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BREAKING NEWS: Giuliani fundraiser was mystery initiative backer

A close friend and major fundraiser of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has identified himself as the mystery financer of the proposed California initiative to apportion the state's 55 electoral votes by congressional district instead of winner-take-all.

He is New York hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. He said he provided the $175,000 to initially finance the petition drive to get the measure on the June 2008 ballot. But as The Times' Dan Morain revealed in an exclusive story on this website last night, the drive has foundered on internal disputes and lack of further financing.

The petition drive's backers had remained a mystery since the effort was first revealed here in a July Top of the Ticket item. Democratic critics portrayed it as a power grab to wrest away some of the state's electoral votes, which have all gone to the Democratic candidates for the past four presidential elections. Some 19 of the state's 53 congressional districts would seem likely to vote for a GOP presidential candidate, enough to swing some recent national elections.

A Giuliani campaign spokeswoman, Maria Comella, said today that Singer's donation "was completely independent from our campaign."

Singer oversees Elliott Associates, an $8 billion investment fund. He is also chairman of Giuliani's northeast fundraising operation that produced a third of the New Yorker's $33.5 million campaign war chest in the first six months of 2007. Singer and his employees have donated at least $182,000 to the Giuliani campaign so far this year.

"I made the contribution without any restrictions," Singer's statement said. Some Democrats have threatened legal action, complaining that federal campaign finance laws were violated if the Giuliani campaign was involved.

Tonight, Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, issued a statement demanding to know "the truth about Rudy's involvement in and knowledge about this shameful effort to disenfranchise voters."

Morain's complete latest report is available here and in Saturday's print editions.

--Andrew Malcolm

Comments () | Archives (14)

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Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention! Giuliani is trying to rip off California!

This could be a direct assault on Ron Paul's popularity in California.

Vote Ron Paul 2008 to take back the country and re-instate the Constitution as the law of the land, not the Decider.

I think allocating the Electoral College votes in proportion to the popular vote is ultimate democracy (with a lower-case "d"). However, it only makes sense if we do establish that rule for all states. Establishing a rule like that for California without doing the same in other states with large numbers of electoral votes is wrong. So if Giuliani, et al, think their idea is so good, they should propose a Constitutional amendment that would abolish the Electoral College--which, after all, is an anachronism from the 18th century, when the Founding Fathers basically didn't believe in democracy.

Yes, I'm with you...only put up posts that you like. It will be so interesting for us all. I'm sure you'll have thousands of responces'.

Why doesn't this surprise me? Let me count the ways. Guliani has first class integrity and it shows here. I'm sure the three voters for him won't be affected. Of course, one of those won't be his daughter! And he has the nerve to knock Ron Paul, the most honest person with the highest integrity in Congress? Hope the rest of America wakes up in time and puts their vote in for Ron....they won't have another chance.

In typical Mafia style... How do you think he was able to get the N.Y. Mafia under control? Brothers dont take out Brothers. This guy is despised by the NYFD, NYPD and the general population of NYC, I would know, Im a New Yorker. You elect this guy and you get the whole family. His next war will be to free Cuba. I can assure you of that.... Its Ron Paul people or its goodbye U.S of A... In 2003 the USD was at 120, today its at 77.45.. DO YOU REALIZE what that means? I would say vote for Kicinich, but he has no clue on economics either. Dont you think we need a Constitutionalist? Heck, we havent had one in 100 yrs.

Rudy is working NJ law as well. He controls enough people that they've rewritten election laws for him. Winner will take all in NJ saving him millions.

Just say no to Rudy........ Save America vote Ron Paul 2008

Go Ron Paul 2008!

agreed with everyone except for jim craft...


we don't want a democracy with any type of d. unless it's for a very very small community (ie, every single person knows every other person), a pure democracy is an incredibly bad idea. while they don't get much credit for it, the founding fathers were some of the best political philosophers ever. you may think that the republic they established is an anachronism, but the way i see it, it's by far the best way to combat oppression (a true democracy, by the way, can and eventually will become very oppressive to minorities).

Money, money, money. When any individual candidate's largest backer digs into his pockets to introduce or sponsor any voter "initiative" it is patently absurd not to assume a personal political motive. Of course, the candidate will disavow prior knowledge. Recriminations, investigations, and legal wrangling distract political opponents from their primary path of seeking money first, and election second (they go together like love and marriage). What is needed is simply more money funnelled in that direction. Of course, Ron Paul is the sole presidential candidate across the entire political spectrum worthy of consideration for our nation's highest office in today's time of constitutional and economic crisis. Support him sufficiently financially and he will perservere and, incredibly, triumph because he is increasingly re-introducing We the People to the elements of Liberty.

Hey California!? Want more Bush? Then vote Rudy, or maybe you want more of the same as far as foreign (Bush) policy? Then vote Hillary! Hillary is just as owned by the corporations as Bush, but if you want a true change, then the ONLY candidate is Ron Paul

Rudy is as corrupt as they come and his integrity or lack thereof definitely shows. You guys are correct, we need to elect Ron Paul and get our constitutional principles back in place.

I'm voting for Ron Paul

we shud all vote for ppl we know wont bring us down and make our country a better place. i not be able to vote right now but i know what im saying


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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