FEC FILINGS: Before midnight last night, presidential candidates were required to file a quarterly report with the FEC on campaign receipts and disbursements. Naturally, we — together with Jared Sichel of the Jewish Journal — combed through the reports for names of interest. Because there are many candidates and many more donors, we’ll be posting a longer report later today. In the meantime, here are some of the interesting nuggets we’ve come across thus far.
FAMILY BUNDLING: The Sembler family of St. Petersberg, Florida, collectively donated $13,500 to Jeb. As you’ll recall, it was Mel Sembler who George W. Bush called late last year when he wanted to know if his own brother was running for president… The Falic family of Miami, Florida, who run Duty Free Americas, also donated $13,500 collectively for Mike Huckabee… The Halperns of New Jersey — Cheryl, Fred, Maeira and Yonina — each gave $2,700 to Jeb’s campaign. Cheryl, an RJC board member and past national chairman, shared a CD of Jewish music with Jeb, according to a source connected with the Bush campaign, which we’re told ‘he liked.’
HILLARY’S HILLBLAZERS: These are the folks featured on Hillary Clinton’s website “who have helped raise $100,000 or more” for her campaign. Names on the list include Avenue Capital Group’s Marc Lasry, along with his wife Cathy, who recently purchased the Milwaukee Bucks in Scott Walker’s state. Las Vegas-based Brian Greenspun who has known Bill Clinton since college. Comcast’s David L. Cohen, and wife Rhonda, from Philadelphia. Sean ‘Simcha’ Eldridge, who recently lost a bid for New York’s 19th congressional. Major Obama ’08 supporter and Boston Provident L.P. manager Orin Kramer is a Hillblazer. As is Westfield Corp. Co-CEO and Tribe Media Corp. board chairman Peter Lowy. Other names include M.K. and J.B. Pritzker of Chicago and, of course, Haim and Cheryl Saban of Los Angeles. [FullList]
OTHER NOTES: Some of Hillary’s $2,700 donors include Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Howard Stern, David Geffen, Larry Summers, Zeke Emanuel, Ari Emanuel, David Kissinger… Michael Granoff, and his wife, Tovit, each donated $2,700 to Jeb. Michael worked on Bill Clinton’s ’92 campaign and supported Hillary in 2008 but wrote in the Times of Israel that he’s supporting Jeb due to the ‘Democratic party’s lack of resolve on Iran.’… Jillian Hasner of Boca also donated $2,700 to Jeb, despite her husband Adam, former Florida House Majority Leader, being named Rubio’s Florida campaign chair… Bush 43 alumni Josh Bolton and Jay Lefkowitz each gave $2,700 to Jeb… Sam Zell, Dan Loeb, Bernie Marcus, Jerry Speyer, George Klein, Isaac Applbaum (JI Board), Fred Zeidman donated $2,700 to Jeb as well… Kenneth Abramowitz donated $1,000 to Jeb but listed his occupation as ‘blogger’ for employer ‘Save The West’…
LINDSEY DONORS: Despite endorsing Rubio several weeks ago, Phil Rosen donated $2,700 to Lindsey Graham’s campaign. As did George Klein who’s primarily helping Jeb. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson each donated $2,700. Former AIPAC President Michael Kassen and his wife Shelly of Westport, CT, gave $2,700 each. Israeli-American Council Chairman Shawn Evenhaim donated $2,700, as did IAC founders Adam and Gila Milstein. Other Lindsey Graham donors include Roger and Susan Hertog, Seth and Beth Klarman, Isaac Applbaum, Ronald Perelman, David Rosenblum, Seth Gelber, David Rosen, Alec Ellison, Ben and Beth Heller, Larry Mizel, and Russel Pergament.
DRIVING THE DAY: “Jewish lawmakers invited to W.H. for Iran briefing” by Lauren French: “The lawmakers, who include New York Rep. Steve Israel, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, and California Rep. Adam Schiff, among others, will meet with Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, on Thursday morning.” [Politico]
“As Chuck Schumer Goes, So Goes the Iran Deal” by Adam Chandler: “Just as President Rouhani has to answer to Iran’s Supreme Leader, President Obama also has a key figure to court if he wants the nuclear deal to pass through Congress: Chuck Schumer. If the hawkish Democratic senator approves the deal, it seems unlikely that Republicans will get enough other Democrats onboard to block the treaty. So far, the characteristically bombastic New York lawmaker is keeping his views on the deal quiet.” [TheAtlantic]
Notable: “Sen. Chris Murphy, who succeeded Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate, said he won’t support the deal if it doesn’t make Israel safer.” [WNPR] • “White House woos Republicans on Iran” [Politico]
AIPAC: “According to a source who participated in an AIPAC conference call, the organization’s national board unanimously voted to reject the Iran nuclear deal, with AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohrsaying on the call that defeating the deal in Congress is both the most important task the group has ever faced and the reason AIPAC was created.” [JNS]
“Obama Turns to U.N. to Outmaneuver Congress” by Colum Lynch and John Hudson: “The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, on Monday circulated a legally binding draft to the 15-member U.N. Security Council that, if adopted, would give the body’s backing to the landmark nuclear pact trading billions of dollars in sanctions relief for greater international scrutiny of Iran’s nuclear energy program.” [ForeignPolicy]
Michael Oren: “For the first time in living memory, virtually all Israelis – left, right, religious, secular, Arabs, Jews – are together calling the deal disastrous.” [TimeMag]
Aaron David Miller: “Selling the nuclear agreement on negative counterfactuals isn’t the most effective strategy, particularly when so many Republicans and Democrats are already opposed. The president spent a fair amount of time in the opening remarks of his news conference talking about what happens if there is no deal; this strengthens the impression that it’s hard to market the accord on its merits.” [WSJ]
Jane Eisner emails… “Today’s Jewish Insider newsletter reflected what is nearly ubiquitous in the media, which is that the only people seen fit to comment on, broadcast and retweet on this issue are men. And that’s way too narrow a view! My editorial today is just one example. One reader called it “courageous.” There are plenty of other women with thoughts about Iran and Israel and the Middle East, but it’s damn hard to get attention to our voices.”
BEHIND THE SCENES: “Clearing Hurdles to Iran Nuclear Deal With Standoffs, Shouts and Compromise” by David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon [NYTimes] • Under Secretary Wendy Sherman emotionally describes “a moving moment at the close of the Iran negotiations.” [YouTube]
Ben Cardin on CSPAN rips caller who questions his Jewish faith, loyalty to US: “Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) ripped a caller to C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Wednesday who suggested Cardin’s Jewish faith poses a conflict of interest with his duties as a U.S. senator. “I’m normally pretty tolerant to people who ask questions, but I’m not to your assumption,” said Cardin. “I take great offense to that. Our loyalty is to America, our concerns are with America, our religion is our personal business and should have nothing to do with an evaluation from anyone as to our objectivity on issues concerning America,” he said.” [TheHill; WashPost]
MD SEN: “Rep. Donna F. Edwards criticizes Chris Van Hollen over Iran nuke deal” by John Fritze: “Rep. Donna F. Edwards on Wednesday criticized her opponent in Maryland’s Senate race, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, for “holding his finger to the air” rather than coming out in support of a nuclear agreement with Iran negotiated by the Obama administration… It’s no surprise that the Iran agreement has become an issue in Maryland’s Senate race, where there has been something of a split among Jewish groups. Edwards has opposed a number of resolutions supported by AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby. On the other hand, she received an endorsement from J Street.” [BaltimoreSun]
FL SEN: “Florida Lt. Gov. Lopez-Cantera enters US Senate race” by Sergio Bustos: “”I still believe in the America that Washington has forgotten,” says Lopez-Cantera, who is of Cuban and Jewish descent and was born in Spain.” [AP; MiamiHerald]
“Menendez legal defense fund takes in $1.6M with Adelson’s help” by Jonathan Salant:“Adelson, the chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands, and wife Miriam, both contributed $10,000 to Menendez’s fund, the maximum contribution allowed. Other $10,000 donors included major Democratic contributor Haim Saban, producer of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers television program, who raised more than $100,000 for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign; developer and New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman.” [NJ; NYTimes] • Seth Klarman donated $5,000.
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Woman Who Fled Nazis for Wall Street Invited to Ring NYSE Bell for Her 100th Birthday” [Bloomberg] • “Barry Diller’s IAC to acquire PlentyoFish for $575 million” [BostonGlobe] • “Developer Shaya Boymelgreen, who has been attempting to gain permits to create a four-lot subdivision since at least 2011, is now asking the town board to grant lakeside septic waivers” [RiverReporter] • “Pritzker Group buys Chicago coffee-sleeve maker LBP Manufacturing, which has about 750 local workers, from Barry Silverstein” [ChicagoTribune] • “The Fight Over Iran’s New York City Skyscraper” [DailyBeast]
PROFILE: “Thomas Kaplan, founder and chairman, Panthera” by Sarah Murray: “Kaplan, a history buff and a billionaire amassed his fortune as a natural resources investor… Educated in Switzerland and the UK, Mr. Kaplan is unabashedly ambitious. He believes that preserving wild cats’ natural habitats acts as a catalyst for far broader environmental conservation. Knowing that his fortune is not enough to achieve his goals, Mr. Kaplan is focused on getting other big funders on board. “We’ve got Arabs, American Jews, Chinese and Indians,” he says. “And that’s only the beginning.”
“But Mr. Kaplan’s career has also faced serious challenges that damaged family relationships. He and his nephew, Guma Aguiar, built a multi-billion-dollar company out of a natural gas field in Texas but fell out over its sale and became legal adversaries. In June 2012, while still battling each other in court, Mr. Aguiar disappeared while boating off the Florida coast. His body was never found and he was declared dead by a judge in January. Mr. Aguiar had been battling mental illness, the courts were told.” [FinancialTimes]
STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “If Uber Doesn’t Want To Accommodate Blind Riders, Israeli Gett Will” by Davey Alba: ““When we talk about tech, we usually talk about why it’s so great and brings efficiency—how it saves time and money,” Gett CEO Shahar Waiser tells WIRED. “But there are people who actually depend on tech to get help, and these new features are really built for them.”… Gett also says its drivers know to allow guide dogs in their cars. The company collaborated with 17-year-old Adi Kushner—a developer who’s also helped companies such as Apple and Google integrate accessibility features into their products.” [WiredMag]
“Public Figures and Petty Hatred” by Abe Foxman: “Here at the Anti-Defamation League, we get it all the time… Columnist Jeffrey Goldberg tweeted, “Maybe not the best use of ADL’s time?” The critics are missing the point. The analogy I would draw is to the approach taken by New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton when he assumed the position for the first time in 1993. Bratton took a counter-intuitive approach: Focus first not on the big crimes but on the everyday petty ones, like graffiti and broken windows.” [HuffPost] • Listen to Foxman on The Diane Rehm Show earlier this week [NPR]
SCENE LAST NIGHT: The Friedlander Group together with JP Updates hosted a discussion with former NY Gov. David Paterson and the ADL’s Deborah Lauter titled “From Selma to Sabbath: Parallel Paths to Civil and Religious Rights in the U.S.” with moderator Chaskel Bennett.
HOLLYWOOD: “Lena Dunham to launch newsletter named after ‘old Jewish man’” by Andrew Tobin: “Lena Dunham, creator of the hit HBO show “Girls,” is starting a lifestyle newsletter and naming it Lenny — “the name of an old Jewish man,” according to her business partner. Lenny is “the name that people call us by accident all the time on the walkie-talkie” on the set of “Girls,” the partner, Jenni Konner, told CNNMoney. “It’s also the name of an old Jewish man, and we love old Jewish men.” [JTA; CNN]
“Meet Sharon Baum, the 75-year-old Park Ave. power broker who’s been cozying up to Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lawrence” by Katherine Clarke: “Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift’s new bestie is 75 and thinks social media is when Sy Newhouse throws a private cocktail party. Meet Sharon Baum, the no-nonsense, Park Ave. real estate broker better known for her old school approach to selling stuffy Upper East Side co-ops to white-haired former hedge-funders, rather than for selling trendy Tribeca lofts to showbiz kids… She was the first female vice president at Chemical Bank and once dated billionaire Mike Bloomberg.” [DailyNews]
“Maggie Rosenberg, Thailand’s American Sweetheart” by Melissa Pandika: “For 19-year-old Brooklyn native Maggie Rosenberg, learning Thai pop songs began as a frustrated attempt to connect with the people of her host country. But the connection turned out stronger than she had anticipated — spawning TV specials, spoofs and adoring fans who gush over her adorable smile and barely discernible accent.” [Ozy]
DESSERT: “Teaneck resident carves out a niche: kosher meals in kits” by Esther Davidowitz: “Douglas Soclof of Teaneck knew he was onto something. After all, there are a slew of companies, such as the wildly popular Blue Apron, that deliver fresh meal kits to millions of non-kosher homes. What if he provided pre-measured, ready-to-cook meals to kosher homes? So two months ago, the convivial Soclof launched Kitchn Synch, the first glatt-kosher meal-delivery company.” [NorthJersey]
BIRTHDAYS: New Atlanta Hawks owner Antony Ressler turns 56… Stef Werthheimer turns 89… Victoria ‘Rivka’ Zell… Douglas J. Feith turns 62… Chantal Low…
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