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The many connections of Diana Cantor

By Laurie Bennett

October 5, 2013 at 8:28am

Diana Cantor is one of the most networked board members in the country.

A lawyer and a CPA who was a vice president at Goldman Sachs, she sits on the boards of four major public companies: Domino’s Pizza; Revlon; Media General, former owner of such newspapers as the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Tampa Tribune; and Universal Corporation, a tobacco supplier.

She’s a partner of Alternative Investment Management, a privately-held investment management firm, and chairs the Virginia Retirement System.

She is also married to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).

Diana Cantor
Diana Cantor

Politico lists Cantor and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as the two wealthiest members of the House leadership. Cantor’s estimated wealth in 2012 was almost $4.4 million.

Although he cites his wife’s corporate affiliations in his 2013 financial disclosure, Cantor does not say how much she was paid. In the form’s “amount” column, he has typed “N/A” for each of those positions.

We figure that must stand for “not applicable” or “not any of your damned business,” since “not available” is certainly not the case.

Annual proxy statements filed by the companies with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Diana Cantor received compensation of more than $549,000 last year for service on the Domino’s, Media General and Universal boards. Her stock in the companies is worth nearly $2.7 million.

She joined the Revlon board this year, so compensation/holdings figures have not yet been reported. Revlon’s chairman, billionaire Ron Perelman, has been a regular contributor to Eric Cantor. Perelman also chairs MacAndrews & Forbes, a holding company whose PAC has supported the majority leader.

According to 2012 filings with the SEC, Alternative Investment is owned by the family of J. Ira Harris, a former partner with Lazard Freres. Harris’s son, Jonathan M. Harris, is president and CEO.

The elder Harris has a close ties to the Republican faction of the wealthy Prizker family of Chicago.

He has served as vice chair of the Pritzker Organization, an investment firm headed by billionaire Thomas Pritzker, a frequent backer of GOP candidates.

As the Muckety map below shows, his cousin Penny Pritzker, also a billionaire and heir to the Hyatt Hotels fortune, is a well-known Democrat who now serves as Commerce secretary.

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