Paul E. Singer
Paul E. Singer, a former corporate lawyer, is President, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Senior Risk Manager, and Director of the Elliott Management Corporation, a hedge fund. Elliott Management "has been called a 'vulture fund' because a chunk of its profits comes from buying distressed companies' or countries' debt at a steep discount and then playing hardball—including, in one case, detaining the flagship of Argentina's navy—to extract payment," according to Mother Jones.
Singer is a major contributor to Republican candidates and causes and has made at least one undisclosed contribution to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a group that is at the center of a long-running criminal investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. See Political Activities below.
Singer also serves as Chairman of the Board at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a right-wing, pro-corporate think tank. Singer also advocates for legalizing same-sex marriage and formed the American Unity PAC in 2012 to fund Republican candidates who support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
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As of May 2015 Singer had a net worth of $1.9 billion, according to Forbes.
- 1 Ties to the Koch Brothers
- 2 Political Activities
- 3 Accusations of "Vulture" Capitalism
- 4 Affiliations
- 5 Contact Information
Ties to the Koch Brothers
The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.
2016 Presidential Race
Singer appears to be actively involved in fundraising for Republican presidential candidates for the 2016 election cycle, though as of May 2015 he seemed not to have chosen a single candidate to back. Singer was "actively fundraising" for Sen. Marco Rubio's bid for the White House, according to Breitbart in April 2015, while The Wall Street Journal reported that Singer was hosting events for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in May 2015.
Disclosed Federal Contributions
Paul E. Singer is consistently among the top individual contributors to federal political campaigns in the United States.
Singer ranked third among all individual political contributors in the 2014 election cycle, reporting $11,518,474 in contributions to candidates, parties, PACs, and 527 organizations at the federal level, all to Republicans.
The following were his reported contributions over $250,000 in the 2014 cycle:
- $3,200,000: Ending Spending Action Fund
- $2,997,324: American Unity PAC
- $2,600,000: American Crossroads
- $500,000: Congressional Leadership Fund
- $250,000: Arkansas Horizon
- $350,000: New York 2014
- $250,000: Priorities for Iowa
Singer was among the top 20 in individual political contributors in the 2012 election cycle, reporting $3,705,612 in contributions to candidates, parties, PACs, and 527 organizations, all to Republicans.
The following were his reported contributions over $50,000:
- $1,715,316: American Unity PAC
- $1,000,000: Restore Our Future
- $100,000: Club for Growth
- $54,100: Republican National Committee
Ties to Scott Walker and Dark Money Groups Under Investigation
Paul Singer made an undisclosed contribution of $250,000 in March 2012 to Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG), a Wisconsin-based organization that spent at least $9.1 million during the recall elections, and funneled at least $10 million more to other politically-active groups like Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, while reporting that it spent $0 on politics to the IRS. The contribution only became public in August 2014, when documents related to a "John Doe" investigation into potentially illegal campaign coordination between Walker's campaign, WiCFG, WMC, and possibly other groups were briefly unsealed. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the documents suggest that Walker was advised to personally solicit funds from Singer and others for WiCFG:
- "The records include example after example of Walker or his aides encouraging donors to give money to the Wisconsin Club for Growth."
- "In September 2011, Doner sent an email to Walker and others with brainstorming ideas for raising money for the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Among them: "Take Koch's money," "Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson," and "Go heavy after (corporations) to give."
- "The documents also show the club received large checks from donors soon after Walker was advised to solicit funds from them for the group. Those included $250,000 from hedge fund CEO Paul Singer, $100,000 from manufacturer Maclean-Fogg Co., $50,000 donation from Atlanticus Holdings CEO David Hanna's trust, $50,000 from hedge fund chairman Bruce Kovner, $50,000 from natural gas and oil producer Devon Energy, $15,000 from Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone and $15,000 from Trump" (emphasis added).
Case documents filed by the prosecutors include the following supporting exhibits related to Singer:
- "[Id. at ¶¶ 53, 55; Exhibits 44, 100] A March 7, 2012, email from Kate Doner to Scott Walker advising him regarding “meetings to make happen while in Sea Island . . . . Paul Singer: Grab him.” On May 8, 2012, $250,000 was deposited into the WiCFG account via wire transfer from the account of Paul Singer."
For more information, see the pages Scott Walker, Wisconsin Club for Growth, Scott Walker John Doe Documents, and The Campaign to Legalize Coordination in Wisconsin and Nationwide.
Accusations of "Vulture" Capitalism
Investigative journalist Greg Palast has characterized Singer's business tactics as a "vulture attack." Palast writes,
- "Singer's modus operandi is to find some forgotten tiny debt owed by a very poor nation (Peru and Congo were on his menu). He waits for the US and European taxpayers to forgive the poor nations' debts; then waits at bit longer for offers of food aid, medicine and investment loans. Then Singer pounces: legally grabbing at every resource and all the money going to the desperate country. Trade stops, funds freeze and an entire economy is effectively held hostage.
- "Singer then demands aid-giving nations pay monstrous ransoms to let trade resume. At BBC TV's Newsnight, we learned that Singer demanded $400 million dollars from the Congo for a debt he picked up for less than $10 million."
As of May 2015:
- President, Chief Executive Officer, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Senior Risk Manager, and Director, Elliott Management Corporation
- President and treasurer, Paul E. Singer Foundation (formerly Paul and Emily Singer Family Foundation)
- Chairmen of the Board, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
- Board member, Commentary Magazine, 
- Advisor, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University
- Board member, Harvard Medical School
- Member, Committee on Capital Markets Regulation
Elliot Management Corporation
40 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
- Forbes, Paul Singer, individual profile, accessed May 2015.
- Gavin Aronsen, "Exclusive: The Koch Brothers' Million-Dollar Donor Club," Mother Jones, September 6, 2011.
- Matthew Boyle, Megadonor Paul Singer Fundraising for Marco Rubio, Breibart, April 13, 2015.
- Heather Haddon, NYC Hedge-Fund Manager to Host Manhattan Events for Christie, Kasich, The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2015.
- Center for Responsive Politics, 2014 Top Individual Contributors: All Federal Contributions, Open Secrets database, accessed May 2015.
- Center for Responsive Politics, Paul Singer 2014 Federal Contributions, Open Secrets database, accessed May 2015.
- Center for Responsive Politics, 2012 Top Individual Contributors: All Federal Contributions, Open Secrets database, accessed May 2015.
- Center for Responsive Politics, 2012 2012 Donor Lookup, Open Secrets database, accessed May 2015.
- Brendan Fischer, "GOP Prosecutor Defends Scott Walker Criminal Probe, Says 'Let's Get the Truth Out'," PR Watch, May 1, 2015.
- Patrick Marley, Daniel Bice, and Lee Bergquist, "Walker wanted funds funneled to Wisconsin Club for Growth," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 22, 2014.
- Greg Palast, "Über-Vultures: The Billionaires Who Would Pick Our President," TruthOut/Buzzflash, October 5, 2011.
- Amy Goodman, Reporter Greg Palast Exposes How U.S. “Vulture” Funds Make Millions By Exploiting African Nations," Democracy Now!, November 22, 2011.
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- Inside Philanthropy, Paul E. Singer Foundation: New York City Grants, Inside Philanthropy, 2015.
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- Commentary Magazine, About Us: Staff, Commentary Magazine, 2015.
- Princeton University, Advisors, Princeton University, 2015.
- Harvard Medical School, Board of Fellows, Harvard Medical School, 2015.
- Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, Members, Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, 2015.
- Giuliani Campaign Announces Growing Finance Team, Newsbull.com, April 16, 2007.