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OPIC-backed investments are shrouded in secrecy — and for good reason: Many of the funds appear to be cash cows for the politically well-connected. A look at the people who run them reveals a high-finance jobs program for Washington players, including a former speechwriter, a campaign manager, and a White House staffer. And, of course, big political contributors are well-represented.

Dirk Ziff is co-chair of Ziff Bros. Investments, which manages a $150 million South Asia fund that received OPIC loan guarantees. Ziff, a prominent Democratic donor, was No. 6 on the Mother Jones 400.

John Lugar is Sen. Richard Lugar’s (R-Ind.) son. His South America Private Equity fund, which has received $100 million in loan guarantees from OPIC, stopped accepting investments in 1995.

Bernard Aronson is chairman of ACON Investments, which runs the OPIC-supported Newbridge Andean fund. He was an assistant secretary of state under Bush and a speechwriter for Carter.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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