Paul Singer, Ken Griffin and the like can spend all of the money they want to make Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz or George Pataki or any of the other 6,582 Republicans running for the office president. They can spend as much as they like to keep Mitch McConnell and John Boehner in charge of Congress. But if they or anyone who works for them donates so much as a shiny nickel to someone running for office in a state for whose pension they manage money or would like to manage money, well, there’ll be hell to pay.
The SEC calls this the “pay-to-play” rule, which it adopted in 2010 and that effectively bans political donations — with the exception of some small sums — by certain executives and staff at investment advisers to officials at state public pension funds and other governmental entities. Donations to curry favor on state contracts are a no-no….
The 2012 version of the pay-to-play rule gives “stronger teeth” to earlier regulation on pay to play, creating a new layer of oversight, paperwork and procedures for the industry, according to Gary Swiman, head of compliance and regulatory services for accountancy EisnerAmper in New York. “Now you can violate the rule even if you did not know about it,” he added.