Author: Susan Lazare
It is no surprise that hedge fund billionaires oppose Bernie Sanders, the U.S. senator and 2016 presidential hopeful who has proposed a .5 percent speculation tax and pledged to tackle wealth inequality.
A new article in the Intercept finds that hedge fund managers have banded together to form their own super PAC, called Future 45, and it has started launching attacks on the Sanders campaign. In a new advertisement circulating this week, Future 45 goes beyond the individual, taking aim at the very tenets of Sanders’ candidacy: a $15 minimum wage, free college and health care for all.
(N.B.: go to link to see video)
Reporter Zaid Jilani notes that the super PAC has some well-heeled backers:
Future 45 is run by Brian O. Walsh, a longtime Republican operative who has in the past served as political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Most recently, he was president of the American Action Network, a dark money group that was the second-largest outside spender in 2010.
Over the last year, Future 45 has been funded primarily by hedge fund managers. It has received $250,000 each from two billionaire Rubio-backers: Paul Singer, who runs Elliott Management, and Ken Griffin, who runs Citadel.
The Future 45 advertisement, released in the lead-up to the South Carolina primary, is the super PAC’s first to go after Sanders. The organization has produced at least five advertisements since October 2015 criticizing Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, Future 45 is not the only super PAC spending large sums this month. According to the Washington Post, the biggest super PAC backing Hillary Clinton, Priorities USA Action, “is making its first significant foray into the 2016 primary, launching a radio campaign in South Carolina and spearheading a $4.5 million effort to drive early turnout of African American, Latino and female voters in states that hold contests in March.”