Business Insider got a look at the invitation for 2012 hopeful Rick Perry’s first New York fundraisers and found out who the Texas Republican tapped to host the three swanky events next week.
Although Perry is a formidable fundraiser, his deep-pocket donors mostly hail from the South and the West. We were curious to find out what kind of inroads he has made with political movers and shakers in the Northeast, where he faces fierce competition from his main 2012 rival Mitt Romney.
The biggest name on the invitation is Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former head of AIG, who will host a $2,500-a-head reception on Wednesday.
On Monday, potential donors can attend a reception at 15 Central Park West, the fancy new Columbus Circle development from Zeckendorf Realty. The invite only gives the address but we assume it will be at the luxurious condo owned by Arthur Zeckendorf, who is listed as a host.
A little Google-reporting informed us that Perry is largely sticking with his social conservative, Christian base, even in New York. The list of hosts Monday includes some big pickups from the Bush donor network, as well as businessmen and investors who are active in conservative think-tanks and religious groups.
Here’s who’ll be there:
- Myers Mermel: The awesomely-named CEO of Tenantwise.com, an online commercial real estate brokerage company, is a relative newcomer to political fundraising. He briefly campaigned for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in New York last year, after a few months of campaigning for lieutenant governor, after making his first foray into New York politics as state chair for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign. He’s also a trustee of Christ Church United Methodist.
- Sean Fieler: Co-founder and managing member of the hedge fund Equinox Partners. Fieler is a vocal critic of the Federal Reserve and supports a return to the gold standard, so it’s interesting that he is supporting Perry over libertarian favourite Ron Paul. He is also the president of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, an anti-abortion group, and a board member for two conservative family values think-tanks — Princeton’s Witherspoon Institute, which supposedly has ties to Opus Dei, and the Institute for American Values, which was influential in forming “family values” platforms for both the Clinton and Bush 41 administrations.
- Charles Glazer: A major Bush donor who served as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador during Bush 41’s second term. He is the founder of the Greenwich-based investment banking firm C.L. Glazer & Company. He was also Sergeant-at-Arms at Bush 41’s second inauguration.
- Cheryl Halpern: Halpern, a New Jersey real estate developer, is another big pickup from the Bush donor network. A former chairwoman of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Halpern is known for her hawkish stance on Israel. As chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 2005-2007, she accused NPR of anti-Israel bias of its coverage on the Middle East.
- Christoper Healy: Former chair of the Connecticut Republican party and major powerbroker in Connecticut politics.
- Grant Lally: Managing partner of Lally & Misir, a Long Island-based law firm. He represented George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida Recount.
- Mica Mosbacher: This is kind of cheating. Mosbacher is actually from Houston, where she has been one of the most prolific donors to Perry’s gubernatorial campaigns. She is the widow of Texas oilman Robert Mosbacher, a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and HUGE bundler for the Bush family.
- Gordon Pennington: A major New York marketing and media consultant, Pennington is active with Focus on the Family’s Truth Project, an evangelical DVD and lecture series that teaches the primacy of the Bible.
- Dave Bednar: Managing director with Ladder Capital and former head of JPMorgan Real Estate. Also a former Marine.
The second event, a $1,000-per-head luncheon at the Harvard Club Tuesday, features a more eclectic mix of host that includes Silicon Valley investors, Tea Party bankers, and powerful conservative activists from the Orthodox Jewish community.
Here’s who is hosting:
- Jeff Ballabon: A media company lobbyist based in Washington and New York, Ballabon is a political and Orthodox Jewish community activist. It’s no surprise that Ballabon is involved — he is the point of contact between the Republican Jewish community and the Christian Right. He was the driving force behind Bush’s 2004 campaign outreach to the Orthodox Jewish community. Unsurprisingly, he is a major critic of Barack Obama, who he has called “incredibly dangerous.”
- Gregory Slayton: A Silicon Valley venture capitalist whose firm, Slayton Capital, has offices in California and the D.C.-area. He is currently a professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. He also served as U.S. Consul to Bermuda under Bush 41.
- Isaac Applbaum: A partner at Silicon Valley VC firm Exigen Capital, Applbaum was a founding partner of Opus Capital where he specialised in Israeli-based investments. He is very active in the Orthodox Jewish community, and serves on the national executive committee of AIPAC.
- Steve Papermaster and Brian Magierski: Texas-based tech entrepreneurs and founders of Appconomy. Papermaster, already an active fundraiser for Perry’s presidential bid, is also a powerful activist for Republican Jewish groups.
- Merit McIntyre: Proof that the Tea Party is everywhere. He is managing partner at Boston’s Northway Commercial Brokerage, where he directs its investment arm Clarity Investment Group, and also an active organiser for the Massachusetts Tea Party. He was a major supporter of Scott Brown’s Senate campaign.
- Jim Nuzzo: A GOP strategist in Massachusetts was a huge Palin supporter who has lashed out against her critics within the party. He is at the vanguard of movement to push the Republican party further to the right, saying in 2008 that “David Brooks and David Frum and Peggy Noonan are dead people in the Republican party.”
- Robert Chernin: A Vermont-based insurance man, Chernin is an active organiser and bundler for the Republican party in New England, particularly in New Hampshire, a key early voting state. He is also a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Over the summer, Chernin appeared to be thinking about putting his support behind Jon Huntsman, so this is a good pickup for Perry.
- Evan Koster: A partner at Dewey & LeBoef, Koster represents clients in derivatives and structured products.
Overall, the list of hosts indicate that Perry is still playing it close to his base, with virtually no outreach to moderates and independents. It is further evidence that Perry plans on keeping his distance from the Republican Establishment, and is relying on religious conservatives and Tea Party activists to get him to the White House.
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