A cursory examination of campaign finance reports showing contributors who made donations to Democrat Hillary Clinton and liberal Republican Tom Kean Jr. found nearly 200 contributions representing New Jersey residents who financially supported both candidates.
Even in this highly partisan political environment, if you follow the money, a lot of it leads right to both Hillary Clinton and Tom Kean Jr, two of the biggest losers in modern politics.
Clinton and Kean are famous and successful names but each family dynasty suffered unexpected and ignominious defeats despite all the political advantages that accompany having those names, including establishment support, name recognition and an advanced fundraising capability.
Hillary Clinton lost two races for president —2008 and 2016—while Tom Kean Jr is a three-time loser in congressional contests: 2000, 2006 and 2020.
Kean received a total of $117,924 from 128 Hillary Clinton contributors while Clinton collected $102,625 from 69 donors who gave money to Tom Kean Jr.
The record review ‘only scratched the surface’ according to one of the analysts who conducted the study, who said that the two longtime politicians—Hillary Clinton and liberal Republican Tom Kean Jr.—have collected a combined total of about 120,000 campaign contributions from New Jersey residents.
“In some instances, we counted contributions when an individual made one or more donations to one candidate and their business gave money to the other,” said the analyst. “For example, Paul Bontempo is the longest-serving Democratic State Committee member in New Jersey history and the president of the Trenton lobbying firm known as MBI-GluckShaw, Inc.”
Bontempo personally contributed $2,300 to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign fund on June 15, 2007, but his firm made of nine donations worth a total of $6,000 to Tom Kean Jr’s state campaign account.
Bontempo has been a Trenton lobbyist since 1989, and he served as a member of the Democratic National Committee and vice chairman of the DNC Eastern Caucus in addition to his state Democratic Party leadership post. OpenSecrets, an organization that tracks political spending, reports that Bontempo made 384 contributions to candidates and committee over a 20-year period.
Other big name Democratic contributors who helped finance the political career of Tom Kean Jr are Dennis J. Enright, a financial adviser specializing in complex infrastructure, governmental and public-private partnerships who has handled over $5 billion of financing involving taxpayer money.
Enright’s website credits him with orchestrating the Union County Utility Authority’s $360 million bond sale in 1998 and the $2.4 billion transaction merging the Garden State Parkway with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
According to OpenSecrets, Enright has contributed about $576,738 in 377 political contributions to committees and candidates over the past 22 years, about 20 times as much going to Democrats as to Republicans.
Even though the senator announced that he would not seek re-election to a seventh term in the State Senate in Trenton, Enright gave Kean’s state campaign account the maximum of $2400 in February 2020, the Democratic mega-donor’s largest contribution to any GOP candidate ever.