In 2020, Mitt Romney arguably lost the presidential race and very likely the key state of Ohio after a series of devastating ads that the Democratic SuperPAC Priorities USA ran attacking his record at private equity firm Bain Capital.
By extension, the ads were an attack on Bain itself.
If you don’t remember, here is a particularly brutal one that contributed to Romney’s loss of Ohio.
Fast forward eight years, and man have times changed. So much so that a review of campaign finance records shows that 96.22% of Bain employees’ donations to federal candidates were to Democrats. In fact the #1 recipient of donations from Bain employees is actually… Priorities USA itself.
According to OpenSecrets.org, Bain personnel have donated $1,000,000 to Priorities USA this cycle.
That is on top of $750,000 to the House Majority PAC, $700,000 to the DNC, $505,650 to the DSCC, $500,000 to the Senate Majority PAC, $350,000 to the League of Conservation Voters, $250,000 to Unite the Country, and $170,000 to the DCCC. All of these groups are Democratic-aligned.
So what is going on here?
Likely, two things.
First, for as much as the private equity sector doesn’t like Democrats’ policies, in general, they are not huge fans of Trumpism, either. Trumpist policy on trade, immigration, spending, debt and deficits is barely if at all more tolerable to a lot of this crowd than what you get out of Democrats. It’s also not as though Trump crafted tax reform to meet the desires of the private equity industry. So, Bain has no real reason to back him– and that’s setting aside any hostility individual Bain employees may have towards him simply because of his feuding with Romney.
Second, though, there is likely a presumption at play that if Bain backs Democrats, if and when Democrats take back control of the White House and control both chambers of Congress, Democrats won’t set out to hurt Bain quite as badly as they otherwise might. That is, of course, a presumption that relies on the idea that the Chuck Schumers of the Democratic Party will be able to outmaneuver the Elizabeth Warrens of the Party.
Private equity is a business that inherently involves placing big, risky bets.
But even by its normal standards, this seems like a pretty big bet for Bain.
In any event, now you know: A financial entity that was decried as the fount of all evil by Democrats eight years ago is now backing the party to the hilt.
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