John Doe Docs Reveal Wisconsin Club for Growth’s $1 Million Donor
A portion of one of
the documents reveals that in 2011 and 2012 Walker’s campaign aides urged him
to raise funds for the club. It then details Walker’s meetings or calls with
big donors and the big contributions that were sent to Wisconsin Club for
The document names
names, something that the donors probably wanted to hide. (Otherwise, they’d
simply give to Walker’s campaign account, which has to reveal the sources of
In doing so, the
prosecutors appear to name the Wisconsin Club
for Growth’s $1 million donor, an identity that had puzzled me and frustrated
me when I received the club’s tax forms.
And that $1 million
donor appears to be Steven Cohen, founder and manager of SAC Capital Advisors.
According to the document:
Worth an estimated
$11 billion, Steven Cohen is a hedge fund king whose firm, SAC Capital, was indicted for
insider trading in July 2013. Cohen himself wasn’t charged by the feds, but
his firm had to go out of business and now operates as a family office called
Point72 that can only manage his own money—not investors’. The company also had
to pay a record
$1.8 billion settlement to put it all behind them.
The U.S. Attorney’s
office in Manhattan had been after him for seven years and was able to bust
eight of SAC’s current or former employees for insider trading. The case
against Cohen has been detailed brilliantly in Vanity
Fair and by PBS’s
Cohen is the subject
of a Securities and Exchange Commission proceeding, which alleges that he
failed to adequately supervise his employees.
Cohen didn’t seem to
be a highly political guy, and according to New York magazine
people didn’t know if he was a Democrat or a Republican. But then… something
strange happened. Cohen decided to become active politically, and even held a fundraiser
for GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in his own home. That March 14,
2012, fundraiser was just four days after Wisconsin prosecutors say Walker met
with Michael Sullivan of SAC Capital Advisors. Cohen donated his $1 million to
Wisconsin Club for Growth on April 13, 2012.
Digging a little
deeper, Sullivan has been described as “SAC’s
Washington-based policy advisor” and as a managing
partner of SAC and a former
staffer to ex-Sen. John Ensign. Ensign, of course, is the evangelical
Christian Nevada Republican who had to resign in 2011 over revelations of his affair with an aide’s
wife and his work securing a lobbying job for the aide. Ensign’s parents
later gave the aide and his wife a $96,000 “gift.”
Sullivan’s also on
of directors of Michelle Rhee’s education “reform” group StudentsFirstNY, which is pushing
for charter schools and opposes teachers unions—you know the type. Big Walker
Langone, founder of Home Depot, also sits on the board.
Now, mind you, I cannot find any record of Cohen contributing directly to Walker. (If you do find evidence, let me know.) But thanks to the prosecutors’ John Doe investigation, we’re getting a small glimpse of just which tarnished billionaires are propping up the Walker/Club for Growth agenda in Wisconsin.