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Yes, he is a Richman | TribLIVE.com
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Yes, he is a Richman

by RALPH R. REILAND
| Sunday, November 16, 2014 9:00 p.m.

Richie Richman is a name that perfectly describes the well-heeled financial position of Mr. Richman. It’s like the name that fit Tom Crapper, the man whom many credit with inventing the modern toilet.

In fact, Mr. Crapper was a plumber who founded Thomas Crapper & Co. in London and invented the ballcock, or float valve, a mechanism that increased the efficiency of the flush toilet by avoiding an overflow or (in the event of inadequate water pressure) a backflow.

Two other guys with well-fitting names are Bernie Madoff, who made off with billions from defrauded investors, and Anthony Weiner, the ex-congressman who left politics after sexting unseemly selfies and engaging in explicit chats under the name “Carlos Danger.”

By way of definition, a person’s name that coincidentally describes what he or she does in life is called an aptronym.

In any case, President Obama squeezed in some time in October, a month before the midterm elections, to hobnob with Richie Richman and other millionaires and billionaires for fun and cash — in between his beefing about “the rich” not paying their “fair share” (in fact, federal government reports on annual earnings and taxation show, for instance, that the top 10 percent of income earners in 2011 paid 68 percent of all federal income taxes while earning 45 percent of all income) and his repetitive carping about the disproportionate impact of “the rich” in campaign financing.

On the same day, Mr. Obama was the top money-attracting guest at two fundraisers, one in New York City and one at the multimillion-dollar estate of Mr. Richman.

In “Obama slams GOP as party of billionaires, then huddles with wealthy Dem donors,” Dave Boyer of The Washington Times reported on Oct. 7 that Obama “raised money from wealthy Democrats” while he simultaneously “warned supporters in an email,” sent from the Richman party, that “the interests of billionaires will come before the needs of the middle class if Republicans win both houses of Congress in the midterm elections.”

The New York fundraiser was hosted by George Soros (net worth $24 billion) and Paul Tudor Jones (net worth $4.3 billion). Twenty-five donors paid up to $32,400 per person to attend the private, closed-door discussion with the president.

The second fundraiser was in the Conyers Farm area of Greenwich, Conn., at the $26 million, 20-acre estate of Richie Richman, a developer of lower-end rental housing.

A convoy of four helicopters flew the Obama party from the Soros fundraiser to the Richman fundraiser, landing at the ultra-exclusive Greenwich Polo Club.

The people at the Richman party paid up to $32,400 a head to have dinner with President Obama, which included a VIP photo reception.

If the chicken at that dinner was a half-pound portion, that’s $64,800 a pound for chicken. Without the photo, the price of admission to the Richie Richman affair dropped to $10,000 per person (or $20,000 a pound for chicken if they served eight-ounce portions). The downside of that savings, though, was just sitting there with a pecan ball while everyone else who paid more got up and headed off with the president.

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University and a local restaurateur. Email: rrreiland@aol.com.

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