Friday, November 02, 2007

Connecting Dodd’s Dots

The Journal Inquirer has reported that U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd is worried about unintended consequences and seeks to act responsibly. Dodd was not worried that a plan he supports to withdraw American troops from Iraq by March would be attended by unsupportable consequences. The senator was taking about friendly contributors to his campaigns.

“Managers and partners at private equity firms, whose personal income-tax bills could double under proposed legislation,” the paper disclosed, “continue to be among the biggest contributors to U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd's quixotic bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Federal Election Commission records show.”

During Sunday’s televised presidential debate, Dodd allowed that he “might” join the three Democrat presidential frontrunners -- Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina -- in supporting “some version of proposals to hike taxes on highly-compensated deal-makers and hedge fund managers,” but he was worried about intended consequences and was seeking to "act responsibly."

According to the senator’s latest FEC report, the paper said, “29 individuals associated with six charter members of the Private Equity Council - which is reported to have spent millions lobbying against the proposed tax hike - gave a total of $65,100 to his presidential campaign committee over the summer.”

Nearly half of the 29 work for Apollo Management, a firm headed by William Mack.

Mack was, according to the paper, “fingered for helping former Gov. John G. Rowland raise $50,000 in campaign funds days after Silvester invested $75 million in state pension funds in an Apollo real estate deal.”

Two of the other recent Dodd contributors were from The Blackstone Group, which hired Washington lobbyist Wayne L. Berman to fight the proposed tax hike. One of the biggest campaign contributors to Silvester and Rowland, Berman personally collected $1.5 million in "finder's fees" in connection with two other state pension fund investments authorized by Silvester.”

This is the stuff of which political headaches are make. Swimming in the water with such by-out sharks, one can never be too careful.

Just ask Bill DeBella.
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