The Wall Street Journal’s “Deal Journal” yesterday revealed that the anonymous winning bidder of Edward Munch’s “The Scream” painting was the infamous Leon Black, founder and CEO of Apollo Global Management, an alternative investment management firm specializing in leveraged buyout transactions and purchases of distressed securities. Black bested bidders from across the world to secure the highest-priced painting ever to go to auction. The $120 million painting was auctioned by the tony Sotheby’s in May. According to Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow:
“[Black’s] $750 million art collection already includes drawings by Raphael and Vincent van Gogh, watercolors by J.M.W. Turner, Cubist paintings by Pablo Picasso and ancient Chinese bronzes. Three years ago, he paid Christie’s $47.6 million three years ago for a Raphael chalk drawing, “Head of a Muse,” a record auction price at the time for a work on paper.”
With all the declarations of class warfare by the left, you might assume this man is a Republican. You would be wrong. Black primarily donates to Democratic causes. According to OpenSecrets.org, Black has given over $137,000 to Democratic candidates as compared to $25,000 to Republicans. He’s also given $14,000 to party “switchers” like Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Sen. Lieberman, and Sen. Arlen Specter.
Black’s propensity to give to liberal causes doesn’t just stop with candidates – he’s given over $275,000 to Democratic Party organizations (e.g., DNC, DSCC, and more) as compared to Republicans to whom he’s given a “meager” $60,000. All in all, Black gives four times as much money to Democrats as to Republicans. See the chart for further illustration.
And, look, we’re not saying Black can’t give to whichever party he desires, shouldn’t have a great art collection, or ought not to pay $120 million for a 36”x28.5” oil pastel. We’re just saying that it’s time for the Democratic Party to stop pretending that it’s not bankrolled by the super rich.