Monday, May 17, 2010

The rest of the story?

U.S Rep. Chellie Pingree’s partner Donald Sussman……..

This very first line from an article in the Kennebec Journal last Friday 5/14/2009, which reported a $100,000 donation to the No Higher Taxes for Maine PAC by Mr. Sussman caught my attention. That opening statement, is quite telling indeed, Yet many people do not know much about Mr. Donald Sussman outside of his founding of Paloma Partners Management co. from Greenwich CT. So in the tradition of Paul Harvey I thought I would try to shed a little light “on the rest of the story”.

According to the article, Mr. Sussman has a “long love affair” with the state of Maine, and his altruism is a mere by product of these amorous feelings. I suppose, love is a many, splendid thing but I have to wonder how much this man really loves Maine over all.

One month before the citizens of Maine voted to reject a constitutional amendment to redefine the definition of marriage he contributed $250,000 to the supporters of Gay Marriage. Along with some other out of state investors (remember Sussman lives in Washington DC and CT) he created a campaign war chest of $2.7 million dollars to influence the Maine voter. All of that $2.7 Million came from cities like Boston and New York.

He gave money to keep the Dirigo Health plan, that financial sinkhole which Obama based his Health Care Reform on, alive and well. Regardless of the fact the program is one of the greatest wastes of Maine taxpayer dollars in the history of the state. A program, that not only cannot sustain itself but, which is unable to provide even the most basic of services with subsidies from the government.

Last but not least Donald Sussman and Paloma Partners contributed over $100,000 last year to his “Partner” Chellie Pingree’s campaign coffers to get her re-elected to the U.S. Congress.

Paloma Partner’s, are the very same hedge fund investors who were securities lending counterparties of AIG's. They lent securities to AIG, which it then in turn, lent out to others to be shorted. This business was famously catastrophic for AIG, causing monumental losses for the company. Not to worry though AIG was “too big to fail” so they received the much needed bailout monies from the federal government. As a bonus Paloma Partners received $200 million of those bailout funds for its stellar work in helping create one of the greatest economic crises since the great depression.

No wonder Sussman is willing to part with $50,000 for the Presidential inaugural ball here and $100,000 to help his “Partner” Chellie over there. With 200 Million taxpayer dollars to throw around such payouts/offs are but a pittance.

This love affair with Maine is rather difficult to sort out, but let’s try all the same.

First: If Donald Sussman really loved the people of Maine, why then would he invest so much time and money in the effort in changing its traditions by financing the redefinition of marriage? This seems strange to me, for if you love a place or a people in general then you have to understand and accept the culture and values of the people. If for some reason you cannot accept said culture then you most assuredly cannot respect or assimilate, nor can you profess a loyalty of some sort. How can one say I love Maine and in the next breath work hard to destroy its longest standing traditions? Is not love based on respect?

Second; Dirigo is a huge burden on the Maine taxpayer $5million a year and counting. How can Sussman honestly say that the “Tax and Shift” plan will “help build new economic opportunities so every family can thrive” when he also supports the existence of a program that does nothing but take money from those very families? Would not each and every citizen be better off if they did not have to pay for Dirigo? Could not the offset have a much more far reaching impact on the Maine economy as a whole in comparison to LD1495? This stance by Mr. Sussman is very contradictory and makes little to no sense at all.

Last: We cannot, and should not, ignore this philanthropic savior’s relationship with our Representative from the U.S. 1st District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. The KJ made mention of them being “Partners” which should make one wonder what exactly that means. Are they business partners? If so what is the arrangement? What does a sitting Congresswoman from Maine bring to the table in such a partnership with a multimillion dollar hedge fund company from CT? It is evident that Miss Pingree gains some benefit from the partnership for as mentioned earlier considerable contributions have been made to her campaigns by Mr. Sussman and Paloma Partners. However, I am left wondering what Donald gets for all his support? A partnership implies a “give and take” relationship if someone is giving; someone is taking, as we are all aware no relationship can last if only one side gives and never receives.

Maybe, just maybe, there is more to the story than just how altruistic Donald Sussman is. Perhaps the praise laid before him and his “Partner” by the Kennebec Journal is a bit premature and his proclamations of love should be looked at a bit more closely. For it is quite clear any love he may feel for Maine’s people is not based on an idea of respect or equality, like between a husband and wife, but more as a father who feels he must guide his ignorant wayward children with his infinite and all knowing wisdom.

Thank you Donald, but I already have a father and I grew up long ago.

Good day
Allen R Butler

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