A New York hedge fund manager who was a major financial underwriter for Republican political groups last year has given a Virginia political action committee the largest single cash donation of 2013 and one of the largest in 16 years.
Robert Mercer of East Setauket, N.Y., gave the new Chesapeake-based Virginia Principles Fund PAC $500,000 on Aug. 9, according to a State Board of Elections report. The only detail the report offers about the PAC is its address in Chesapeake.
The Virginia Public Access Project shows that of the nine largest single political cash donations since the nonprofit and nonpartisan tracker of cash in Virginia state politics was formed in 1997, Mercer's gift is tied with five other givers for fifth place. It's the only 2013 donation of $500,000 or more.
The independent, nonprofit Center for Public Integrity, shows that Mercer's giving in last year's presidential and federal elections included $2 million to the GOP American Crossroads PAC, $1 million to the Mitt Romney Restore Our Future PAC, and $615,000 to the conservative Club for Growth.
Mercer is co-chief executive officer of a $15 billion hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies LLC, according to the center.
In Virginia, the largest single political donation in VPAP's records was $2 million Democrat Mark R. Warner gave his own gubernatorial campaign in October 2001, less than two weeks before his election.
The second-largest, $1.5 million from Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, went to Independence Virginia PAC for advertising and direct mail targeting Tim Kaine's successful Democratic U.S. Senate bid.