Boston-area hedge fund manager Seth Klarman is breaking with the Republican party and will be funding Democratic candidates in the future, thanks to the tax cut President Trump signed last year.
Since the election of Donald Trump, the GOP mega-donor has given $222,000 to Democratic candidates, after spending more than $7 million helping bankroll the Republican takeover of the levers of government. But this is just a snapshot of his long history of conservative support.
President Trump’s administration and policies is the key factor in Klarman switching his financial support from one party to the other.
“The Republicans in Congress have failed to hold the president accountable and have abandoned their historic beliefs and values,” Klarman told the Boston Globe. “For the good of the country, the Democrats must take back one or both houses of Congress.”
The kicker? Klarman is using the money he saved from the Republican tax cut to help fund a Democratic takeover of congress. Klarman runs the Baupost Group, which controls roughly $32 billion in total assets. Forbes estimates Klarman’s total net worth in the vicinity of $1.5 billion. Democrats are poised to retake the House of Representatives, according to an economic election model.
“I received a tax cut I neither need nor want,” Klarman said regarding his motivation to support Democrats in the 2018 midterms.
Mega-donors backing both parties isn’t surprising or new. The Center for Responsive Politics found that almost half of the top 100 non-individual donors contributed both to Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates.
But Klarman is making a statement.
The shift of support started in 2016. Klarman supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election after Donald Trump got the Republican nomination. He has serious policy opposition to Trump’s leadership, but some of his shift to supporting Democrats is due to a personal distaste of Trump.
“His words and actions … are so shockingly unacceptable in our diverse and democratic society that it is simply unthinkable that Donald Trump could become our president,” he told Reuters.
Klarman did not return a call from GritPost at the time of publication.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.