Hartford voters can thank Connecticut’s 4th wealthiest resident for helping provide Luke Bronin with the money he wanted in order to run for Mayor of Connecticut’s Capital City.
In fact, as Greenwich native and Hartford newcomer Luke Bronin eagerly awaits being elected Hartford’s next Mayor, he will need to thank many people for funding his record breaking $1.2 million mayoral campaign.
Among those who deserve “special recognition” are all of those on the extensive list of Greenwich residents who, taken together, donated nearly $100,000 to fund their hometown guy’s dream of leading the City of Hartford and its residents.
And first among all of those equals is real-life Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II whose net worth exceeds $4.6 Billion, making him the 108th richest American and placing him in the number 352 on the list of wealthiest people in the world.
Jones resides, at least some of the time, in a 13,000 square-foot Greenwich mansion that includes a 26-car garage.
Earlier this year, Paul Tudor Jones made news when he gave a TED talk in Canada condemning the “unsustainable” wealth gap between the rich and everyone else. While stating that he was not only an extremely success but a “proud capitalist” Jones observed that when it came to the reality of wealth inequality, the world was on a “disastrous” path and that if this path was left unaltered, it would lead to revolution.
A few weeks later the Billionaire hedge fund manager purchased a $71 million Mediterranean-style 7-bedroom, 18-bathroom property on the coast of Florida that sports a tennis court, movie theater, swimming pool and gym.
Paul Tudor Jones also owns the Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania’s Western Serengeti. His Sasaskwa Resort, which is located in the Reserve, has been repeatedly rated the #1 hotel in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine.
According to the campaign finance records, Paul Tudor Jones’s donation to Luke Bronin was hardly his first foray into politics. The Billionaire donated $200,000 to Mitt Romney’s campaign for President of the United States, although he also hosted a 500-person fundraiser in 2008 for then candidate Obama at his Greenwich home. Others who have received campaign checks from Paul Tudor Jones include Hillary Clinton, John McCain, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, John Boehner (The immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives), Linda McMahon and a long, long list of Republican and Democratic politicians.
On the policy side, the Luke Bronin supporter may be best known for his unquestioning commitment and dedication to charter schools, the Common Core and the Corporate Education Reform Industry.
Not only did Paul Tudor Jones create the Excellence Charter School, the first all-boys charter school in the country, but he has been one of the most significant financial supporters of the charter school front group called Families for Excellent Schools. Families for Excellent Schools (FES for short) has organized rallies in support of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In a successful effort to persuade Connecticut legislators to support Malloy’s initiative to divert scarce state funds from public schools to charter schools, Families for Excellent Schools even bussed in charter schools students and parents from as far away as New York City and Boston to attend a rally in Hartford last year. The Connecticut spokesperson for Families for Excellent Schools, who happens to have been Governor Dannel Malloy’s spokesperson is also the spokesperson for Luke Bronin.
Meanwhile, Paul Tudor Jones is not only an outspoken supporter of the Common Core, but in a moment of extreme rhetoric, he even claimed that the move to the “Common Core” was the modern version of John F. Kennedy’s “call to put a man on the moon.”
Interestingly, Jones himself has opening trashed the quality of the education he received.
That said, when the Billionaire was asked how public schools could be improved, he told Forbes Magazine that the solution was longer school days and years, better teacher and principal training and true evaluation and accountability.
Jones added that real culprit that caused the problems in the nation’s urban schools were the teacher unions. Jones observed,
“What’s happened in the last 20 years in many of the large cities in the U.S. is that the educational system has been dictated by the unions. They have failed. They get an ‘F.’ What we have now is a failure in the way the teaching corps is organized, administered and deployed.”
But if there is one thing that Luke Bronin has made clear in his campaign for mayor, (it even cost him the endorsement of the Hartford Teachers Union), is that money from Paul Tudor Jones and the other corporate education reformers is far more important to his candidacy than any support from teachers and their unions.
Finally, while Paul Tudor Jones’ pro-charter school, pro-Common Core, anti-teacher agenda has generated its share of controversy, it all pales by comparison to the excitement generated by his remarks about the role of women on Wall Street.
In May 2013 the Washington Post reported on a University of Virginia conference that Paul Tudor Jones spoke at in 2012.
Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones told the audience “that it is difficult for mothers to be successful traders because connecting with a child is a focus “killer.”
As Jones explained;
“’As soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it,’ Jones said, motioning to his chest during an April symposium. He was talking about two women who worked with him at a stock brokerage in the late 1970s — two women who married, had children and, according to his account, no longer had the laser focus needed for the intense world of macro trading.”
And as to the possibility that more women will be able to break into the male dominated Wall Street environment Jones added;
“If you told me that this woman was not going to have a baby — certainly can get married but not going to have a baby — then I think it would be a completely different panel 20 years from now,” Jones said. “Assuming that she’s not going to have a baby.”
So Voters of Hartford!
If Luke Bronin wins on Election Day 2015, perhaps he can be convinced to invite Paul Tudor Jones to his inauguration so that the people of Connecticut’s Capital City can meet and personally thank Paul Tudor Jones and Billionaires for Bronin for helping the City’s new leader come up with the cash to run a winning campaign.