Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Who is Paul Singer and why is he trying to buy the Wisconsin Supreme Court?

Burnett County Judge Michael Gableman has outraised Justice Louis Butler in late contributions by more than $30,000 with more than three-fourths of his money coming from five donors who hit the maximum according to late contribution reports filed at the Government Accountability Board. The reports cover anything that's come in since the close of the last reporting period, March 17. Since then, Gableman has received 24 donations totaling $77,360, compared to 55 donations totaling $46,200 for Butler.

Gableman received $10,000 donations -- the maximum -- from Paul Singer, general partner at Elliott Management in New York City, and Bonnie Loeb, the executive assistant at the company. Jay Newman of New York, whose occupation was listed as finance, also gave $10,000.

Gableman also received $10,000 each from Gordon Singer and Jenny Singer. That's' $50,000 from Paul Singer's family and firm!

So who is Paul Singer and why is this New Yorker hedge fund manager so interested in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race?

Paul Singer is an up-and-coming GOP funder. He gave $5K to the Swift Boaters in 2004 and $500,000 to Rudy Giuliani's failed Presidential campaign. He runs Elliott Asset Management, a New York hedge fund known by some as a "vulture fund," so-named because it buys debt cheaply from cash-starved countries, and then sues them for the full repayment, pocketing scarce funds that would otherwise be invested in education, clean water, medicine and debt relief.

Singer is generally known as the original 'vulture' of the for-profit so-called 'vulture funds', which buy government bonds from poor countries and demand an exorbitant return on their loans.

In 1996, Singer bought up some of the debt of Peru for $11 million and got back $58 million. He purchased a bond from the Democratic Republic of Congo for about $10 million, sued in court for $400 million and ended up with $127 million... His estimated personal net worth is $700 million.

Greg Palast explains how a vulture operation works. The vulture fund buys up the debt of poor nations cheaply when it is about to be written off and then sue for the full value of the debt plus interest — sometimes more than ten times what they paid for it. Singer, for example, paid just $10 million for Congo Brazzaville’s debt and is now suing for over $400 million.

Singer knew he’d turn a 1000%-plus profit on his $10 million investment with George Bush’s help.

Bush convinced the US Congress to forgive the money Congo owes the US taxpayer, but once the US taxpayer forgives Congo’s debt, the vulture, Singer, swoops in with lawyers to claim, “Congo now has the money to pay ME.”

But wait a minute - the debt money given up by US taxpayers wasn’t supposed to go to a predator like Singer. In fact, the US Constitution provides power to the President to stop vultures from suing a foreign country in a US court if the President states such a private lawsuit interferes with America’s foreign policy.

Singer, by suing Congo for the taxpayer money meant for debt relief and medicine, is interfering with US foreign policy. Yet, the President has remained silent.

Gableman isn't the only one benefiting from Singer's largess.

Singer was in charge of Northeastern fundraising for Rudy Giuliani's failed Presidential bid.
He was Giuliani's largest fundraiser.

In August, Singer graduated from fundraising to policy becoming Giuliani's "Senior Policy Adviser."

Paul Singer also made news in September when he admitted to providing all of the funds ($175,000) to put a referendum on the California ballot to divide the state's 55 Electors according to Congressional Districts, which would give the GOP 20 Electors that would otherwise go to the Democrat - roughly the size of Ohio or Pennsylvania. When Singer's role was exposed, the staff all quit and the effort went on hold - presumably until Singer finds a less-traceable way to launder his money.

So now we know who Paul Singer is- a very wealthy and unscrupulous hedge fund manager who contributes a lot of money to Republican candidates. But why has he become so interested in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election?

Is his interest simply ideological or could Singer have an financial interest in an upcoming Supreme Court case?


Anonymous said...

I expect to see a similar post, bashing George Soros? Will I wait long?

Michael Rosen said...

Did George Soros contribute $50,000to Gableman?

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear that Paul Singer is doing exactly what Dennis Troha did. Will the Bush U.S. Attorneys go after him? It's illegal to give people money so they can make political contributions in their own name. If these folks aren't subpoenaed and put under oath within 30 days, then the Democrats in Congress need to start beating the drumbeat EVERY DAY.

Anonymous said...

Nice of the government to forgive Congo's debt on behalf of the tax payers. Same old political garbage.

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