CCDC 2014 Year in Review

As I’ve been sitting on this plane heading back to San Francisco from the 2014 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC), I’ve been trying to come up with one word to encompass my views on this event. This will conclude my fifth year involved in CCDC. The first two I spent as a blue teamer; the latter three as a member of the regional and national red teams.  What is it about CCDC that keeps bringing me back? I’m not getting paid nor am I hiring anyone. Yet, I keep returning year after year. I think I get it now.

passion |ˈpaSHən|
noun
• an intense desire or enthusiasm for something

Thats the word I’m looking for. Passion.

From my very first year competing, there was something indefinable that pushed me to pour every ounce I had into the competition. Even though at that time I was a junior member of our team, the desire to learn as much as possible was very real. I think this is what professional athletes must experience. There is something beyond your skill that keeps you up at night, fueling your train down the tracks.

And I think the reason CCDC and I have such a strong bond is because it’s one of the rare places where others bring that same energy to the table. All teams (white, red, black, orange, blue, gold) and sponsors are continuously adding to that pool, mixing and stirring a fervency you simply can’t find anywhere else.

This is why the competition is getting better from all angles. The tradecraft is getting refined by all parties. It’s an incredible effort to be a part of.

On that note, I’d like to now take some time and give some positive feedback to individual sets of those involved (both regionally and nationally).

To red teams:

Don’t get complacent in your duty. The blue teams are getting better and as they do, so will we. Our participation, while energetic, is only a single component to this competition. Others are expecting you to challenge blue teams in a way only you can do. Embrace that and play your part. Contribute and coordinate – the more you do, the better your red team will be.

To white/black/gold teams:

Continue to make the competition as real world as you can. It’s easy for those of us who have worked in the security industry to understand what a real corporate environment is like, but there is a very real possibility a blue teamer has had zero exposure, and therefore zero understanding. Even in the immense differences CCDC environments have versus a real enterprise, it is still a goal worth chasing because that is what makes CCDC participants valuable. They’ve had that exposure to something other than a class room or text book in a situation that will push them to think critically under pressure.

To blue teams:

Don’t worry about the results. The most valuable part of CCDC is not the trophy – its the experience. You spent months preparing for this – learning every moment along the way. As someone who’s been in your shoes, let me tell you – thats the true prize. The knowledge you’ll walk away with is priceless. Yes, the competition side is fun especially when you develop a rivalry with another team, but once you graduate and are out, you’ll be working side by side with the same people you competed against and who won or lost will seem trivial. Focus on getting better, and be proud of yourself and your team when you do.

To sponsors:

Thank you for your support. Without you, all CCDC events would not be possible. My only feed back to you is this: When you send volunteers to the competition, who you send will reflect on you far more than the amount on the check. And that image will been seen by more than just competitors - other sponsors, red teamers, and other volunteers will pick up on it.

One of the best examples of this I’ve seen was FireEye‘s choice for their red team seat at Nationals. They sent Dan Borges, a young, but talented engineer, to fill that seat. They picked someone who possessed passion just as I talked about above – and that passion drove Dan to produce tangible results in his position. That dedication can only come from someone who deeply understands what CCDC is about – something Dan can bring to the table given his previous security competition experience.

I encourage all sponsors to take seriously who they send – recruiters, management, and even technical folks. You want to connect with the participants. Having someone like Dan who can connect and relate to the competitors is the single best contribution you can make to the competition.

To those not involved:

Seriously ask yourself why.

If you’re faculty or an administrator at a college which doesn’t participate – what are you waiting for? The fact that schools such as Stanford and MIT who have long been attributed to the best and the brightest don’t participate is disappointing. Get on board. You will very quickly learn whether your curriculum is adequately preparing graduates for jobs in the information security space (likely not).

If you’re an organization, what is stopping you? I’m looking at all the companies out here in the Silicon Valley. I’m shocked that you don’t throw more support behind this. Your fast moving companies are on the forefront of technological innovations, yet you don’t tap into one of the deepest veins for young, fresh security talent. It’s not just about filling positions. This is the next generation of professionals in the security industry. Connect with them in a rich, meaningful way.

Lastly, to myself:

Keep giving into that passion. Every year I come through with more skills than previously, and it’s only making me better. I have no certifications worth mentioning nor do I frequent regularly frequent conferences. CCDC is my venue to give back to those who have made me better. I have to give a huge thanks to my employer Lares Consulting for all their contributions to me and CCDC as well. Chris and others have been strong supporters of CCDC events both regionally and nationally. Without question, they supported my desire to contribute as much as I could because they have recognized the theme of this post: passion. These are the most passionate group of people I’ve ever worked with and I couldn’t be happier.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to work with them today if it wasn’t for a CCDC event four years ago.

 

And that concludes the 2014 CCDC season. Congratulations to University of Central Florida on your win, and huge kudos to everyone else involved. Time for me to go back to the drawing board and begin cooking up new ideas for next year.

Times to Let Pass

In the last six months, my two remaining grandparents, my dad’s dad, and my mom’s mom, have passed away. Both of them were fantastic individuals, dedicated to their families. They couldn’t have been more opposite if they tried. Grandpa “Buzz” was a scholastic enthusiast, constantly pushing everyone around him to learn more. “Mimi” was the epitome of the “Southern Belle”, a classic woman born and raised in Alabama who’s spirit was always vibrant. One would feed me books, the other, biscuits and gravy. Their presence in my life now forever seared into my memory. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

In a few months, I’ll hit 25 in age. According to Wikipedia, life expectancy in the US is a little over 77 years old. Take that down to 75 to account for my less than acceptable habits, and I’ve just marked the first third of my life complete. The three generations I grew up with has now reduced down to two.

The question I keep pondering is by what metric is our satisfaction derived from? Accomplishments? Experiences? Financial stability? I think it’s obvious that each of us has to figure that out for ourselves, but do we really contemplate it? Nevertheless act upon its guidance.

I don’t think I’ve figured out my answer yet. It could be something that evolves or that you constantly chase? It’s a question to at least try and get out in front of.

As I sat next to Mimi on her final days, it became clear to me that when you find yourself approaching deaths doorstep, finding salvation might be the most important thing. That salvation isn’t simply a religious experience, although I don’t deny it is the most critical part to some. I put myself in her shoes over and over again. “What would I tell myself? How would I come to terms with the situation?” She loved her life, just as I do. Putting the macho-ness of our masculine society in it’s place for a moment, I’m going to say that I believe the vast majority of us aren’t prepared for that reality. Witnessing someone else I deeply loved and cared for go through that was a wake up call for me.

I’ve made the choice to live a life of broad experiences. As I passively survey my Facebook friends I grew up with, it becomes clear I’ve taken the plunge out of the nest of normality. That’s not to say I’m doing better or worse than others – it just happened to be the decision I made. Look at the United States in the late 1700s. Much of the country continued to develop along the eastern seaboard while others, for whatever their reasoning was, moved west into the unknown. Regardless of the motivation, I deeply understand that thirst.

As the last 25 years has been one hell of a ride, I now look to the future. My salvation lies in that quest to charter the unknown, to brave the storm, and come out on the other side into the oasis untraveled. The wilderness is calling. Time to do what I do best.

Stay tuned for future updates.

CCDC 2013 Red Team Feedback

Thanks to the efforts of so many people, we’ve finished another great Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition season. I was fortunate to be invited to take part of the Western Regional and National red team. Being a former blue teamer, I thought it’d be worthwhile to share some feedback from my red team point of view. While related to CCDC, many of these points have been valuable for me in the work place.

Disclosure: My attacks targeted *nix systems, as well as web and databases, so my feedback will be scoped as such. The principles though should apply across the board.

Good Operations are a MUST

Any time I’m at a USCC or CCDC event, I ask the competitors about what they want to do. The most common answer I get is “I want to do penetration testing” or some other form of “offensive” security. While I don’t deny it’s a fun area within security, the parity of offensive and defensive skills cannot be underestimated. If you want to attack a network, show me you can defend one. Period. So how do you do that at CCDC?

When I was on blue team, I debated with others whether it was more valuable to be good at security or good at systems administration. Having now gone out into the field and worked as both an operations and a security person, I think I’ve settled on a conclusion.

They are symbiotic, and without one, the other WILL struggle.

You should practice being an operator of systems. Run linux at home. Use it. I can’t tell you how many times at CCDC I’ve watched a blue teamer Google search (while we watch through VNC) something like:

- How to reset MySQL password
- How to stop a service on Fedora
- How to install a package on FreeBSD

If you find yourself doing this, then you need to spend more time learning how common operating systems and network services work. To secure a system, you’ll have to know how that system works. You’ll never be effective until you do. Here is a short list you should know how to do without Googling on multiple OSes:

- OS User Administration: Users, Groups, Sudo, Permissions, Change Passwords
- Remote Access: OpenSSH Server, FTPd, VNC/RDP, Define ACLs
- Database Access Control: Change Passwords, Set Host Masks, Investigate possible PII

You should know how to use operating systems just as you know how to use Facebook or your cell phone. Which brings me to my next point:

Please, know how to use logs.

Since I started red teaming, I hear blue teams talking about rumors of kernel rootkits or “0day” that the red team has deployed. While complex attacks like that can happen, there is absolutely no need for me to use it if I can just log in via SSH as root with a default password. Carl, a fellow red teamer, put it best:

“Why would I waste valuable time packing malware in a way that won’t get detected if blue teams aren’t going to install anti-virus anyway?”

At both Regionals and Nationals, I start by leaving breadcrumbs of my access on a system. If you catch it, I know I need to cover all my tracks, but if you don’t, hell, I won’t waste my time. This is one of the key areas where good operations will create the foundation for good security.  Knowing where the important logs are on a system are and how to tail and search them is going to determine whether you retain ownership of your server or I claim it as my prize and eat popcorn while watching you Google.

You can do this in several ways. You can get fancy and use Splunk (free trial available) or simply use some tail -f log | grep. With these skills, you’ll be able to identify breaches more rapidly and begin the proper incident response process to fix the problem. Which is another great segway into my final point:

Think twice before killing my shell.

When you see (where root is not you):

alex@ccdc-test-1:~$ who
alex pts/0 2013-04-23 18:24 (192.168.1.1)
root pts/1 2013-04-23 17:14 (192.168.1.129)
alex@ccdc-test-1:~$

Figure out how root got access before killing his shell. This gets brought up every red team debrief, but I cannot stress this enough. I know the feeling. I was blue team once. When you know that red team is on the other end of a keyboard logged into your box, you want nothing more than to fix the situation, you panic and overreact. In that moment, you need to rely on your operations skill and do quality incident response. The basic incident response process should look like this:

  1. Gather Information: Figure out what is going on, gather evidence from multiple sources
  2. Create Hypothesis Based on Information: Now you have a global view of whats going on
  3. Determine Remediation Steps: Note Plural. If this comes out to be “Kill The Process” or “Kick Him Out!” then you’ve failed this step. Make this technically detailed. It should be supported by your evidence and hypothesis.
  4. Execute Plan: Now you act.
  5. Detail Report: If you’ve followed steps 1-4, you’ll have already done the work to submit quality incident reports to the white team. Every point counts and following this process will help ensure you get something for the inevitable breach.

Conclusion

Whether for CCDC or work, these points will make you a better security professional. I don’t care if you’re interested in offensive or defensive security, your operations kung fu will be a valuable asset to you and your team.

For all the competitors this year, great work. Regardless of winning, simply competing is experience that you will use for a lifetime and thats worth more than any medal or award. I do want to extend a special congratulations to my old school RIT for taking home the Cup. Feel free to join myself and others in the #ccdc channel inside Freenode. This is a great community and I’m proud to be a part of it.

$ ssh 2014.ccdc
$ /etc/init.d/planning start

The Biggest Need in Cyber Security

After seeing this come across my news feed and several people comment on it, I thought I’d dump some thoughts. Maybe someday I’ll collect this into a more coherent editorial, but for now this will have to do (lots of code to write, haha).

Basically, if you didn’t read the article, the White House Military Office had a piece of malware installed on it through a spear-phishing attack. Someone clicked on a link in an email that infected their system. The White House has confirmed it, but also confirmed what I suspected – it was on a declassified civilian network and not the ones with the “nuclear codes” or other top secret information. And while everyone freaks out over this, I’d like to present some thoughts on why the WHMO hack is less important than you think, and this other problem is far more urgent than anyone, IT professional or otherwise, realizes.

My biggest fear is not that the US Government is going to get hacked and a nuclear weapon is going to be launched. What keeps me up at night is the fact that hundreds of thousands of US businesses don’t maintain any sort of security in their computer systems. Estimates have put the figure as high as 85% of small to medium businesses are not doing enough to secure themselves and are therefore vulnerable. Their failures are not negligence either. Technology has progressed at such a high rate, the systems administrators have hardly been able to keep up. Information Security used to be a job that could be managed by the administrators, now it’s such a complex science(see: art) that you need highly specialized people just to meet requirements. This is a very hard subjects for Republicans and Democrats alike. Democrats cry out for regulation. Republicans cry out for defense spending.

Here’s the problem with both: there is no where near the resources needed to do either. Same with Republican defense spending. You can give the DoD all the money in the world or regulate all you’d like, we simply don’t have the human capital to protect the countless computer networks our world has grown to rely on. Half the reason US Government networks are insecure is the man power. Regulation auditors or Cyber “forces”. Take your pick, the skill sets required for each are very similar.

And the estimates right now for human capital say we need 10,000 top tier cyber experts immediately and another 30,000 over the next 5 years. Currently, it’s estimated that there are less than 1000 people in the United States with enough skill to be effective. The Chinese can hammer our government networks all they’d like. They do, but don’t get far. Trust me.  I’ve worked closely with several people on this problem. Alan Paller, Chair and Director on Board, at the SANS Institute as well as Karen Evans, Former CIO of the United States under President Bush, have both extensively researched this lack. Here’s a paper delivered to President Obama in November 2010 outlining this issue.

Hackers also hammer any business they can in the United States, with most small businesses completely oblivious to their penetration. They infiltration, they steal – and usually not money, mostly intellectual property – and they spread. They maintain a low profile and most anti-virus that even up to date won’t protect against it. Good luck having your contract IT worker cleaning them out. As the young generation grows up learning technology, it becomes taking candy from a baby to do these things. If Sony’s breach showed us anything, it was that even the biggest companies are extremely vulnerable. And the best hackers? You never hear about their work. That’s how good they are.

It’s these businesses that are being hurt, and in turn our economy, by this cyber “war”. Being part of that elite 1000 has motivated me to attempt to grow the size. Although I’m blessed with some of the best job security of any career field in the world right now, it pains me to see us losing this fight. I have dedicated a substantial amount of my time to volunteer high school and college programs geared towards training and identifying the best young cyber talent in the country and put it on a path to an effective career. So far in the US Cyber Challenge (USCC), we have brought through over 1000 competitors nationally who have shown potential in the cyber field and gotten them in better training programs.

How do I know these programs work? I was one of them. I came through the US Cyber Challenge in the Summer of 2010. I’ve since dedicated as much time to them outside of work as possible. I also have strongly supported the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC). I was a competitor throughout my time as a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology and also as a volunteer red teamer, both regionally and nationally. CCDC now has over 100 schools competing in a national bracket. It is truly the NCAA of cyber security. Dwayne Williams and his staff are the best in class for competitive cyber security.

The biggest gap in security we have is security education. And as much as I have spoken about above, there is still a huge need.

  • We need to find and groom the best young talent to increase the work force.
  • We need to re-tool our current IT work force with more security knowledge that they can apply to their jobs.
  • We need to bring security into the mainstream. Typing classes are nice, but with kids sitting behind screens from such young ages, it’s important that we train all youth in good cyber “hygiene”.

Wherever you fall in those three points, make a difference. The safety of our digital world depend on it.

Romney Video Exposes More Finance Collusion

In case you haven’t seen, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney likes to have big fancy dinners, reportedly bringing in $40,000 a head. In these private good-ole-boys club meetings, he likes to show his true form. Many secret videos of him are taken. Check them out if you haven’t seen them here.

What has now come to light is the identity of who owns the estate this party is held at. A gentleman by the name of Marc Leder. Marc has been a long time friend of Mitt. But here’s some more interesting facts.

Looking back at the analysis I did, we’re able to see Marc’s name actually show up as someone who gave $225,000 to Romney’s main SuperPAC (who’s run by former Romney aides).

Not that I think they’re any good in the first place, but aren’t SuperPAC’s suppose to run independent of Presidential Campaigns?

My two cents on this matter.

Undressing Mitt Romney’s Super Friends with Ruby

With the new campaign finance laws, it seems we’re experiencing a whole new election. Negative campaign ads are rampent, being run by these “SuperPACs”. The candidates claim these are independent of their campaigns, so I dug into a wonderful New York Times website dedicated to campaign finance to see if there was anything interesting.

On the NYT website, they show the SuperPACs and what their putting their money into. Namely, attacking the opponent or supporting the candidate. I’m interested in the attacking the opponent figures, as this seems to be the dirtiest tricks in the book.

Here are the top four SuperPACs attacking the other candidate totaled:

Supporting Obama, Attacking Romney (in millions)

24.5m (Priorities USA Action)
 2.4m (SEIU COPE)
 0.7m (MoveOn.org Political Action)
 0.6m (Service Employees International Union PEA Federal)
=====
28.2m Attacking Romney

Supporting Romney, Attacking Obama (in millions)

30.8m (Americans for Prosperity)
28.5m (Restore Our Future, Inc.)
24.2m (Republican National Committee)
15.9m (American Crossroads)
=====
99.4m Attacking Obama

What interesting numbers! The top two Republican SuperPACs have each spent more than the entire top Democratic SuperPACs, combined. For no other purpose than to attack the opponent. In total, the top Republican SuperPACs are spending 3.5 times more money attacking Obama than Democratic SuperPACs are to attack Romney.

The main Romney SuperPAC, Restore Our Future, Inc., was founded by Romney’s aides in 2010. Hell, they even have buttons for four, five, and even six figure donations on their website. Take a look for yourself:

The New York Times site actually lists the donors for this SuperPAC founded by Romney Aides. Let’s use Ruby to see what we can find out about these people. I’ve written a ruby script to scrape the site, parse the donors list, and print it to a readable format on the screen:

require 'mechanize'
url    = 'http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance/pac/restore-our-future'
scrape = Mechanize.new
page   = scrape.get(url)
donors = Array.new

page.parser.xpath('//ul[@class="donor-list"]/li').each do |donor|
  amount = donor.xpath('div[@class="amount"]').children.text.gsub(/\n/,'').strip
  name   = donor.xpath('div[@class="name"]').children.text.gsub(/\n/,'').strip
  blurb  = donor.xpath('div[@class="blurb"]').children.text.gsub(/\n/,'').strip
  donors << { :name     => name,
              :donation => amount,
              :about    => blurb
  }
end

def print_donor(donor)
  puts "%-43s | %10s | %s" % [ donor[:name] , donor[:donation] , donor[:about] ]
  puts "-" * 100
end

donors.each do |d|
  print_donor(d)
end

And now for the output:

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$ ruby get_donors.rb
Bob J. Perry                                |      $8.0m | Houston homebuilder who was a major financier of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004.
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Sheldon Adelson                             |      $5.0m | Billionaire casino owner and Newt Gingrich’s longtime friend and patron.
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Miriam Adelson                              |      $5.0m | Physician; wife of Sheldon Adelson.
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Oxbow Carbon LLC                            |      $1.8m | An oil and gas company based in West Palm Beach, Fla. It was founded by William Koch, the brother of David H. and Charles Koch, wealthy conservative businessmen and founders of Americans for Prosperity.
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Julian Robertson                            |      $1.2m | Founder of Tiger Management, a hedge fund.
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Kenneth C. Griffin                          |      $1.1m | Founder and chief executive of Citadel LLC.
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Richard Marriott                            |      $1.0m | Chairman of Host Hotels & Resorts. In 2010, Mr. Marriott and his wife gave Mr. Romney more than $200,000 through the state-based affiliates of Mr. Romney's federal PAC, Free and Strong America.
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Rocco Ortenzio                              |      $1.0m | Pennsylvania health care executive.
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Rooney Holdings Inc.                        |      $1.0m | Private investment firm based in Tulsa, Okla. Its chief executive is Francis Rooney, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.
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John Kleinheinz                             |      $1.0m | Founder of hedge fund Kleinheinz Capital Partners.
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James S. Davis                              |      $1.0m | Chairman of New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.
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John Childs                                 |      $1.0m | Chairman and chief executive of J.W. Childs Associates, a private equity firm.
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Paul Singer                                 |      $1.0m | Manager of Elliot Associates hedge fund. Tried last year to recruit New Jeresey Gov. Chris Christie to run for president. He has given hundreds of thousands to fund state fights to legalize gay marriage.
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Steven Webster                              |      $1.0m | Co-managing partner and co-chief executive officer of Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
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Robert Mercer                               |      $1.0m | Co-chief executive at Renaissance Technologies Corp., a hedge fund company.
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Renco Group Inc.                            |      $1.0m | Privately held holding company whose investments include mining, jewelry and defense equipment firms.
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F8 LLC                                      |      $1.0m | Shares a Provo, Utah, address with Eli Publishing Inc., which leads to an accounting firm.
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Eli Publishing Inc.                         |      $1.0m | Connected to Steven J. Lund, a top executive at Nu Skin Enterprises.
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Huron Carbon LLC                            |      $1.0m | Shares a West Palm Beach, Fla addres with Oxbow Carbon, an oil and gas company founded by William Koch, who has been a donor to the super PAC.
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Melaleuca                                   |      $1.0m | An Idaho-based health and wellness products company; donations were made under the names of four associated companies.
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Robert T. Brockman                          |      $1.0m | Chairman and chief executive of Reynolds and Reynolds, maker of computer systems for auto dealerships.
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Larry H. Miller Group of Companies          |   $987,000 | Located in Sandy, Utah.
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Harold Hamm                                 |   $985,000 | Chief executive of Continental Resources, an Oklahoma oil company.
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Lawrence Finch                              |   $850,000 | Wyoming private investor.
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Harold Simmons                              |   $800,000 | Dallas billionaire who was among the top donors to Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.
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Chris W. Shumway                            |   $750,000 | Founder and chief executive of Shumway Capital Investments and protege of Julian Robertson.
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Crow Holdings, LLC                          |   $650,000 | A real estate investment firm headed by the Trammell Crow family of Dallas.
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David Humphreys                             |   $500,000 | President and chief executive of TAMKO Building Products, based in Joplin, Mo.
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Paul Edgerley                               |   $500,000 | Managing director at Bain Capital. Married to Sandra Edgerley.
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Sandra Edgerley                             |   $500,000 | Worked at Bain & Company, a consulting company founded by Bill Bain, for 10 years. Married to Paul Edgerley.
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Mike Fernandez                              |   $500,000 | Chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm.
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Bruce Kovner                                |   $500,000 | Founder of Caxton Associates, a hedge fund.
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Grace Evenstad                              |   $500,000 | Owner of Oregon winery Domaine Serene.
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Sarah Atkins                                |   $500,000 | A director at TAMKO Building Products, a Missouri roofing manufacturer.
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Warren Stephens                             |   $500,000 | Owner of Arkansas investment bank Stephens Inc.
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Louis Moore Bacon                           |   $500,000 | Founder of Moore Capital. Topped a British list of the richest hedge fund managers in 2010.
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MBF Family Investments                      |   $500,000 | Connected to Mike Fernandez, whose private equity firm, MBF Healthcare Partners, shares the same address. The news media in Florida reported that this investment group gave $250,000 to Rick Scott in 2010 for his gubernatorial campaign.
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Bill Marriott                               |   $500,000 | Chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International.
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Geoff Palmer                                |   $500,000 | A Los Angeles real-estate developer. His company, G.H. Palmer Associates, also contributed in 2011.
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David Lisonbee                              |   $500,000 | Founder of a 4Life Research, a Utah vitamin supplements company
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A. Jerrold Perenchio                        |   $500,000 | Billionaire and former chairman of Univision.
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Stephen Zide                                |   $500,000 | A managing director of Bain Capital since 2001 and a member of the firm since 1997.
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Joseph W. Craft                             |   $500,000 | President and chief executive of Alliance Holdings, a coal producer.
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Trammell S. Crow                            |   $500,000 | President of Crow Family Foundation and former real estate developer.
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Mercury Trust                               |   $425,000 | An affiliate of Fox Paine and Company, a California-based buyout firm, run by Saul Fox.
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Kevin Rollins                               |   $375,000 | Senior advisor at TPA Private Equity.
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David Tepper                                |   $375,000 | President of Appaloosa Management, a hedge fund.
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Robert Pence                                |   $350,000 | President of The Pence Group Inc., a real estate development company based in McLean, Va.
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Philip H. Geier                             |   $350,000 | Founder of the Geier Group, a marketing and communications consulting firm. Chairman and chief executive officer of Interpublic, a global advertising and marketing services company, from 1977 to 2000.
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Renee B. Morse                              |   $350,000 | Owner of The Villages retirement community and corporation.
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William Keough                              |   $300,000 | President and chief executive of Michigan-based Atmosphere Group Inc.
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Darlene Jordan                              |   $300,000 | Palm Beach, Fla., attorney.
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W/F Investment Corp.                        |   $275,000 | Private equity firm.
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Janet J. Duchossois                         |   $250,000 | Oak Brook, Ill.
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William Koch                                |   $250,000 | Founder and leader of Oxbow Group, a private energy company. He is a brother of Charles G. and David H. Koch, the secretive billionaire businessmen who have contributed significant sums to conservative causes. Over a decade ago, he accused Charles and David of cheating him in a business deal and sued them for $2 billion.
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Jenzabar Inc.                               |   $250,000 | A software company. Its chief executive is Robert A. Maginn Jr., the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, the finance co-chairman of Mr. Romney's last presidential campaign and a former senior partner and director at Bain & Company.
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Paumanok Partners LLC                       |   $250,000 | Located in New Canaan, Conn. and linked to William Laverack Jr., chairman and chief executive of Laverack Capital Partners.
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Robert C. Wetenhall                         |   $250,000 | Chairman of McConnell Wetenhall Co., Inc.
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Paul Fireman                                |   $250,000 | Chairman of Fireman Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
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Leslie H. Wexner                            |   $250,000 | Founder and chairman of the Limited Inc., the apparel retailer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Connaughton                            |   $250,000 | Joined Bain Capital in 1989. Has been a managing director since 1997.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fair Oaks Finance, LLC                      |   $250,000 | Hamilton, Mont. firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Domenic Ferrante                            |   $250,000 | Joined Bain Capital in 1993. Currently a managing director.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Baxter Gilliam                      |   $250,000 | Founder of Cumberland Reources
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Villages of Lake Sumter Inc.            |   $250,000 | Retirement community in Florida.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
William Laverack Jr.                        |   $250,000 | Founder of Laverack Capital Partners, an investment firm. Mr. Laverack has also been linked to a 2011 contribution to the super PAC by Paumanok Partners LLC.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Mugar                                 |   $250,000 | New England businessman and chief executive of Mugar Enterprises.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeffrey Sprecher                            |   $230,000 | Chairman and chief executive of IntercontinentalExchange, a financial firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marc Leder                                  |   $225,000 | Co-chief executive of Sun Capital Advisers.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rodger Krouse                               |   $225,000 | Co-chief executive of Sun Capital Advisers.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Susan Groff                                 |   $225,000 | Co-owner of Northwest Excavating.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alice Walton                                |   $200,000 | Daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gerald Jordan                               |   $200,000 | Chairman of Hellman, Jordan Management Co.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Tudor Jones                            |   $200,000 | Connecticut billionaire who is chairman and chief executive of Tudor Investment Corporation.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Betty Brown Casey                           |   $200,000 | Philanthropist and president of Casey Management, Inc.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trott and Trott PC                          |   $200,000 | A Michigan firm that provides services to the real estate industry, including foreclosure services.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Walton                                  |   $200,000 | Chairman and chief executive of Arvest Bank Group and son of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rod Aycox                                   |   $200,000 | Owner and president of Select Management Resource.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Samuel Zell                                 |   $180,000 | Founder of Equity International; chairman and chief executive of the Tribune Company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
S. Craig Lindner                            |   $150,000 |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consol Energy, Inc.                         |   $150,000 | Pennsylvania-based energy company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Carl Lindner III                            |   $150,000 | Co-chief executive, American Financial Group.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edyth Lindner                               |   $150,000 |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Keith Lindner                               |   $150,000 |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harlan R. Crow                              |   $150,000 | Dallas-based real estate investor.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Rosenkranz                           |   $150,000 | Chief executive of Delphi Financial, an insurance company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
William Templeton                           |   $150,000 | Dallas investor.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Debra Rollins                               |   $125,000 | Homemaker.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Gaby                                |   $125,000 | Trustee of the Richard and Barbara Gaby Foundation; husband of Barb Van Andel-Gaby, a trustee of the Heritage Foundation and daughter of the late Jay Van Andel, co-founder of Amway.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charles Schwab                              |   $125,000 | Founder and chairman of The Charles Schwab Corp., a brokerage firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Helen Schwab                                |   $125,000 | Investor; wife of Charles Schwab.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Muneer Satter                               |   $120,000 | Investment banker at Goldman Sachs.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Select Management Resources, LLC            |   $100,000 | Alpharetta, Ga.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alexander Navab                             |   $100,000 | Partner at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Rod and Leslie Aycox Foundation Inc.    |   $100,000 | Alpharetta, Ga.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Reynolds                             |   $100,000 | Chief executive of Putman Investments.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas O'Malley                             |   $100,000 | Chairman of PBF Energy.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Ricketts                                |   $100,000 | Founder of brokerage TD Ameritrade and owner of Chicago Cubs baseball team.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Wilson                                |   $100,000 | California automobile dealer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meg Whitman                                 |   $100,000 | Chief executive of Hewlett-Packard.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PVS Chemicals Inc.                          |   $100,000 | Detroit-based chemical company. James B. Nicholson is the president and chief executive.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2GIG Technologies                           |   $100,000 | Home security company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trevor D. Rees-Jones                        |   $100,000 | Oil magnate and high-profile donor to American Crossroads, the influential Republican super PAC.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dale Rogers                                 |   $100,000 | Chief executive, Rogers Wealth Group, Inc.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eric Varvel                                 |   $100,000 | Chief operating officer of investment banking at Credit Suisse.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nicholas Rosenkranz                         |   $100,000 | Law professor at Georgetown University; son of Robert Rosenkranz.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert B. Rowling                           |   $100,000 | A Texas billionaire whose TRT Holdings owns Omni Hotels and Gold's Gym.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Raymond Ruddy                               |   $100,000 | Founder of the Gerard Health Foundation, a pro-life charity, and former president of the Maximus Consulting Group, a health and human services government contractor.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joel Peterson                               |   $100,000 | Founding partner at Peterson Partners, a Utah investment firm, and chairman of JetBlue Airways.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edward D. Smith                             |   $100,000 | Partner at Smith-Christensen Enterprises.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mischer Investments L.P.                    |   $100,000 | Real estate development company; managing partner is Walter M. Mischer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Howard Cox                                  |   $100,000 | Retired.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John C. Cushman III                         |   $100,000 | Chairman of Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steven Dodge                                |   $100,000 | Real estate developer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Johanna Howard                              |   $100,000 | Daughter of Philip H. Geier, founder of the Geier Group consulting firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alan Fournier                               |   $100,000 | Founder of Pennant Capital Management, a hedge fund.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeffrey Fox                                 |   $100,000 | Chief executive of Harbour Group.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marilyn Fox                                 |   $100,000 | St. Louis, Mo. homemaker; wife of businessman Sam Fox. Along with her husband, she was appointed by George W. Bush to a delegation to Jerusalem in 2008.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Griffith Harsh IV                           |   $100,000 | Stanford University neurosurgeon, married to Meg Whitman.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sam Fox                                     |   $100,000 | Founder of Harbour Group.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C. Boyden Gray                              |   $100,000 | Washington lawyer, former diplomat and White House counsel in the first Bush administration.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Foster S. Friess                            |   $100,000 | Wealthy mutual fund manager who supports Christian and conservative causes. Major investor in the Daily Caller news website led by Tucker Carlson.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Howard Groff                                |   $100,000 | Co-owner of Northwest Excavating.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Henry R. Kravis                             |   $100,000 | Co-chairman of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John A. Griffin                             |   $100,000 | President of Blue Ridge Capital
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marc Andreessen                             |   $100,000 | Venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz; co-founder of Netscape.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Douglas Berthiaume                          |   $100,000 | Chief executive at Waters Corporation.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
W. Ed Bosarge                               |   $100,000 | Houston-based investor and owner of Quantlab Financial.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gregory Maffei                              |   $100,000 | President and chief executive of Liberty Media, a media conglomerate whose investments include Starz Entertainment, the home shopping channel QVC and the Atlanta Braves baseball team.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew Puzder                               |   $100,000 | Chief executive of CKE Restaurants.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dick W. Boyce                               |   $100,000 | Partner at TPG Capital, a private equity firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kelly Loeffler                              |   $100,000 | Vice president at IntercontinentalExchange, a financial firm; part-owner of the Atlanta Dream women's basketball team.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Howard Leach                                |   $100,000 | San Francisco-based businessman and private investor. Former U.S. Ambassador to France.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jack E. Caveney                             |   $100,000 | Retired chariman of Panduit Corp., an electrical components company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Donavan                               |    $95,000 | Investment banker at Goldman Sachs.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kristen H. Hertel                           |    $95,000 | Winnetka, Ill.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apollo Group                                |    $75,000 | For-profit education corporation that operates several institutions, including the University of Phoenix.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marc  Rowan                                 |    $60,000 | Investment professional at Apollo Management.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Herbert Siegel                              |    $50,000 | Retired media investor, New York.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Click                                   |    $50,000 | Arizona car dealer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jeremy Andrus                               |    $50,000 | Chief executive & president of Skullcandy, a company that makes headphones.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Walter Schlaepfer                           |    $50,000 | Financial adviser at Merrill Lynch.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wendt Family Trust                          |    $50,000 | Located in San Francisco.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marc Stern                                  |    $50,000 | Vice chairman and chief executive of TCW, an investment firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Cowden                                |    $50,000 | San Antonio, Tex. Investor.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph H. Davenport III                     |    $50,000 | President, Pointer Management Co.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harold Brierley                             |    $50,000 | Chairman of Brierley & Partners, a Dallas customer service consulting firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John Chambers                               |    $50,000 | Chairman and chief executive of Cisco Systems, Inc.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dell Loy Hansen                             |    $50,000 | President of Utah-based Wasatch Property Management.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amy Nelson                                  |    $50,000 | Homemaker.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
James W. Heavener                           |    $50,000 | Chief executive of the Heavener Group.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
James Madden                                |    $50,000 | Founder and managing partner of Madden Capital Partners.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael  Hayde                              |    $50,000 | Chief executive officer of Western Group, a privately-held apartment owner/developer company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fred Sands                                  |    $50,000 | Chairman of Vintage Capital Group, an investment firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Red River Resources, Inc.                   |    $50,000 | Phoenix, Ariz. The Arizona Corporation Commission lists the President as Scott Eller, of Eller Media Co.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Donald K. Miller                            |    $50,000 | Asset manager at Axiom International Investor.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lee Hanley                                  |    $50,000 | Chairman and chief executive of Vestar, a Phoenix real estate development company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marc Lipshultz                              |    $50,000 | Partner at private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Christopher Stadler                         |    $40,000 | Managing partner of CVC Capital Partners, an investment firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jones Management Services                   |    $35,000 | Represents several businesses, including payday advance companies.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Donald Foss                                 |    $35,000 | Executive chairman of Credit Acceptance, an automotive finance company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Katsum LLC                                  |    $35,000 | The Washington Secretary of State lists the company's governing persons as Dennis and David Bassford, co-founders of Moneytree, a provider of payday loans and check cashing services.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Axcess Financial Services                   |    $35,000 | Ohio-based firm that owns check cashing, payday loan and other financial service companies.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Community Choice Financial, Inc.            |    $30,000 | Ohio-based company providing alternative banking services including check cashing and payday loans.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Christopher Landry                          |    $28,000 | Investment managing partner, TA Associates Management.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Tuttle                               |    $27,000 | Beverly Hills car dealer.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rodger P. Nordblom                          |    $25,000 | Chairman, Nordblom Company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Norman Worthington                          |    $25,000 | Florida investor and businessman.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Zecchi                                 |    $25,000 | President and chief executive, Central Resources.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith 2012 Committee  |    $25,000 |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Zorich                                  |    $25,000 | Managing partner, Encap Investments LP.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
William Walton III                          |    $25,000 | Florida real estate investor.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Advance America                             |    $25,000 | Payday loan company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Katherine Alden                             |    $25,000 | Owner of Woodside Hotels in California.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas Mulroy                               |    $25,000 | Chief executive, T-Rex Capital Group.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert McCormack                            |    $25,000 | Retired.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
David Liptak                                |    $25,000 | Founder and managing partner at Spring Street Partners, a New York investment firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charles Cahill                              |    $25,000 |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brent Beesley                               |    $25,000 | Chief executive, Heritage Bank.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Palandjian                            |    $25,000 | Chairman and chief executive of Intercontinental, a real estate investment management firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alan Dreeben                                |    $25,000 | A wine and beverage distributor. Rick Perry named him a regent for the Texas State University System.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Congel                                |    $25,000 | Real estate developer, SRC Development Group.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Frederic Hamilton                           |    $25,000 | Chairman at managing partner at the Hamilton Companies.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sierra Advisors                             |    $25,000 | A Houston entity linked to Ralph Eads, vice chairman at Jeffries & Co., an investment bank, who has contributed to the Romney campaign and focuses on the energy sector.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ronald Gidwitz                              |    $25,000 | Partner, GCG Partners.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Warren Smith                                |    $25,000 | Investment manager, Staley Capital.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Sperling                              |    $25,000 | Money manager, Thomas H. Lee Partners.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Rutherfoord                             |    $25,000 | Chairman and chief executive of Rutherfoord, an insurance company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Groff Family Trust                          |    $25,000 | Trust that shares an address with Howard and Susan Groff, owners of Northwest Excavating.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Charles Stoddard                            |    $25,000 | Hickory Corners, Mich. Retired founder of Grand Bank and Grand Angels, an investment firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Donald R. Tapia                             |    $25,000 | Retired.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HBI Financial, Inc.                         |    $25,000 | The Washington Secretary of State lists the company's president as George Argyros, a real estate investor and former U.S. Ambassador to Spain.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Thompson                             |    $25,000 |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
William M. Isaac                            |    $25,000 | Senior managing director, FTI Consulting.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Frank Kavanaugh                             |    $25,000 | A managing director at Fort Ashford Holdings, a private equity firm.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boyd Smith                                  |    $25,000 | Partner at WSJ Properties.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
J. Wayne Weaver                             |    $25,000 | Shoe store chain owner and former owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars professional football team.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
QC Holdings, Inc.                           |    $25,000 | Kansas-based payday loan company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amin Khoury                                 |    $25,000 | Chief executive, B/E Aerospace, Inc.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Warren Schwerin                             |    $25,000 | Retired chief executive of Related Properties, a real estate development company.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well that’s pretty sweet. Let’s see if we can start searching for things. Why don’t we pipe this to grep and see what comes up for the term “Bain”.

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$ ruby get_donors.rb | grep "Bain"
Paul Edgerley                               |   $500,000 | Managing director at Bain Capital. Married to Sandra Edgerley.
Sandra Edgerley                             |   $500,000 | Worked at Bain & Company, a consulting company founded by Bill Bain, for 10 years. Married to Paul Edgerley.
Stephen Zide                                |   $500,000 | A managing director of Bain Capital since 2001 and a member of the firm since 1997.
Jenzabar Inc.                               |   $250,000 | A software company. Its chief executive is Robert A. Maginn Jr., the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, the finance co-chairman of Mr. Romney's last presidential campaign and a former senior partner and director at Bain & Company.
John Connaughton                            |   $250,000 | Joined Bain Capital in 1989. Has been a managing director since 1997.
Domenic Ferrante                            |   $250,000 | Joined Bain Capital in 1993. Currently a managing director.
Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$

Hrm…For a SuperPAC that is suppose to be independent of candidate Mitt Romney, those people seem to have fairly close ties to him. Why don’t we use some Bash pipe magic and total those donation figures.

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$ ruby get_donors.rb | grep "Bain" | cut -d'|' -f2 | sed 's/,//; s/\$//; s/^   //; s/\s$//; s/\.//;' | ruby -e 'puts STDIN.readlines.map{|n|Integer(n.gsub("m","0"*5).strip)}.inject(:+).to_s.reverse.gsub(%r{([0-9]{3}(?=([0-9])))},"\\1,").reverse.prepend("$")'
$2,250,000
Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$

Bain Capital (the place where Romney made all his money) has given $2,250,000 to Romney’s closest SuperPAC. And that’s just one SuperPAC. Remember how many there are? The New York Times isn’t listing donors, but I’d love to correlate these.

Why don’t we look at who else is contributing to Anti-Obama rhetoric in favor of a President Romney? What about if we searched for a series of terms – why not “capital”, “invest”, “fund”, “hedge”, “equity”, “partner”, “money”, “bank”, and “accounting”. Let’s see how much the financial industry, one Romney has been intimate with, has given this smear campaign.

NOTE: I’ve put the grep command into “search.sh” and I’ve put the sum commands into “sum.sh”.

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$ ruby get_donors.rb | ./search.sh
Julian Robertson                            |      $1.2m | Founder of Tiger Management, a hedge fund.
Rooney Holdings Inc.                        |      $1.0m | Private investment firm based in Tulsa, Okla. Its chief executive is Francis Rooney, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.
John Kleinheinz                             |      $1.0m | Founder of hedge fund Kleinheinz Capital Partners.
John Childs                                 |      $1.0m | Chairman and chief executive of J.W. Childs Associates, a private equity firm.
Paul Singer                                 |      $1.0m | Manager of Elliot Associates hedge fund. Tried last year to recruit New Jeresey Gov. Chris Christie to run for president. He has given hundreds of thousands to fund state fights to legalize gay marriage.
Steven Webster                              |      $1.0m | Co-managing partner and co-chief executive officer of Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
Robert Mercer                               |      $1.0m | Co-chief executive at Renaissance Technologies Corp., a hedge fund company.
Renco Group Inc.                            |      $1.0m | Privately held holding company whose investments include mining, jewelry and defense equipment firms.
F8 LLC                                      |      $1.0m | Shares a Provo, Utah, address with Eli Publishing Inc., which leads to an accounting firm.
Lawrence Finch                              |   $850,000 | Wyoming private investor.
Chris W. Shumway                            |   $750,000 | Founder and chief executive of Shumway Capital Investments and protege of Julian Robertson.
Crow Holdings, LLC                          |   $650,000 | A real estate investment firm headed by the Trammell Crow family of Dallas.
Paul Edgerley                               |   $500,000 | Managing director at Bain Capital. Married to Sandra Edgerley.
Mike Fernandez                              |   $500,000 | Chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm.
Bruce Kovner                                |   $500,000 | Founder of Caxton Associates, a hedge fund.
Warren Stephens                             |   $500,000 | Owner of Arkansas investment bank Stephens Inc.
Louis Moore Bacon                           |   $500,000 | Founder of Moore Capital. Topped a British list of the richest hedge fund managers in 2010.
MBF Family Investments                      |   $500,000 | Connected to Mike Fernandez, whose private equity firm, MBF Healthcare Partners, shares the same address. The news media in Florida reported that this investment group gave $250,000 to Rick Scott in 2010 for his gubernatorial campaign.
Stephen Zide                                |   $500,000 | A managing director of Bain Capital since 2001 and a member of the firm since 1997.
Kevin Rollins                               |   $375,000 | Senior advisor at TPA Private Equity.
David Tepper                                |   $375,000 | President of Appaloosa Management, a hedge fund.
W/F Investment Corp.                        |   $275,000 | Private equity firm.
Jenzabar Inc.                               |   $250,000 | A software company. Its chief executive is Robert A. Maginn Jr., the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, the finance co-chairman of Mr. Romney's last presidential campaign and a former senior partner and director at Bain & Company.
Paumanok Partners LLC                       |   $250,000 | Located in New Canaan, Conn. and linked to William Laverack Jr., chairman and chief executive of Laverack Capital Partners.
Paul Fireman                                |   $250,000 | Chairman of Fireman Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
John Connaughton                            |   $250,000 | Joined Bain Capital in 1989. Has been a managing director since 1997.
Domenic Ferrante                            |   $250,000 | Joined Bain Capital in 1993. Currently a managing director.
William Laverack Jr.                        |   $250,000 | Founder of Laverack Capital Partners, an investment firm. Mr. Laverack has also been linked to a 2011 contribution to the super PAC by Paumanok Partners LLC.
Marc Leder                                  |   $225,000 | Co-chief executive of Sun Capital Advisers.

Rodger Krouse                               |   $225,000 | Co-chief executive of Sun Capital Advisers.
Paul Tudor Jones                            |   $200,000 | Connecticut billionaire who is chairman and chief executive of Tudor Investment Corporation.
Jim Walton                                  |   $200,000 | Chairman and chief executive of Arvest Bank Group and son of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart.
Samuel Zell                                 |   $180,000 | Founder of Equity International; chairman and chief executive of the Tribune Company.
Harlan R. Crow                              |   $150,000 | Dallas-based real estate investor.
William Templeton                           |   $150,000 | Dallas investor.
Helen Schwab                                |   $125,000 | Investor; wife of Charles Schwab.
Muneer Satter                               |   $120,000 | Investment banker at Goldman Sachs.
Alexander Navab                             |   $100,000 | Partner at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Robert Reynolds                             |   $100,000 | Chief executive of Putman Investments.
Eric Varvel                                 |   $100,000 | Chief operating officer of investment banking at Credit Suisse.
Joel Peterson                               |   $100,000 | Founding partner at Peterson Partners, a Utah investment firm, and chairman of JetBlue Airways.
Edward D. Smith                             |   $100,000 | Partner at Smith-Christensen Enterprises.
Mischer Investments L.P.                    |   $100,000 | Real estate development company; managing partner is Walter M. Mischer.
Alan Fournier                               |   $100,000 | Founder of Pennant Capital Management, a hedge fund.
Foster S. Friess                            |   $100,000 | Wealthy mutual fund manager who supports Christian and conservative causes. Major investor in the Daily Caller news website led by Tucker Carlson.
Henry R. Kravis                             |   $100,000 | Co-chairman of private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
John A. Griffin                             |   $100,000 | President of Blue Ridge Capital
Marc Andreessen                             |   $100,000 | Venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz; co-founder of Netscape.
W. Ed Bosarge                               |   $100,000 | Houston-based investor and owner of Quantlab Financial.
Gregory Maffei                              |   $100,000 | President and chief executive of Liberty Media, a media conglomerate whose investments include Starz Entertainment, the home shopping channel QVC and the Atlanta Braves baseball team.
Dick W. Boyce                               |   $100,000 | Partner at TPG Capital, a private equity firm.
Howard Leach                                |   $100,000 | San Francisco-based businessman and private investor. Former U.S. Ambassador to France.
James Donavan                               |    $95,000 | Investment banker at Goldman Sachs.
Marc  Rowan                                 |    $60,000 | Investment professional at Apollo Management.
Herbert Siegel                              |    $50,000 | Retired media investor, New York.
Marc Stern                                  |    $50,000 | Vice chairman and chief executive of TCW, an investment firm.
James Cowden                                |    $50,000 | San Antonio, Tex. Investor.
Harold Brierley                             |    $50,000 | Chairman of Brierley & Partners, a Dallas customer service consulting firm.
James Madden                                |    $50,000 | Founder and managing partner of Madden Capital Partners.
Fred Sands                                  |    $50,000 | Chairman of Vintage Capital Group, an investment firm.
Donald K. Miller                            |    $50,000 | Asset manager at Axiom International Investor.
Marc Lipshultz                              |    $50,000 | Partner at private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Christopher Stadler                         |    $40,000 | Managing partner of CVC Capital Partners, an investment firm.
Katsum LLC                                  |    $35,000 | The Washington Secretary of State lists the company's governing persons as Dennis and David Bassford, co-founders of Moneytree, a provider of payday loans and check cashing services.
Community Choice Financial, Inc.            |    $30,000 | Ohio-based company providing alternative banking services including check cashing and payday loans.
Christopher Landry                          |    $28,000 | Investment managing partner, TA Associates Management.
Norman Worthington                          |    $25,000 | Florida investor and businessman.
Bob Zorich                                  |    $25,000 | Managing partner, Encap Investments LP.
William Walton III                          |    $25,000 | Florida real estate investor.
Thomas Mulroy                               |    $25,000 | Chief executive, T-Rex Capital Group.
David Liptak                                |    $25,000 | Founder and managing partner at Spring Street Partners, a New York investment firm.
Brent Beesley                               |    $25,000 | Chief executive, Heritage Bank.
Peter Palandjian                            |    $25,000 | Chairman and chief executive of Intercontinental, a real estate investment management firm.
Frederic Hamilton                           |    $25,000 | Chairman at managing partner at the Hamilton Companies.
Sierra Advisors                             |    $25,000 | A Houston entity linked to Ralph Eads, vice chairman at Jeffries & Co., an investment bank, who has contributed to the Romney campaign and focuses on the energy sector.
Ronald Gidwitz                              |    $25,000 | Partner, GCG Partners.
Warren Smith                                |    $25,000 | Investment manager, Staley Capital.
Scott Sperling                              |    $25,000 | Money manager, Thomas H. Lee Partners.
Charles Stoddard                            |    $25,000 | Hickory Corners, Mich. Retired founder of Grand Bank and Grand Angels, an investment firm.
HBI Financial, Inc.                         |    $25,000 | The Washington Secretary of State lists the company's president as George Argyros, a real estate investor and former U.S. Ambassador to Spain.
Frank Kavanaugh                             |    $25,000 | A managing director at Fort Ashford Holdings, a private equity firm.
Boyd Smith                                  |    $25,000 | Partner at WSJ Properties.
Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$

And here for the total:

Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$ ruby get_donors.rb | ./search.sh | ./sum.sh
$21,638,000
Alexs-MacBook-Pro:superpacr Alex$

Romney’s own industry has contributed over 75% of all the money going to Restore Our Future, Inc. Throw Sheldon Adelson (one of the top donors) out. The financial industry is powering this smear campaign against Obama.

I encourage every single person who sees a campaign ad to stop listening to this bullshit created by the Citizen’s United ruling.

You want to know the real reason why all these people are throwing money behind Romney? Real simple. Greed.

The wealthiest individuals in this country who value greed over patriotism are showing their stripes (or lack of). Politify is a beautifully created website illustrating each candidates proposals on federal budgeting (taxes, spending, etc.).

Romney gives an average tax break of $38,136 to the wealthiest 1%. The higher their salary, the bigger the tax break. Punch in numbers under the Personal page. You’ll see for yourself the amount of money the wealthiest people in this country are going to get in tax breaks, putting the burdon back on the middle class.

This is why you’re not getting my vote Mitt.

Concerning Blizzard and Diablo 3′s Disappointing Launch

Well it’s finally here. May 15th, 2012. Launch day for Diablo 3.

and….fail. Cannot connect to the game. One of several error screens. This is true for most people across the twittersphere and multitude of Skype and IRC channels I’m in.

Here’s what I want to know: How can a company with Blizzard’s resources, Diablo 3′s time, and Activision’s budgets flop a launch day this bad? I mean, they’ve had a beta test for over six months now. I’ve got a hypothesis. It’s in their IT Management’s “business” philosophy. Let’s break it down.

Typical IT management mindset is we should minimize cost by making the most out of the least amount of resources as possible. Too many unused resources and thats a waste, too few and you’re over utilized. This serves most IT budgets quite well. But you’re the IT manager at Blizzard trying to plan resource allocation for launch day. You’ve already benchmarked through the beta how much resources each user’s connection consumes (hopefully). Now you need to estimate how many people are going to try to connect at launch. So you look at historical data – Diablo II, WoW, Starcraft II, etc. and from there estimate a number. Then plan for that. There’s your IT Capacity Planning for a Diablo 3 launch.

I think it was done poorly, and here’s why.

Put that formula aside. Say you sold 1 million pre-release copies. History shows games like Diablo 3 make their money over time – the hardcore fans upfront, then popularity from those watching the hardcore fan generates post revenue buzz. (aka I play D3 for six months then introduce it to an unknowing friend). And now with the Auction House and other new features, I’m sure there will be additional revenue generated post launch. The point is, you don’t sell most of your licenses in a pre-release. But those pre-release licenses are your most important players (monetarily). Those are the most likely to purchase other things – expansion packs, DLC, etc. Making these customers happy should be your bottom line. Without them, you do not have the religious following for Diablo.

This is why capacity planning for a launch like Diablo 3 should have had much more importance put on it than it appears Blizzard did. Where is your cloud computing technology Blizzard? Capacity planning is not just in throwing more servers at it. You must build your server architectures to scale quickly and efficiently. Zynga’s Hybrid Cloud does this.

Here are some steps you can take to make sure your company doesn’t repeat something like this (and your fans aren’t blogging about you instead of using your product):

  • Build a platform that can automatically scale with demand
  • Write good horizontal scaling support into your application code
  • Make sure your IT department has the data center space (public / private cloud?) ready to meet the demand of the growth.

This is a great example of where a combination of good engineering and smart management can easily tackle a large and complex problem.

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