Diamond Dropping Fundraising Role for Romney in London
Robert Diamond, who today stepped down as chief executive of Barclays Plc (BARC), will no longer co-host a London campaign fundraiser this month for presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul confirmed.
Diamond resigned amid political pressure the London-based bank faced after it admitted to rigging global interest rates.
The July 27 Romney fundraising dinner, scheduled for a day when Romney is in town for the Olympics, will proceed without Diamond. The financial sector has been one of Romney’s top sources of campaign contributions. Romney is a former Massachusetts governor and co-founder of Bain Capital LLC, a private-equity firm based in Boston.
Supporters in the investment and securities industry contributed about $9.4 million to Romney’s campaign through the end of May, compared with at least $3.4 million that President Barack Obama has raised from them, according to the Washington- based Center for Responsive Politics.
Patrick Durkin, who advocates in Washington for Barclays, is Romney’s top lobbyist bundler, according to a list the campaign filed with the U.S. Federal Election Commission. Durkin had collected $927,160 for the campaign through the end of May.
Both Romney and Obama have held high-profile fundraisers featuring the biggest names on Wall Street.
Tony James, president of private-equity and real estate giant Blackstone Group LP (BX), welcomed Obama to his apartment on New York’s Fifth Avenue for a fundraiser May 14. Three weeks later, Obama and former President Bill Clinton attended a fundraiser at the Upper East Side residence of Mark Lasry, founder of Avenue Capital Group LLC.
Romney, meanwhile, has counted on donors including hedge- fund managers Paul Singer of Elliott Management Corp., Renaissance Technologies LLC co-chief executive officer Robert Mercer and John Paulson of Paulson & Co., as well as Tiger Management LLC founder Julian Robertson and three of his former hedge fund managers, Lee Ainslie, John A. Griffin and Chris Shumway. Each has written checks to Restore Our Future, a super- political action committee backing Romney, in addition to the candidate.
Obama has been critical of Wall Street, saying Republicans including Romney want to roll back regulations enacted after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008. Obama also has pushed to raise taxes on Americans earning $1 million or more a year.
The president and a super-PAC supporting his re-election have run television ads criticizing Romney’s tenure at Bain, saying workers lost their jobs and that some work was moved out of the U.S.
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