Hedge funds give big to 'Wall Street candidate'

NEWT Gingrich's portrayal of Mitt Romney as the candidate of Wall Street money was underscored by the latest political donor records, which revealed the top four contributors to a political action committee (PAC) allied to Romney were hedge fund managers.

NEWT Gingrich's portrayal of Mitt Romney as the candidate of Wall Street money was underscored by the latest political donor records, which revealed the top four contributors to a political action committee (PAC) allied to Romney were hedge fund managers.

All up, almost 60 corporations and wealthy individuals donated at least $US100,000 ($A94,000) each to the Romney PAC "Restore Our Future", which raised more than $US20 million in the second half of 2011.

A $US10 million donation from casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, to "Winning Our Future", a committee backing Mr Gingrich, did not feature in the latest accounts because it was given in January.

About half of the $US2 million raised by the group in December came from associates of the Adelsons.

Mr Adelson, a staunch advocate for Israel, was rewarded in Mr Gingrich's speech in Florida with a renewed promise that, if elected, he would relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv, a move long supported by Mr Adelson.

Of other key activists, "American Crossroads", the Republican group backed by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove, said it had raised $US51 million along with its non-profit arm last year. Most of its $US11 million in contributions over the past three months came from roughly a dozen donors.

Once, strict rules governed how much could be donated to PACs. Corporate and union money was banned from PACs, while direct donations to candidates were capped at $US2500.

However, a 2010 Supreme Court ruling paved the way for uncapped donations to PACs by affirming the right to free speech and political advocacy.

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