THE McMANSIONEER: Bob Perry
Position Owner of Perry Homes, a megabuilder of high-end sprawl in Texas.
Fortune Estimated at $600 million
Past Donations Spent $4.5 million to Swift-boat John Kerry in 2004. A Texas good ol' boy, his relationship with Karl Rove stretches back 25 years. In the past decade, Perry has invested nearly $80 million in political candidates, including $7 million to American Crossroads in 2010.
Current Donations At $4 million, "Bobby Jack" is the top donor to Romney's Super PAC – including a $3 million lifeline in February, after Romney went for broke in Florida. The two have enjoyed profitable relations since 2005, when Romney chaired the Republican Governors Association. Perry has also given nearly $2.5 million to American Crossroads.
What He Wants Perry's top issue is "tort reform," which would limit the size of jury awards against homebuilders who do shoddy work. He knows political favors can be bought: He was a big donor to every justice on the Texas Supreme Court – known derisively as "the Perry Court" – which vacated an $800,000 judgment against Perry for crappy construction. A jury in the same case later hit Perry with $58 million in damages.
How He Lives A total recluse, Perry stays holed up in his 13,000-square-foot mansion in Houston. According to a friend, he's the kind of guy "you couldn't pick out in a grocery store."
MR. FAIR AND NEWBALANCED: Jim Davis
Position Chairman of New Balance shoes
Fortune $1.8 billion (Forbes rank: 242)
Past Donations Davis is a high-roller for the Massachusetts GOP. Backed Romney's Senate campaign against Ted Kennedy in 1994; economic adviser on Romney's gubernatorial transition team in 2002.
Current Donations Gave $1 million to Romney's Super PAC. The donation was so toxic for business that New Balance's CEO raced to Facebook to dismiss it as "a private donation and not a contribution from New Balance."
What He Wants A lucrative defense contract. Soldiers currently get a cash allowance to purchase sneakers made anywhere; New Balance has lobbied the Pentagon to buy its made-in-America shoes in bulk.
How He Lives Owns a 17,000-square-foot mansion worth $14 million in Newton, Massachusetts, and a summer estate in Gloucester.
THE HOTEL TYCOONS: Richard Marriott and Bill Marriott Jr.
Position Heirs to the Marriott Hotel fortune
Ages 73, 80
Fortunes $1.7 billion and $1.6 billion (Forbes ranking: 312 and 331)
Past Donations Have given at least $1 million in lifetime political contributions, including hefty donations to prominent Democrats like senators Max Baucus and Charles Schumer.
Current Donations Have each given $1 million to Restore Our Future. Also served as top donors to the PAC that Romney used to sustain a skeleton campaign after his failed presidential bid in 2008, devoting $230,000 to the interim effort.
What They Want Bill has publicly backed immigration reform to create a legal pool of foreign-born workers for their hotels. Bemoaning cancellations during the recession, he has also lobbied Congress to force taxpayers to continue to subsidize luxury travel for executives of firms that receive federal bailouts. The Marriott fortune and Romney's are literally intertwined: Romney served twice on the Marriott board – most recently in 2011 – and is named Willard after Bill's dad, J. Willard Marriott Sr. (As a child, Romney summered at the Marriott compound on Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire.)
How They Live Both own mansions in suburban Maryland ($5 million and 15,000 square feet for Bill, $4.3 million and 9.5 bathrooms for Richard). Inherited the family compound in New Hampshire, as well as a 4,200-acre ranch at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
THE BAIN BUDDY: Edward Conard
Position Ex-managing director of Bain Capital, Romney's private equity firm. Wrote defense of Wall Street deregulation and monstrous inequality, Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong.
Fortune Estimated in the nine figures, rivaling Romney's $250 million.
Past Donations Has supported Romney since he ran for the Senate in 1993; gave nearly $10,000 to Romney's PAC when he was governor of Massachusetts. Maximum donor to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Current Donations Gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, obscuring his contribution through a shell corporation, W Spann LLC, that dissolved right before Romney's Super PAC was forced to reveal its donors. Conard came clean only after watchdogs noted that Spann shared an address with Bain. Tagged as a likely "bundler" for Romney donations, but the campaign will not disclose how much he has raised.
What He Wants To screw taxpayers. Like Romney and many hedge-fund managers, Conard profits from the "carried interest" loophole that allows him to pay half the tax rate that others do on the same income. The Buffett Rule, backed by Obama, would force him to pay his fair share, effectively doubling his taxes.
How He Lives Owns a $7 million triplex on the Upper East Side of New York. A Harvard MBA, Conard believes the economy is governed by "Darwinian survival of the fittest."
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