Progressive Activists Urge Democratic Presidential Candidates to Return Donations by Hedge Funds and Wall Street Firms Profiting From Puerto Rico’s Crisis

Aug 13, 2019
2:51 PM

The following media release was shared on Tuesday afternoon by the Center for Popular Democracy Action :

NEW YORK — A number of progressive activist groups in Puerto Rico, New York, and across the U.S. called on Democratic presidential candidates to return donations from hedge funds and Wall Street firms profiting from Puerto Rico’s economic crisis. In New York City, activists protested in front of the headquarters of GoldenTree Asset Management, one of the largest vulture funds profiting from Puerto Rico’s crisis and a donor to Democratic candidates.

The demands were explained in an open letter to pressure the Democratic candidates to take action that will help empower Puerto Ricans who have been harmed by austerity and privatization measures in recent years. The letter comes just on the heels of a new Hedge Clippers report, Pain and Profit: Rosselló May be Gone, but Vultures Still Prey on Puerto Rico, that exposes how several vulture funds continue to exploit Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

“Puerto Ricans will be denied a better future if hedge funds are allowed to continue to profit from austerity and privatization on the island. You can either stand with the people of Puerto Rico or with the hedge funds that have harmed Puerto Rico. You can’t do both,” the groups write in their joint letter.

“If you return the donations these hedge funds have given you, it will send a strong message that you support the political and economic empowerment of Puerto Ricans. We urge you to do the right thing, and make it immediately clear that hedge fund donors who cause harm to Puerto Rico are not welcome in your presidential campaigns,” they write.

Several groups involved in the recent democratic uprising against Ricardo Rosselló have signed onto this letter.

The full letter to Democratic presidential candidates is below.

***

August 13, 2019

Dear Democratic Presidential Candidates:

We represent a wide range of groups in Puerto Rico and the United States.

As grassroots organizers and activists, we have been involved in the recent protest movement that forced Ricardo Rosselló to resign.

Over the past few weeks, Puerto Rico has gone through a democratic uprising, with people from all races, creeds and ages demanding their right to a better future.

During this recent uprising, we’ve heard you say on social media that you stand with the people of Puerto Rico.

But unfortunately, your fundraising activities as Democratic presidential candidates don’t show real solidarity with the Puerto Rican people.

That’s why we are releasing this open letter to you today.

We are deeply concerned about how your hedge fund donors and corporate donors have exploited Puerto Rico’s pain for profit and worsened its economic crisis.

We respectfully ask that you return all donations from hedge funds and corporations that have profited from Puerto Rico at the expense of its people.

The full list of these donors and their contributions to you is included with this letter.

Puerto Rico’s crisis is not simply rooted in government corruption, as the dominant media narrative often suggests. Over the past ten years, hedge funds and corporations have taken advantage of the Puerto Rico debt crisis by extracting wealth from families who live and work on the island.  

These hedge funds have pushed a program of austerity and privatization in order to secure debt payments that, in many cases, could not be paid by the Puerto Rican government. The lives of countless Puerto Ricans have been destroyed as a result.

Puerto Ricans will be denied a better future if hedge funds are allowed to continue to profit from austerity and privatization on the island.

You can either stand with the people of Puerto Rico or with the hedge funds that have harmed Puerto Rico. You can’t do both.

If you return the donations these hedge funds have given you, it will send a strong message that you support the political and economic empowerment of Puerto Ricans.

We urge you to do the right thing, and make it immediately clear that hedge fund donors who cause harm to Puerto Rico are not welcome in your presidential campaigns.

Return all their toxic donations today.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Make the Road Action NY
Vamos4PR Action
Make the Road Action PA
CPD Action
NYCC
Strong Economy for All Coalitions
Hedge Clippers
Boricuas Unidos en la Diáspora (BUDPR)
CASA
CUFFH
Diaspora en Resistencia
Make the Road Action CT
Make the Road Action NV
ACRE
Construyamos Otro Acuerdo
Organize Florida
Defend Puerto Rico
CT Puerto Rican Agenda
Revolving Door Project
Presente.org
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice
Cancel the Debt NYC
Pa’lante por Más
Alianza for Puerto Rico Boston
Puerto Rico Me Llama

***

Overview of Hedge Funds and Wall Street Firms Profiting from Puerto Rico’s Crisis, and How Much They Have Donated to Democratic Presidential Candidates

Here Are the Donations Each Democratic Candidate Has Received:

Row Labels Sum of amount
Michael Bennet $49,800
Oaktree Capital $12,400
Scoggin Capital $11,200
Taconic Capital $6,600
Baupost Group $5,600
BlueMountain Capital $5,600
Centerbridge Partners $5,600
Angelo Gordon $2,800
Beto O’Rourke $28,750
Centerbridge Partners $25,950
Taconic Capital $2,800
John Delaney $26,300
GoldenTree Asset Management $22,500
Fir Tree Partners $3,300
BlackRock $500
Joe Biden $25,350
Oaktree Capital $12,200
Taconic Capital $2,800
Centerbridge Partners $2,800
Brookfield Asset Management $2,800
Fir Tree Partners $2,000
Baupost Group $1,500
BlackRock $1,000
BlueMountain Capital $250
Cory Booker $23,300
BlackRock $8,500
Baupost Group $5,600
BlueMountain Capital $3,200
Centerbridge Partners $3,200
Angelo Gordon $2,800
Pete Buttigieg $21,350
Baupost Group $5,600
BlueMountain Capital $3,800
Centerbridge Partners $3,050
Taconic Capital $2,800
GoldenTree Asset Management $2,800
Aristeia Capital $2,800
Cyrus Capital $500
Amy Klobuchar $18,550
Baupost Group $5,600
Centerbridge Partners $5,600
Taconic Capital $2,800
Davidson Kempner $2,800
BlackRock $1,000
Merced Capital L.P. $500
Brookfield Asset Management $250
Kamala Harris $15,500
Centerbridge Partners $5,600
BlackRock $4,300
Oaktree Capital $2,800
Brookfield Asset Management $2,800
Kirsten Gillibrand $11,200
BlackRock $5,600
Oaktree Capital $2,800
Centerbridge Partners $2,800
John Hickenlooper $6,100
Centerbridge Partners $5,600
Baupost Group $500
Bernie Sanders $2,700
BlueMountain Capital $2,700
Tim Ryan $1,000
Centerbridge Partners $1,000
Elizabeth Warren $1,000
Taconic Capital $1,000
Grand Total $230,900

 

Donations Received by Each Candidate:
Row Labels Sum of amount
Michael Bennet $49,800
Beto O’Rourke $28,750
John Delaney $26,300
Joe Biden $25,350
Cory Booker $23,300
Pete Buttigieg $21,350
Amy Klobuchar $18,550
Kamala Harris $15,500
Kirsten Gillibrand $11,200
John Hickenlooper $6,100
Bernie Sanders $2,700
Tim Ryan $1,000
Elizabeth Warren $1,000
Grand Total $230,900

 

Donations Made by Each Hedge Fund or Wall Street Firm:
Row Labels Sum of amount
Centerbridge Partners $61,200
Oaktree Capital $30,200
GoldenTree Asset Management $25,300
Baupost Group $24,400
BlackRock $20,900
Taconic Capital $18,800
BlueMountain Capital $15,550
Scoggin Capital $11,200
Brookfield Asset Management $5,850
Angelo Gordon $5,600
Fir Tree Partners $5,300
Davidson Kempner $2,800
Aristeia Capital $2,800
Merced Capital L.P. $500
Cyrus Capital $500
Grand Total $230,900

 

By Candidate And Fund:
Row Labels Sum of amount
Michael Bennet $49,800
Oaktree Capital $12,400
Scoggin Capital $11,200
Taconic Capital $6,600
Baupost Group $5,600
BlueMountain Capital $5,600
Centerbridge Partners $5,600
Angelo Gordon $2,800
Beto O’Rourke $28,750
Centerbridge Partners $25,950
Taconic Capital $2,800
John Delaney $26,300
GoldenTree Asset Management $22,500
Fir Tree Partners $3,300
BlackRock $500
Joe Biden $25,350
Oaktree Capital $12,200
Taconic Capital $2,800
Centerbridge Partners $2,800