WASHINGTON Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney edged past Sen. Hillary Clinton in raising presidential campaign funds from money managers and securities firms in the first quarter, based on a review of Federal Election Commission records.
Mr. Romney pulled in $1.72 million in contributions in his bid for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, compared with $1.698 million for Ms. Clinton, a New York Democrat.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, a Republican, ranked third, with reported contributions of $1.59 million, while Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., came in fourth, with $1.32 million.
Overall, Ms. Clinton pulled in $36 million from all contributors in the first quarter, while Mr. Obama was second with $25.8 million. Mr. Romney was third with $23.4 million.
Contributions came from individuals, who also were grouped by their employers. The data were culled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington organization that monitors campaign financing.
Money managers were heavy contributors to the campaigns. Data from managers excluded investment banks and other securities firms, because breakouts of contributions from their money management subsidiaries were not available.
Included in Ms. Clintons total was $64,400 in contributions from employees of Farallon Capital Management LLC, the San Francisco-based hedge fund manager. Ms. Clintons other top money manager contributions came from employees of distressed debt firm Avenue Capital Group, who chipped in a total of $45,700; hedge fund Renaissance Technologies Corp., $27,600; private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC, $25,300; hedge fund Dune Capital Management LP, $23,000; and private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, $17,100.
Chicago firms for Obama
Not surprisingly, Mr. Obamas top money manager angels came from two Chicago-based firms. Minority-owned manager Ariel Capital Management LLC contributed $40,000, while private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC chipped in $26,800. Other big contributors were the Blackstone Group, $23,250; private equity firm The Carlyle Group, $20,700; and venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners, $13,290.
Mr. Romney pulled in $83,000 from Boston-based Bain Capital LLC the private equity firm he founded. Employees at other Massachusetts-based managers also made hefty contributions: Affiliated Managers Group Inc., $47,900; FMR Corp., parent company of Fidelity Investments, $25,550; and private equity firm Monitor Clipper Partners, $22,420. Private equity firm Sorenson Capital, Salt Lake City, also donated $22,420.
The other leading presidential candidates raised the following overall contributions:
cMr. Giuliani, $16.6 million. Top money manager contributions to the Republican candidate came from hedge fund Elliott Associates LP, $135,600; distressed debt firm WL Ross & Co. LLC, $20,700; buyout firm Hicks Holdings LLC, $16,100; real estate and private equity adviser William E. Simons & Sons LLC, $14,600; and investment manager The Capital Group Cos. Inc., $12,500.
cDemocrat John Edwards, $14 million. The former senator from North Carolina received $182,700 in contributions from Fortress Investment Group LLC, the private equity and hedge fund for which he was recently a consultant. Other big contributors: venture capital firm GKM Ventures, $10,500; private equity firm InterMedia Advisors, $7,150; and asset manager Legg Mason Inc. and private equity firm Apollo Management LP, $4,600 each.
cRepublican John McCain, $13 million: The Arizona senator received $32,150 in contributions from Bridgewater Associates Inc. employees. Also, Capital Group kicked in $26,190; private equity firm Bridger Capital Management LLC, $18,400; private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., $18,400, and hedge fund Highbridge Capital Management LLC, New York, $10,500.
Then theres Chris Dodd
With overall contributions of $8.8 million, Sen. Chris Dodd trailed his nearest competitor by more than $4 million. But Mr. Dodd, D-Conn., who currently chairs the Senate Banking Committee which has legislative oversight over the nations financial institutions demonstrated his ability to eclipse his rivals, at least when it comes to getting big packaged contributions from money managers.
Among Mr. Dodds top contributors, employees of hedge fund SAC Capital Management Inc. kicked in $202,900, counting a personal contribution of $4,600 from the firms founder and chief executive officer, Steven Cohen. Other top contributors were hedge fund Taconic Capital Advisors LP, $27,400; Fortress Investment Group, $18,400; alternative investment and asset manager Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, $16,100; and hedge fund Titan Advisors LLC, $13,800.
Such packaged or bundled individual contributions from companies are critical to all candidates because campaign finance law bars individuals from contributing more than $2,300 to a candidate per election, or $4,600 for both a primary and a general election. But by encouraging their employees to contribute on their own, employers strive to make the identities of their firms stand out from the pack in the minds of the candidates.
Thats how they build political influence, said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics.
When it came to philosophies of political giving during the first quarter, money managers took different tacks, according to the campaign data.
Some firms concentrated their giving. For example, SAC Capital employees put virtually all of their contributions with Mr. Dodd, except for a $2,100 donation to Mr. Edwards, according to the data. Farallon employees also gave virtually all of their contributions to one candidate Ms. Clinton expect for a $2,000 contribution to Mr. McCain and a $2,300 contribution to Mr. Romney. Elliott Associates employees focused their benevolence exclusively on Mr. Giuliani.
In contrast, Blackstone Group employees spread their largesse around. In addition to the $23,250 that went to Mr. Obama, they also donated $11,300 to Mr. Romney, $9,800 to Mr. McCain, $4,400 to Ms. Clinton and $2,300 to Mr. Giuliani.
Similarly, FMR employees, along with the $25,550 they gave to Mr. Romney, contributed $14,120 to Ms. Clinton, $9,200 Mr. Obama, $5,000 to Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.; $3,000 to Mr. McCain, $2,350 to Mr. Giuliani and $750 to Mr. Edwards.