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Hold on to your monocles, folks: The rich are staging their own protest of the system, sans the tents, cardboard signs and tarps of Zuccotti Park.
Reuters reports that this year some wealthy supporters of political parties are withholding political donations and refusing to throw fund-raising parties in their homes.
The news organization spoke to several financial advisers with wealthy clients who normally make large political contributions, and found anecdotal evidence that many rich Americans are just saying no to supporting political campaigns, often for the first time.
Alan Ungar, an adviser with Critical Capital Management Inc., offered this pull quote: "People are pissed."
Various reasons for said anger include the volatile markets and the gridlock political traffic jam of the past few months. The wealthy's frustrations may seem to echo those of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but the rich appear to be taking action in a much more passive-aggressive way.
Jim Heitman, a California-based adviser, said that his clients are expressing their displeasure by being less active and using the cash they had earmarked for candidates to instead do things like pay off mortgages on vacation homes. "The attitude is increasingly 'a pox on both their houses,'" he said.
Just how much money are we talking about? Although the Federal Election Commission places limits on how much an individual can contribute to a campaign – $2,500 per election to a federal candidate – individuals can contribute $30,800 to a national party committee, and a bit over $100,000 per two-year election cycle total.
Wealthy donors are also valuable for their networks as well as for their personal accounts. In April, for instance, Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina asked many of the Democrats most generous supporters to raise $350,000 each in contributions, the Washington Post reported.