Donald Sussman

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Donald Sussman and Chellie Pingree

Donald Sussman (born June 8, 1946) is an American financier and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of the Paloma Funds and the founder of New China Capital Management LLC. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall, a member of the Board of Directors of Pro Publica

He is the father of Carolyn Tisch Sussman, and Emily Tisch Sussman.

Marriage to Pingree

On June 18, 2011, Donald Sussman was remarried to Chellie Pingree, a Democratic U.S. representative from Maine, in a private ceremony on Turner Farm. On September 8, 2015, Pingree announced an "amicable and truly mutual decision" to separate from Sussman and begin divorce proceedings.The divorce was finalized in the summer of 2016.[1]

Miami meeting, Democracy Alliance

A secretive network of left-wing billionaires and their political operatives descended on the luxurious Biltmore Hotel in Miami over the mid weekend of May 13, 14, 2012, to discuss strategy for the coming elections.

The location of the conference had been kept a closely guarded secret by the members and guests of Democracy Alliance (DA), a collection of ultra-wealthy liberal donors formed in 2005, and was reported in a Washington Free Beacon exclusive.

DA board members such as Steve Phillips, Donald Sussman, and Kelly Craighead, each with connections to major left-leaning political organizations, were in attendance.

Phillips, who serves as secretary for the DA, oversees a number of political action committees such as PAC+, which focuses on Latino voters, and, a “statewide social justice organization working with community organizations and activists to build political power in California.”

Sussman, a hedge-fund manager who invests in Chinese companies, is married to Rep. Chellie Pingree (D., Maine) and currently serves on the board of Center for American Progress.

Another prominent hedge fund manager, Thomas E. Steyer of Farallon Capital Management, also sits on Center for American Progress’s board.

Maine power players

Donald Sussman, his daughter, Emily Sussman, and Daniel Hildreth are listed as attendees of the Democracy Alliance's 2014 meeting at the Ritz Carlton Chicago , where progressive power players are believed to have crafted a dark money spending strategy for the 2014 elections. The alliance does not accept donations itself, but serves as a pass through organization facilitating the transfer of millions of dollars in anonymous dark money to political action committees and 501(c)4s such as the Maine People's Alliance.

Last year, the New York Times gave some indication that Maine’s prominent Democratic figures would be associating with the Democracy Alliance to influence the 2014 elections. “In Maine,” the Times wrote, “a consortium of progressive groups financed by the hedge fund billionaire S. Donald Sussman, [a Democracy Alliance] member, is looking to unseat Gov. Paul R. LePage this year and put both the governor’s office and the Legislature under Democratic control.”

Although Sussman’s membership with the DA is well-known, the list indicates that his daughter is a new member.

Emily Tisch Sussman is the campaign director for the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Daniel Hildreth, of Falmouth, is the grandson of former Maine governor Horace Hildreth, a Republican. Horace established Maine’s first television station, WABI-TV, a company which is still controlled by Daniel via his Portland-based firm Diversified Communications. Additionally, Hildreth is the vice chair of GrowSmart a trustee of the Maine Audubon and a board member of

Hildreth’s connection to the DA was previously unknown.

He is currently serving as the campaign treasurer for Democrat Shenna Bellows’ U.S. Senate campaign.

Since 2008, Hildreth has donated $14,483 to Democratic causes and candidates in Maine. On the federal level, he has donated to several Democratic candidates and political action committees, including $1000 donations each to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Since 2008, Hildreth has given $8000 to U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Sussman’s wife.

A 2012 story by the Portland Press Herald, a newspaper owned by Sussman, listed Hildreth as the 5th largest giver to federal campaigns in Maine. That year, Hildreth gave $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee and $50,000 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012, according to Federal Election Commission records.

But Hildreth’s spending on politics pales in comparison to Sussman’s.

The Center for Responsive Politics, lists Sussman as the tenth largest contributor to outside spending groups in the 2014 election cycle. In 2012, Sussman gave almost one million dollars to federal campaigns, according to the Press Herald. According to the CRP, he has already donated $880,000 to the House Majority PAC for the 2014 election cycle.

Mike Tipping, communications director for the Sussman-funded Maine People’s Alliance, wrote in April that the Koch brothers were “killing Medicaid expansion in Maine.” Tipping said the defeat of Medicaid expansion in Maine didn’t just happen because of GOP resistance, but as “part of a well-funded, well-coordinated campaign to impose on all of us the political views of a wealthy, conservative few.”

Although Tipping did not have any evidence to support his thesis, he did have plenty of conspiratorial innuendo. In contrast, the release of the Democracy Alliance members’ list adds to the mountain of evidence suggesting that Tipping is a paid actor in a well-funded, well-coordinated campaign to impose on all of us the political views of a wealthy, progressive few.

Senate President Justin Alfond (D-Portland) and Rep. Diane Russell (D-Portland) have also jumped on the Koch-hating bandwagon while conveniently ignoring the influence of Democratic dark money. In a fundraising letter, Alfond complained that the Kochs had a “target” on his back. Russell, in a recent newspaper op-ed, declared that she was forming a legislative task force to spy out Legislation that may have been influenced by the Kochs.[2]


  1. [1]
  2. [ political players attend conference for shadowy Democracy AllianceBy Steve Robinson onMay 7, 2014]