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Unity ’08 Donors: Everyday Americans?

“Unity08 intends to fix this broken system by electing a bipartisan “Unity Ticket” to the White House in ‘08 funded solely by small-dollar donations from everyday Americans.” — Unity ’08 website, “What We Believe.”

Everyday Americans? Really? Has Unity08 followed up on its professed intention to be funded solely by small donations from everyday Americans? To find out, I’ve decided to go from the top to the bottom of the latest quarterly report by Unity08 to the IRS, adding a few profiles of donors every day. I’m not hand-picking examples: every donor in the 4th Quarter will be covered. I started out yesterday, and will publish new profiles daily. Here is Day 2’s set of profiles.

1. Frank A. Bonsal, $5,000 donation. Boulder Ventures, where Bonsal is a founding partner, refers to Bonsal as “one of the godfathers of the venture capital industry.” Thanks to the Zillow database, we know that a 939 square foot apartment next door to where Bonsal lives was sold for $194,000. Among his many venture capital enterprises, Bonsal stands out as a co-founder of venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates.

2. Angus S. King, $5,000 donation. Two-term Governor of Maine and, as Maine Business News explains,

Former Gov. Angus S. King, Jr., has joined the law firm of Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson and will provide strategic and legal advice to the statewide firm’s business clients, Gregory Tselikis, the managing shareholder, announced today.

King, a two-term Maine Governor and former business owner, will use his public and private sector expertise and experience to primarily assist the firm’s business clients, including international clients…

The addition of King further bolsters the firm’s large and varied legislative and government relations practice. Earlier this year, Larry Benoit and Kay Rand (King’s former chief of staff), two of Maine’s most effective and distinguished public policy strategists, joined to form BSSN Resources, a government relations consulting subsidiary of Bernstein Shur that focuses on assisting clients in their dealings with both state and local governments and agencies.

“Gov. King’s presence at the firm puts the last piece in place,” Tselikis said. “As a lawyer and governor, Angus offers unique skills and experience to our growing legislative and private development groups. His presence will ensure that we continue to offer unparalleled experience in all aspects of governmental relations and large-scale business consulting and development. We can’t be more thrilled to have him aboard.”

3. Dale P. Lenzner, $5,000 donation. Venture capitalist with Juniper Capital Group, Corporate Partners, Botts Capital Partners, and the Hawthorne Group. Associate Dean of the Columbia Business School. According to Zillow database, Lenzner’s residence measures 3388 square feet and has a tax assessed value of $3,007,200.

4. Edward J Mathias, $5,000 donation. SourceWatch informs us that Mathias is a founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, a part of the international military-industrial complex that specializes in capital funding for military contractors. Mathias is also a former member of the Board of Directors of T. Rowe Price, and is currently a member of the boards of directors of US Office Products, Sirrom Capital, Pathogenesis, and Ovation. Finally, Mathias sits on the Council on Foreign Relations.

5. Gerald Rafshoon, $5,000 donation. A co-founder of Unity 08, Rafshoon coordinated with another Unity08 co-founder, Hamilton Jordan, to convince Jimmy Carter to run for president. “The son of a bitch, he wants it,” wrote Rafshoon about Carter. Rafshoon was an advertising executive before joining Carter’s White House as Communications Director. Rafshoon has had fun as a Hollywood movie producer, too.

6. William Lanham Walton, $5,000 donation. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Allied Capital. Lanham Walton’s home in Washington DC has 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, measures 5073 square feet and has a tax assessed value of $3,024,050, according to the useful Zillow database.

7. W. Bowman Cutter, $5,000 donation. Managing Director of Venture Capital Firm Warburg Pincus LLC, Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy in the Clinton Administration, Executive Associate Director at Office of Management and Budget in Carter Administration (Thank you, SourceWatch).

8. Josh S. Weston, $5,000 donation. Weston is the former Chairman, CEO, and COO of Automatic Data Processing. Zillow estimates the worth of Weston’s home at $1,130,551.


Are these “everyday Americans”? Yes, in the trivial sense that, every day, they are Americans. But they are not at all regular folk. These are highfalutin, high-powered, well-connected and very rich people. Exactly the people who Unity08 complains about in public, and exactly the people who are funding Unity08 in private. It is because of the support of these wealthy and well-connected people that Unity08 has not been laughed off the street. It is because of their elite support that Unity08 might succeed in altering the 2008 election of the most powerful national leader in the entire world. What is their agenda?

Look for more tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Unity ’08 Donors: Everyday Americans?”

  1. karen marie says:

    in re bonsai: “939 square foot apartment next door to where Bonsal lives was sold for $194,000”

    this hardly indicts the guy for being “rich” or “elite.” i am neither and sold a 330 sq ft studio i got in my divorce for $135,000 in 2001. the $194,000 sale sounds more like some kind of sweetheart deal among friends, or in lieu of foreclosure or something. i very much appreciate the work you’re doing following “unity08” but if that’s all you’ve got on bonsai, you might take him off the “list.”

  2. Jim says:

    no, that’s not all. read the rest of the entry.

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