Who is Paul Singer? He and Rudy Giuliani would prefer you not think too much about it.
Singer, who founded the multibillion dollar hedge fund Elliott Associates, has raised $200,000 for Giuliani. He flies Giuliani around in his jet.
And, as of September, his $175,000 contribution
was the sole backing for the Republican scheme to split up California's electoral votes. Instead of all the electoral votes in the country's most populous state going to the state's winner (almost surely the Democrat), the ballot initiative would throw the loser (the Republican) his percentage, potentially swinging the election.
Singer's no fan of publicity, which explains why he looks rather unhappy in the picture The New York Times
photographer snapped of him on the street for today's piece
Singer tells the Times
that made the contribution because he "believes in proportional voting in the Electoral College." As the Times
notes, Singer was also a donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004. Presumably that was just because he believes in the truth.
But just because Singer is the only money behind the California scheme doesn't mean it's entirely his baby. There's a whole host of other Giuliani backers who've gotten involved:
-- Anne Dunsmore, who resigned as the Giuliani campaignâs chief fundraiser this September, has taken charge
of raising funds for the effort. She said she quit because she couldn't meet Giuliani's fundraising demands, but says she still support Giuliani.
-- The only name registered with the organization set up to channel money to the effort, benignly called Take Initiative America, is Missouri attorney Charles "Chep" Hurth III. Hurth, who's contributed $2,000 to Giuliani, also put his name down as the legal agent for Choices for America in 2004, which raised money to get Ralph Nader on the ballot. Other than that, Hurth is best known for being sued in 1990 for, well:
Hurth, then a third-year law student at St. Louis University, was taken to court by a young woman who said he grabbed her in a bar and bit her on the buttocks so hard she required medical attention - then laughed and high-fived his friends.
Hurth testified that he had told her she should take it as a compliment.
-- Jonathan Wilcox, who was Take Initiative America's spokesman, was previously an aide to Bill Simon, the former Republican gubernatorial candidate who chairs Giuliani's state campaign.
-- James Lacy, the attorney for the initiative, has contributed $2,300 to the Giuliani campaign.
Democrats have already filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing Giuliani of being behind the scheme. As for Giuliani, he's said his campaign had nothing to do with it and âas far as I am concerned, you can leave it the way it is.â So maybe it's just a case of like minds.