Several hours after Mother Jones’ David Corn alerted the world to the existence of a video secretly recorded at a Mitt Romney fund-raiser, he revealed that the footage comes from an event hosted by Marc Leder in Boca Raton on May 17, 2012. As if Romney sounding off on the “47 percent” of Americans who ostensibly don’t pay taxes wasn’t enough, this tidbit gives the story a sexy edge that ensures it won’t be dropped anytime soon. In addition to being a private equity manager said to personify the negative side of the industry, Leder is known for throwing wild Hamptons parties, including one “where guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat,” according to the Post.
Taking inspiration from Bain Capital, Leder co-founded Sun Capital Partners, which is now an $8 billion firm. Romney was an early investor in some of the company’s deals, and the Washington Post reports that Leder has given $300,000 to Romney and other Republicans in this election cycle.
In August 2011 the New York Post reported that the atmosphere at Leder’s bash was “as if the Playboy Mansion met the East End,” and included a couple stripping down, jumping in the pool, then performing “sex acts on a chair in front of astonished guests.”
Leder later downplayed the story, telling the New York Times:
I think the portrayal of me as having wild and crazy parties is absolutely incorrect … I spend a small percentage throwing some parties, attending some parties. I like music. I like to dance. But rather than reporting on how I spend 340 days and nights of my year, the media likes to report on the other 25.
It seems that Leder’s Romney fund-raiser was one of those tamer evenings. Mother Jones notes that “not a single sex act was recorded,” though at $50,000 a plate, guests deserved a little more debauchery.