There’s an unsung hero in the world of Wall Street, one who staunchly defends the loopholes in tax law that keep billionaire wallets fat. This isn’t your regular Wall Street tycoon, but Arizona’s very own, Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
Once a Democrat, Sinema has found a new identity as an Independent and seems to have set her sights on a 2024 re-election campaign, banking heavily on generous handouts from her affluent industry benefactors. Sinema’s campaign has seen a steady influx of cash from private equity, hedge funds, and venture capitalists. Her collection plate boasts sizable donations from heavyweights at Blackstone, First Atlantic, TPG Capital, and others.
The donors aren’t just throwing money at her out of charity. Sinema’s loyalty to the investment industry goes beyond lip service. She has taken it upon herself to guard the “carried interest” tax loophole, a favorite among private equity and real estate fund managers. Even when her ex-comrades from the Democratic Party, along with the Biden administration, tried to patch up this loophole, Sinema held the fort. This action would’ve helped redirect the revenue towards social spending programs. But hey, why improve society when you can keep a handful of rich people richer, right?
It’s no surprise that these actions are not without rewards. In the aftermath of her ultimatum on the Inflation Reduction Act, Sinema bagged a cool $526,000 from donors who benefited from the continued existence of the “carried interest” loophole.
Private equity firms that generously filled Sinema’s coffers last quarter are known members of the American Investment Council (AIC). The AIC fought tooth and nail against any changes to the carried interest loophole, flexing its monetary muscle to up its lobbying efforts.
Despite a lack of official confirmation, Sinema is all but declared to run for re-election in 2024. On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Ruben Gallego is also gearing up for the Senate race, having raised a hefty $3.1 million in the second quarter, significantly more than Sinema’s $1.7 million. Gallego took a sly dig at Sinema, juxtaposing the 98% of his funding coming from sub-$100 donations with Sinema’s Wall Street-funded campaign.
But Sinema’s ties to the investment industry run deeper than just campaign funds. Donations from wealthy investors have funded her extravagant fundraising trips this year. Her leadership PAC, ironically named “Getting Stuff Done”, raised a third of its total contributions from the investment sector.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Sinema’s leadership PAC dished out nearly $900,000 so far this year, mostly on fundraising consulting and travel expenses. Despite being meant to support other candidates for office, such PACs often sponsor opulent travels for their beneficiaries.
Sinema’s donations from Delta and American Airlines employees coincide suspiciously with her controversial proposal to loosen the pilot training requirements for commercial aircraft. Despite the proposed amendment being opposed by pilot and flight attendant unions, it’s supported by the Regional Airline Association, further adding to Sinema’s reputation as a friend of the corporations.
Senator Sinema, it seems, is really “Getting Stuff Done”…just not for the average Joe. Rather, she’s working hard for the ultra-rich investment giants, and living large on their dime. It raises the question – is Sinema there to serve the people or the portfolios? As the 2024 Senate race approaches, Arizonians will have to decide.