Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fundraiser Leder Apologizes to Romney

Marc Leder, who is the owner of the house where the infamous Romney 47% video was filmed, has apologized to the Republican presidential candidate for the lapse in security at the fundraiser. Before Mitt Romney spoke at the fundraiser, guests were reminded that Mitt Romney's comments were off the record. Those present were asked not to repeat his remarks to the press. Leder believes that the video was made by someone who was hired to work the party.

I attended the Wharton School several years before Leder. I confirmed this story with several Wharton alumni as well as Philadelphians involved with the local pro sports teams and major fundraisers for the Romney campaign.

He is in the process of narrowing down the suspects and is contemplating contacting law enforcement. In Florida like Pennsylvania, it is illegal to tape private conversations without the other person's permission. At the very least, we can expect that the filmmaker will be unemployable as a waitstaff in the near future.

Leder, the co-founder of Sun Capital, issued an official statement about the video: “I hosted a fundraiser for an old friend in May. I believe all Americans should have the opportunity to succeed, to improve their lives, and to build even better lives for their children. I have supported people from both political parties who share this view and make it a priority, even though their ideas on how to achieve it may differ.”

Federal election commission reports show that he has donated  to Democrats such as Deborah Wasserman Schulz, Tom Udall, Blanche Lincoln, Ted Deutch, Amy Klobuchar, and Joe Kennedy III. 

In previous conversations, Leder claims not to be a Republican ideologue. He stated that he does not support the social agenda of the Republican Party. He has always stressed that he is supporting Romney because he was the inspiration for Leder starting Sun Capital. Leaving Lehman and starting Sun Capital has been a good financial move for Leder. (Lehman Brothers later declared bankruptcy.)

Sun Capital now manages over $8 billion in capital, raising more than $6 billion for their last fund. Sun Capital buys companies that are financially distressed so it is not surprising that 20% of them have failed.  The Inquirer has noted that his transactions in the Philadelphia area have not done very well. His purchase of Jevic Transportation has resulted in the loss of more than 1000 local jobs. Another local company, Aluminum Shapes, have moved many of their operations to Canada. The Manayunk Paper Mill was reorganized after bankruptcy. 

Leder, who paid his Wharton School tuition with his blackjack winnings, was worth close to $400 million (with more than $100 million liquid) before his recent divorce. His cars included an Aston Martin and Bentley. He is also a part owner of the Sixers basketball team due to his college friendship with lead owner Josh Harris. 

Besides political fundraisers, Leder regularly hosts charity soirees at his Boca Raton mansion including one for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Although his divorcing wife accused him of being a workaholic, the New York Post's reports of a private party that he hosted in Bridgehampton in the summer of 2011 belie that assumption. 

Friends of his vigorously defend him by highlighting that he is a good father to his three children. They suggest   that the reports of debauchery were exaggerated. They admit that there were barely clad pretty women dancing at the party. But they don't understand the blow-back to Marc over the activities of his guests, who are consenting adults. 

As one friend noted, "Marc was not in the pool."

Another friend sympathized with his plight. He said, "His wife cheats on him with the 23 year old tennis pro, so he lets off a little steam. Yet, he is the one that is vilified."

I attended the Wharton School several years before Leder. I confirmed this story with several Wharton alumni as well as Philadelphians involved with the local pro sports teams and major fundraisers for the Romney campaign. I respected their wishes to stay off the record. 

Mother Jones confirmed to The Atlantic on Saturday that the videographer was indeed the bartender.


  1. Marc Leder donates to Dems: DW Schultz, Blanche Lincoln, Ted Deutch, Amy Klobuchar, Ron Klein, Joe Kennedy III, and Tom Udall http://1.usa.gov/UooUGC

    1. Thanks for the research help. I was behind on this story because I observe the Jewish New Year, Rosh Ha Shonah. I was writing this at midnight last night.

  2. Who's "Feder" in the 1st paragraph?

    1. Thanks for the eagle eye. It was meant to be Leder.

  3. I find it amusing that "guests" (the 50K per plate crowd) were "reminded" that Mitt's comments were off the record -- but the waitstaff were treated as if they were non-existent as sentient human beings. There must have been a couple dozen servers and bartenders working the room, and to these super-rich, they simply did not count. They probably did not even think of them as people to be noticed. Telling. Telling.

  4. Yea, go ahead and prosecute a working person. That will look even better in the press. Who ever filmed this did a public service to this country and I will donate to his defense fund if they do try and prosecute this person.

  5. Do you know who the catering company was? I contacted three in Boca Raton (Alexander Event, LaStellas, and BocaJoe) and none of them knew who it was. I also called Boca Raton police and they said Leder's house is "thankfully" not in Boca Raton proper, but in Palm Beach Co. I called Palm Beach Co. Sheriff's office and they are not aware of any criminal complaint filed about the recording. I also did a court records search in PBC and there are no records showing a civil suit filed in Palm Beach County by Leder regarding the incident (although it would most likely be Romney—who was the one secretly recorded—who would have to file suit).

  6. It has been strongly hinted to me that the Romney campaign decided against a lawsuit because they wanted to avoid making the filmmaker a martyr. I have been told that the catering company was from Palm Beach.