Nov 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Private equity donations tilt toward the GOP

Illustration of a close up of two people showing hundred dollar bills in their pockets, one person is in red and the other is in blue.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

Private equity's largest trade group is favoring Republicans in this year's midterm elections, based on an Axios analysis of contributions made by its political action committee.

By the numbers: The American Investment Council's PAC donated around 55% of its nearly $300,000 in cycle dollars to GOP candidates and committees.

  • This included contributions to 33 Republican House candidates, compared to 25 Democratic House candidates.
  • The Senate split was 7-4, including several GOP senators who aren't up for reelection this year. The only highly contested Senate race in which the PAC played was Georgia, where it donated $1,000 to Democrat Rafael Warnock.
  • AIC PAC only donates to incumbents, per its own bylaws.

The big picture: This is a fairly standard split for the PAC, as Republicans often are friendlier to private equity and private credit than are Democrats. Or, put another way, this isn't about AIC PAC expecting (or not expecting) a red wave next Tuesday.

  • A source close to the group says that split government is unlikely to produce much relevant legislation, but that the industry would welcome increase regulatory oversight of agencies like the SEC and the FTC. Particularly when it comes to issues like ESG disclosure requirements that AIC believes go beyond materiality.

Notable names: AIC PAC may favor Republicans, but it didn't donate to likely House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

  • Its largest cycle donations were $10,000 to four House members: Reps. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Terri Sewell (D-Ala.).
  • It also donated $5,000 to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). She isn't up for reelection, but is credited with recently torpedoing a Biden administration plan to effectively increase the tax rates that private equity funds pay on investment profits (i.e., carried interest).
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