitt’s way), and he has ascribed motivations for each one.  So what do these old white dudes want anyways?  I have summarized Dickinson's list as follows (name – occupation or corporation – what the donor wants from government):

Warriors for the upper class:

    Edward Conard – Wall Street hedge fund guy – continuing the favorable tax policy for rich people
    Julian Robertson Jr. – Wall Street hedge fund guy - continuing the favorable tax policy for rich people
    Robert Mercer – Wall Street guy (non-hedge fund) - continuing the favorable tax policy for rich people
    Paul Singer – Wall Street hedge fund guy – continuing the favorable tax policy for rich people

Dodd-Frank killers:

    John Paulson – Wall Street hedge fund guy – weaker banking regulations
    Kenneth Griffin – Wall Street hedge fund guy – weaker banking regulations / access

Polluters:

    William Koch – Oxbow Carbon – fewer environmental regulations
    Harold Simmons – Contran – fewer environmental regulations
    Steven Webster – Oil and gas guy – pro-drilling policies

Consumer exploiters:

    Frank VanderSloot – Melaleuca Inc. (pyramid scheme cleaning supplies) – weaker consumer protections / anti-gay policies
    Steven Lund – Nu Skin Enterprises (pyramid scheme cosmetics) – weaker consumer protections
    Bob Perry – Perry Homes – caps on jury awards

Quid pro quo:

    L. Francis Rooney III – Rooney Holdings (construction) – access / patronage
    Jim Davis – New Balance Shoes – lucrative defense contract


Family friends / fellow New England Mormons born into privelege:

    Richard Marriott – Marriott Hotels – immigration reform
    J. Willard Marriott Jr. – Marriott Hotels – immigration reform

You can bet that a Romney administration would share the policy ideas of these donors from the 1%, and those policies would do the following things: cut taxes for the rich, kill off what little banking oversight remains in this country, remove environmental protections, and neuter the Consumer Protection Bureau.  (Maybe there would be room for immigration reform, and maybe not.)

Not only do these people fund Romney’s campaign, these are the rich people that Romney hangs out with.  These are the friends who own NASCAR teams, private jets and multiple estates.  This is the social group from which Romney derives his worldview, a bleak screw-everything-but-the-bottom-line worldview in which greed is great and capital is king.  Romney was born into this social group and has lived there all his life.  His money is tied to investments with these people (he has at least a million dollars invested with Paul Singer).  He is named after the father of the two Marriott brothers, whose massive New England estate his family “summered” at when he was but a mite of a Mitt.

These megadonors would not be investing so heavily if there was no big payday somewhere in the future for them.  What the billionaire business owners see in Mitt Romney is a man who will weaken government to the benefit of billionaire business owners.  Their self-serving desires are not good for the country as a whole, but their voices are the loudest (because money is speech and therefore a million dollars is like a speech with a megaphone).  But even if they weren't the loudest, Mitt would still be their man.  He comes from them.  He is of them.  He is just like them, except maybe a little bit younger and more good-looking.  That’s apparently worth a million or two.  

(Cross-posted at Quibbling Potatoes)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site