They make their fortunes engineering the world’s biggest deals or making hearts swoon in movie houses and concert halls. But inside their storied prewar East Side town houses and palatial downtown lofts, members of the city’s power elite are grappling with the same question as the rest of the nation: Who should next occupy the White House?
Of course, the rivers of money that flow from Wall Street and Hollywood mean they can offer far more than a single vote.
Through the end of last year, the metropolitan region contributed more than $80 million to presidential aspirants. New York’s singers, actors, literary lights and plutocrats wrote checks across party lines, in some cases covering their bets by running the table of candidates.
The movie heartthrob Mark Ruffalo threw some of his indie cred — and $1,000 — to two candidates who never made it to the mainstream, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio and former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska.
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