Monday, July 16, 2007

Ex-Bush donor hosts Clinton fundraiser

Ex-Bush donor hosts Clinton fundraiser
By SUN4MON SCOOP,Ben White in New York
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007
Published: July 16 2007 03:00 | Last updated: July 16 2007 03:00

John Mack, Morgan Stan-ley's chief executive, is to invite senior staff to a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton tonight, in a pointed endorse-ment of the Democratic presidential hopeful from an important backer of President George W. Bush in 2004.

Mrs Clinton, a New York senator, is scheduled to appear at the fundraiser at on the 41st floor of Morgan Stanley's headquarters in Times Square.

The minimum donation for the event is $1,000 (€726, £492) per person but Mr Mack urged those attending to give $4,600, the maximum for the 2008 presidential campaign.

Mr Mack surprised many on Wall Street in the spring when he said he and his wife, Christy, would support Mrs Clinton's 2008 bid. The announcement was made after heavy courting by Mrs Clinton, who raised $27m in the second quarter.

That sum was well ahead of any of the prospective Republican candidates and not far behind the $32.5m raised by Barack Obama, the Illinois senator and Mrs Clinton's main rival for the Democratic nomination.

Mr Mack was a "Ranger" for Mr Bush in 2004, meaning he helped raise at least $200,000 for the president's re-election bid.

He helped organise a fundraising dinner in New York for Mrs Clinton in June featuring Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor. But he was not able to attend that dinner and this is the first event he has organised personally inside Morgan Stanley.

Mr Mack indicated in the e-mail that the event was "purely voluntary" and that Morgan Stanley employees remain free to give to any candidate or party they choose. He said it was important for senior staff to be involved in the political process.

"When it comes to supporting political candidates, I have always looked beyond party labels to the person who I felt was best for the job and most able to lead the country forward. I personally believe that person is Hillary Clinton," Mr Mack wrote in the e-mail.

He also praised Mrs Clinton's efforts to reform healthcare and said she "has consistently demonstrated a truly global perspective, and also has a deep understanding of the financial services industry and issues important to Morgan Stanley".

Mr Mack's shift means the balance of power among Wall Street chief executives has switched toward the Democrats in the 2008 presidential race. Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan and Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers have all tended to give to Democrats.

Hank Paulson, former Goldman Sachs chief executive, Stan O'Neal of Merrill Lynch, and Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns were all big Bush fundraisers in 2004.

Mrs Clinton has other supporters in the Wall Street financial community, including Alan Patricof, co-founder of Apax Partners, Steven Rattner of Quadrangle Group, Thomas H. Lee of Lee Equity Partners and Thomas Steyer of Farallon.

Mr Obama also has widespread Wall Street support, including from hedge fund managers George Soros, Eric Mindich, Paul Tudor Jones and Daniel Loeb.


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