Who are Steve Bannon’s Business Partners?

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Steve Bannon, once a Goldman Sachs M.&A. banker, struck gold by investing in “Seinfeld,” before a pivot to politics took him all the way to the White House, as an adviser to President Trump in the early days of his administration. A more recent venture has landed him in trouble: Mr. Bannon was arrested yesterday and charged with defrauding investors in We Build the Wall, a private fund-raising initiative to build a wall along the Mexican border. Mr. Bannon pleaded not guilty and was released on a $5 million bond.

Who else was associated? We Build the Wall’s partners, directors and contractors include some noteworthy names. Three of Mr. Bannon’s business partners in the venture, who were also arrested, had a history of monetizing conservative causes:

Timothy Shea, who sold a Trump-themed energy drink.

Brian Kolfage, a Iraq War veteran who sold ads on pro-Trump websites he created.

Anthony Badolato, a self-described venture capitalist, whose entrepreneurial efforts included SinoFresh Healthcare, a nasal spray company he created with Mr. Bannon.

We Build the Wall’s board members included:

Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater USA, the private military company involved in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad. (The company has since renamed itself Academi.) Mr. Prince, brother of the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, now heads a private equity firm, Frontier Services Group. Frontier’s chairman is a powerful Chinese businessman, Chang Zhenming, a notable connection given Mr. Bannon’s strong anti-China rhetoric.

Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, who also worked on Mr. Trump’s presidential transition team.

Curt Schilling, the World Series-winning baseball pitcher.

We Build the Wall’s contractor, Fisher Industries, confirmed to DealBook that it was retained for a 2019 project near El Paso, Texas. Its C.E.O., Tommy Fisher, pitched for private and government contracts tied to Mr. Trump’s wall-building efforts via frequent appearances on conservative news outlets. A Fisher company signed a $400 million deal in December, and the Pentagon’s inspector general began a review of the agreement shortly thereafter.

Mr. Bannon was arrested on a yacht owned by a fugitive Chinese billionaire. The 150-foot yacht was off Westbrook, Conn., when boarded by law enforcement officials. It is owned by Guo Wengui, who is sought by Beijing for extradition from the U.S. Mr. Bannon and Mr. Guo worked together on GTV Media, which is reportedly under investigation over a $300 million private fund-raising round earlier this year.

He pledged to pay for it all by taxing the rich. “We can pay for these investments by ending loopholes and the president’s $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations, some of which pay no tax at all,” he said. “Because we don’t need a tax code that rewards wealth more than it rewards work.” (An op-ed in Fast Company argues that big businesses would have to work harder to prove their do-gooder bona fides if Mr. Biden became president.)

There’s disagreement over how daring Mr. Biden should be:

• Ted Kaufman, a longtime adviser who replaced Mr. Biden in the Senate and now leads his transition team, told The Wall Street Journal this week that a Biden administration wouldn’t push for big spending initiatives next year. “When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” Mr. Kaufman said.

• Progressive Democrats argue that fiscal conservatism is wrongheaded given the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. “We need massive investment in our country or it will fall apart,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted yesterday. “To adopt GOP deficit-hawking now, when millions of lives are at stake, is utterly irresponsible.”

🦠 “It does not seem to be under control in any shape or form.” — Trond Grande, the deputy C.E.O. of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, on the coronavirus.

🎣 “We think about 25 million Americans would go fishing on a regular basis before February, and that number has now moved to 35 million.” — John Furner, the president of Walmart’s U.S. division, on new pandemic pastimes.

💄 “Wearing masks in many parts of the world … had an impact on lipstick.” — Fabrizio Freda, the C.E.O. of Estée Lauder, to analysts on how moisturizer has replaced lipstick as an affordable indulgence during the recession.

🔨 “Just a robust decking boom.” — Ted Decker, Home Depot’s head of merchandising, on one factor driving a surge in sales during lockdowns.

🛌 “How do you sleep at night?” — CNN’s Anderson Cooper to Mike Lindell, founder of the bedding supplies company MyPillow, during a heated exchange about coronavirus treatments.

This SPAC is notable for its Republican ties. In addition to Mr. Ryan’s involvement, the fund’s sponsor is Solamere Capital, an investment firm run by a son of Senator Mitt Romney, who picked Mr. Ryan as his running mate in his 2012 presidential bid.

But its financial adviser has strong Democratic leanings. Mr. Ryan’s SPAC is being underwritten by Evercore, whose founder and senior chairman is Roger Altman, who served in the Carter and Clinton administrations and is a major fund-raiser for Joe Biden.

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