The Mercers

THE MERCERS- Bob Mercer, Renaissance Technologies and the Medallion Fund, Major funders of Cambridge Analytica, The Tea Party, Steve Bannon‘s production company Citizens United, MAJOR donors to the Republican and Libertarian parties jointly with fellow billionaires the Koch Brothers  in the Tea Party

Robert and middle daughter Rebekah Mercer have an extended family of like-minded people who wield great influence. Along with the Koch Brothers, they funded and directed the Tea Party (once it got going), and created a propaganda film production company, Citizens United. It became a Supreme Court decision, and now refers to the unlimited, anonymous campaign donations from corporations and other non-individuals with limits. Jointly and with the multitude of think tanks and organizations with great, patriotic-sounding names, which they fund with the Kochs (of course there are others, but these 2 families have had the most influence in recent years).

Steve Bannon and co-producer of Citizens United with President David Bossie, Erik Prince and Sister Betsy DeVos,  Kellyanne Conway  Mike Pence

The heiress quietly shaping Trump’s operation

Major GOP donor Rebekah Mercer has funded many of the groups and figures helping to assemble Trump’s team, and now she’s formally part of it. November 21, 2016 Politico

“It would be difficult to overstate Rebekah’s influence in Trump world right now,” said one GOP fundraiser who has worked with Mercer and people in the campaign. “She is a force of nature. She is aggressive, and she makes her point known.”Mercer has a coveted seat on the Trump transition team’s 16-member executive committee. Her work, which she does mostly from home, includes collaborating with conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society — to which she has steered a combined $4.7 million or more — to recruit appointees for positions at the undersecretary level and below, according to a transition team source.”

Ted Cruz using firm that harvested data on millions of unwitting Facebook users

“Having donated $11m to the main pro-Cruz Super Pac, Keep the Promise I, Mercer is Cruz’s top financier – and the largest individual donor to Super Pacs or outside groups during the presidential election cycle thus far, according to data compiled by the political transparency website Open Secrets.

Mercer’s connections to both the Cruz campaign and the data firm that is apparently helping to power the senator’s advantages were previously reported by Politico and Bloomberg. But political strategists and privacy advocates agreed that Mercer’s parallel funding channels, combined with concerns over the surreptitious, commodified Facebook data – reported here for the first time – represented an intensified collision of billionaire financing and digital targeting on the campaign trail.” The Guardian

Renaissance Technologies currently has an IRS bill of $7 billion or more. He gave more than $22 million to GOP candidates in 2016 while supporting abolition of the IRS.

They push for Libertarian De-Regulation, Charter Schools, Private Prisons, Petroleum and mineral excavation in National Parks (working with Ryan Zinke‘s Department of the Interior, Scott Pruitt‘s EPA, and Rick Perry‘s Department of Energy), and everything standing in the way of making a profit. They are extremely socially “conservative”, and fight all forms of social wealth and healthcare, and push the extreme religious Right agenda. The “rogue, notorious mercenary” Erik Prince met with Trump at Camp David the same day Bannon quit, requesting $10 billion annually to wage a privately operated war in Afghanistan.

Robert Mercer is the billionaire behind Trump’s campaign, and the $10 million+ backer of Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News. He and his daughter Rebekah are extremely influential on Republicans. He was the biggest-spending political donor in the 2016 election cycle. Rebekah was on Trump’s Transition team and is a major donor to and on the board of the Heritage Foundation, Media Research Center, the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, the Moving Picture Institute, and the American Museum of Natural History. Rebekah “Mercer is the director of the Mercer Family Foundation, a charitable non-profit organization founded in 2004. She is the founder and chairman of Reclaim New York, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing a state-wide, grassroots conversation about the future of New York, its economy, and its people. ” Heritage Foundation

They first had a PAC backing Ted Cruz, Keep America Number 1, but then changed it to the Crooked Hillary PAC in June 2016.  They launched attack ads against Clinton.  CNN  TIME  and spread stories like Breitbart’s “Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC: FBI Documents Reveal ‘a Clear Violation of the Law’  Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC, a Super PAC dedicated to opposing Hillary Clinton, is turning up the heat on her following the FBI’s release of the notes on Clinton’s interview about her private email server.” on September 3, 2016, right after transfer from Paul Manafort to Mercer Associates Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon when they joined the campaign.

NPR has an interview with author Jane Mayer of “Dark Money: The Hidden History Of The Billionaires Behind The Rise Of The Radical Right.”

The Mercers hate the Federal Reserve, the Clintons, have disdain for “elites” although they are elites, and support dismantling the establishment. Robert Mercer is a genius at algorithmic computer financial trading and  publicly shy. Robert Mercer Supports the John Bolton Institute, Heartland Institute, American Principles Project, Keep The Promise, Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, Breitbart.com, Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, Ending Spending Action Fund, Concerned Taxpayers of America, Republican Super PACs. He founded the Government Accountability Institute, GAI, and Rebekah sits on the board. The GAI is used to supply “facts and figures” to media outlets including Mercer-backed Breitbart.

What Does the Billionaire Family Backing Donald Trump Really Want? The Mercers are enjoying more influence than ever with their candidate in the White House—but no one seems to know how they intend to use it.  The Atlantic Jan 27, 2017  “Robert Mercer got his start at IBM, working there for over 20 years. He went to Renaissance Technologies in 1993. It’s there that Mercer, already well into middle age, became wealthy. Renaissance, based in East Setauket, Long Island, includes three hedge funds managing over $25 billion in assets, as well as the mysterious Medallion Fund, an employees-only fund that has made its investors unimaginably rich. Mercer’s co-CEO is Jim Simons, a major donor to Democrats; one Republican operative with connections to the Mercers who spoke on condition of anonymity joked that the pair were trying to “hedge the political system.”

Rebekah, known as Bekah, is one of Bob and Diana Mercer’s three daughters. Along with her sisters Heather Sue and Jennifer (“Jenji”), she owns Ruby et Violette, a cookie store in New York (the cookies are now sold exclusively online). Rebekah, 43, is married to a French Morgan Stanley executive, Sylvain Mirochnikoff, with whom she has four children. Mercer did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

“Almost all donors want to pretend they’re Karl Rove. They all want to play political mastermind,” said one of the Republican operatives who has worked on Mercer-funded projects. But “I would say that Rebekah is as smart at politics as you could be without ever having been at the grunt level.”

“Her political instincts were always on the money,” said Hogan Gidley, a former Mike Huckabee aide who served as spokesman for the Make America Number One PAC which became the Mercers’ pro-Trump vehicle during the general election. “We would be talking about how a certain ad should look or changes we should make to an ad, and she would just offer an idea that would just elicit instantaneous agreement. It wasn’t because they were largely funding the PAC, it was because she was right.”

“They’re libertarians who understand that they might have to make compromises with social conservatives,” said one person in the non-profit world who is a recipient of multiple Mercer grants. “They’re just as at home at the Cato Institute as they would be at the Heritage Foundation on general issues.”

That first goal has been clear for some time. The Mercers have for years had their hands in the cottage industry of anti-Clinton activity in and around the conservative movement. According to tax records from the Mercer Family Foundation, they gave nearly $3.6 million to Citizens United between 2012 and 2014, which sued for access to Clinton Foundation-related emails last year and whose president David Bossie also got a senior job on the Trump campaign. They’ve also invested in the Government Accountability Institute, which publishes the conservative author Peter Schweizer. Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash was an influential source of talking points for Trump allies during this election cycle, providing fodder for one of Trump’s early salvos against Clinton in a speech in June and regularly populating the pages of Breitbart. Bannon co-founded GAI with Schweizer; Rebekah Mercer has sat on the board.

At first, the Mercers went in for Cruz. They backed Keep the Promise 1, one of the main super PACs supporting Cruz, to the tune of $11 million. Like other campaigns with which the Mercers have been involved, including Trump’s, the Cruz campaign engaged the Mercers’s data firm Cambridge Analytica. Cruz campaign officials clashed with Cambridge over the particulars of the contract and lodged complaints about the product itself, according to multiple sources familiar with what happened; in one instance, the Cruz campaign was paying for a database system, RIPON, that had not been built yet, leading to a contentious argument. They also caught wind of work Cambridge had done for the Ben Carson campaign; working on more than one primary campaign is a no-no for vendors. Elsewhere in Mercer-world, there were other signs of trouble when it came to Cruz. In January, before the primaries had even begun, Breitbart News began attacking Cruz, insinuating that he was ineligible to be president because of his Canadian birth (a line also in heavy use by Trump at the time). Meanwhile, the Mercers were still publicly behind Cruz.
 What Cruz’s staff may not have taken into account was the behind-the-scenes influence of Steve Bannon.

“I don’t think [the Mercers are] as nationalistic as Steve,” said a Republican operative who has worked for the Mercers. “Steve is an unapologetic nationalist. I don’t think the Mercers are as much.” But “they share a real disdain for elitism. That’s what sort of binds them together.”

Another of the Republican operatives described Bannon as the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” to Rebekah Mercer, and a third was even more pointed: “Svengali.” Bannon is “really, really, really influential” with Mercer, said the former Breitbart employee. The Mercers, the former employee said, made their wishes known through Bannon, who would sometimes cite the company’s financial backers as a reason for Breitbart not to do a story. Bannon didn’t respond to a request for comment about this.

That highlights a third apparent goal, which became clearer over the course of the campaign: dismantling the establishment.”  The Atlantic Jan 27, 2017

The Real News made a documentary, “The Bizarre Far-Right Billionaire Behind Trump’s Presidency” about the various people Mercer inserted when he decided to back Trump in August 2016 Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, senior on the Trump campaign and Citizens United President and Producer of Bannon’s “Generation Zero” David Bossie, Betsy DeVos and more.

 

 

New Super-PAC Launches for Donors Who Won’t Back Trump But Loathe Clinton Bloomberg June 21, 2016 “Together with his wife Diana, Robert Mercer, 69, is the biggest-spending political donor in the 2016 election cycle, according to a tally by the Center for Responsive Politics. Mercer has a penchant for investing in anti-establishment candidates and quirky causes, including an annual fringe-science convention and a conference for proponents of the gold standard. He spent the first part of his career as a programmer at IBM, where he pioneered the use of computers to process human language. He later joined Renaissance Technologies, a Long Island hedge fund that uses advanced mathematics to spot patterns in financial markets. He’s now the co-chief executive officer of the firm.

Rebekah Mercer, his daughter, has devoted considerably resources to stopping Clinton. Mercer was a funder and board member of the Government Accountability Institute, a nonprofit group that produced the bestselling 2015 book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich; she also served as a co-executive producer of the “Clinton Cash” movie, which debuted in Cannes, France in May.

According to three sources involved in the Defeat Crooked Hillary effort, Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner approached the Mercers after Cruz dropped out of the Republican race on May 3rd to say they would be supportive of any effort to help Trump. The Mercers agreed. “This will be one of the super-PACs that Trump will make clear he supports,” says a source involved in the effort. On Wednesday, Trump will give a speech at Trump Soho which a Trump campaign source says will be focused on attacking Clinton; at the same time, Defeat Crooked Hillary will release its first ad, which Bossie says will begin airing in battleground states next week. Although Keep the Promise PAC raised $14.2 million this cycle, disclosure filings show that it had only $1.3 million cash on hand as of May 31st. Bossie says the Mercers and other donors will recapitalize the super-PAC with a “substantial” budget. He and other sources declined to give a dollar figure. “We are in conversations with many top donors across the country who have indicated that they have been waiting for a super-Pac that is devoted to being anti-Hillary,” he says.”


The author of this article, Scott Christianson, “69, died from massive head trauma after falling down the back stairs of his home. His wife, Tamar Gordon, said the banister had given way“, two weeks after publishing this on his new job at McClatchy:

Billionaire Robert Mercer did Trump a huge favor. Will he get a payback?  BY SCOTT CHRISTIANSON AND GREG GORDON  McClatchy Washington Bureau  MAY 01, 2017