O So Connected


O So Connected

This diamond merchant has an eye for political deals.

By Jeanne Brokaw

#101 Maurice Tempelsman, 67, New York, N.Y. Party: D. $169,000 total contributions.

View Tempelsman’s itemized contributions.

Diamond broker Maurice Tempelsman is better recognized by the paparazzi than the populace. But less known than his role as the longtime companion of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is his reputation for high-level business diplomacy.

Since the 1950s, he has cultivated close relationships with leading statesmen from diamond-rich countries. He also counts many influential friends in Washington, and his staff has included a former CIA Africa division head.

Taking up his father’s New York diamond brokerage at an early age, the Belgian-born Tempelsman used Adlai Stevenson as a lawyer between Stevenson’s presidential bids. Through Stevenson, who as a supporter of African independence was immensely popular, Tempelsman gained valuable entrée to African nationalist circles just as independence movements were gaining momentum and unlocking old colonial grips on markets.

Still a Democratic donor by dint of cultural inertia, Tempelsman today has added things Russian to his interests. Last summer the Journal of Commerce reported that he had persuaded the U.S. Export-Import Bank to back a $54.5 million loan to a business partner who is Russia’s chief diamond miner.

As usual, his connections are flawless.

Next Profile | MoJo 400 Central

 

The 400 List:

Browse
The full Mother Jones 400 list.

Profiles
Meet the people with political pull.

 

Searches:

Individuals
Search the top 400 political donors by name, industry, state, or contribution amount.

Itemized Contributions
The details of every donation, searchable by donor, recipient, date, amount, and more.

 

Discuss:

Money & Politics
Is campaign finance reform the way to a better government?

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate