Friday, November 20, 2009

The 15 Biggest Congressional Recipients Of Wall Street Campaign Cash

So, you were perhaps wondering why that nice new health care insurance reform bill put together by your progressive representatives in Congress did not have a single thing in it that will benefit you? Me too. And the fact that there is no protection at all for the regular taxpayer-on-the-street in any of the financial bills? No? (And tears are now streaming down my face. Again.) But I'm not afraid to report the facts. In which we find out that it's OUR representatives who are in on the take as deeply as the Rethugs. (Yes, it's true that these people ceased being my reps years ago when they let my section of the working population go down (deep down) the outsource river. But still.) The oddest part about these incredible figures is that they cannot be the actual totals. You just know they have accepted lots more in favors, gifts and trips from this dripping-with-largesse ilk. And such a clean-cut bunch. Look at those nice pictures. Bet you can't wait to vote for them again. Ah yes, and herein we learn another reason why David Fucking Brooks' heart thumps hard for John Thune. And why you were actually correct to be a little bit suspicious of Chris Dodd's latest ideas for fixing the bankster frauds. It's also clear now why Kirsten Gillibrand had to be a better choice for Senator from New York than Caroline Kennedy. And the real capitalists are out on the corner supplying the needed drugs (according to Bill Moyers and David Simon).

The 15 Biggest Congressional Recipients Of Wall Street Campaign Cash

November 17, 2009

We took a look at the Center for Responsive Politics's database, OpenSecrets.org, to see which members of Congress have so far received Wall Street money for the 2010 election cycle. The answers may surprise you. Reforming Wall Street is a hot topic on Capitol Hill these days. Congress is currently weighing two financial reform bills that would, to varying degrees, reshape the way the financial system is regulated. Still, Wall Street's influence in Washington appears to be as strong as ever. After all, it was just last spring that Senator Dick Durbin, frustrated by pushback on bankruptcy reform, denounced the financial sector's influence on the Senate: the banks, he said, "they frankly own the place." The Center for Responsive Politics, a research group that tracks money in politics, reports that financial industries - the finance, insurance and real estate sectors, specifically - have been one of the biggest benefactors to Congress over the past two decades:

"The finance, insurance and real estate sector has given $2.3 billion to candidates, leadership PACs and party committees since 1989, which eclipses every other sector. Nineteen percent of total contributions from the employees and political action committees across all sectors came from the financial sector."

And while campaign contributions don't equate to wrongdoing, it's worth noting that, while lawmakers ponder reforming the financial sector, the industry's campaign contributions have remained strong:

"Even with a number of large financial institutions folding or merging since last fall, the sector has still given more to federal candidates and party committees than any other sector this year at $78.2 million. Current lawmakers have brought in $661.6 million from the sector through their candidate committees and leadership PACs, with Democrats collecting 53 percent of that."

We took a look at the Center for Responsive Politics's database, OpenSecrets.org, to see which members of Congress have so far received Wall Street money for the 2010 election cycle. The answers may surprise you. Check out our slideshow of the top 15 recipients and choose which politician may be taking too much money from Wall Street. #15 Barney Frank (D-MA) - $387,749 Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank has received $387,749 in contributions from the financial sector. Frank, who is Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, received more donations from hedge funds than any other House member. #14 Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) - $396,750 New York Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney has received $396,750 in contributions from the financial sector. She is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, and she sits on three subcommittees: Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises; Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit; and Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. #13 Ron Wyden (D-OR) - $404,750 Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has received $404,750 in contributions from the financial sector. He sits on the Senate Finance Committee. #12 John Thune (R-SD) - $407,950 South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune has received $407,950 in contributions from the financial sector. He sits on the Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, as well as the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Citigroup and the American Bankers Association are two of his top donors. #11 Jim Himes (D-CT) - $430,123 Connecticut Representative Jim Himes, a Democrat, has received $430,123 in financial sector contributions. He is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, and sits on two subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. He counts Credit Suisse and Citigroup among his top contributors. #10 Richard Shelby (R-AL) - $502,150 Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama has received $502,150 in contributions form the financial sector. He's the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. # 9 Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) - $515,000 Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln has received contributions worth $515,000 from the financial sector. She's a member of the Senate Finance Committee. #8 Eric Cantor (R-VA) - $516,197 Virginia Representative Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip, has received $516,197 in contributions from the financial sector. # 7 Arlen Specter (D-PA) - $552,175 Senator Arlen Specter, who in April switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party, has received contributions from the financial sector in the amount of $552,175. # 6 Mark Kirk (R-IL) - $557,375 Representative Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican, has received $557,375 in contributions from the financial sector. He's a member of the Appropriations Committee. # 5 Michael Bennet (D-CO) - $612,804 Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado has been the recipient of $612,804 in contributions from the financial sector. He is a member of the Senate Banking Committee. # 4 Chris Dodd (D-CT) - $752,698 Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has received $752,698 in contributions from the financial sector. He's received more from the mortgage banking and brokerage industry than any other congressperson, and Citigroup, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley have been among his biggest donors. # 3 Harry Reid (D-NV) - $1,038,210 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has received $1,038,210 in contributions from the financial sector. He received more from the securities and investment industry than any other except law, and he was the recipient of more money form the credit card industry than any other member of Congress. # 2 Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) - $1,173,400 New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has received $1,173,400 in financial-sector contributions. She received more from the commercial banking industry than any other member of Congress, and some of her biggest contributions from political action committees came from JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank. # 1 Chuck Shumer (D-NY) - $2,167,300 New York Senator Chuck Schumer has received $2,167,300 in contributions from the financial sector. A member of the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Schumer received more contributions from the hedge fund, private equity, and securities and investment industries than any other member of congress. Credit Swisse, JP Morgan, UBS, and New York Life Insurance are among his biggest donors.

So from now on, whenever anyone is chosen for anything in D.C., we would be smart to ask, "How much more will they be making now?" (And what was that quote about "not getting mad?") Cynical Suzan __________________________

6 comments:

demetriuswagar1030 said...

good article....................................................................................................

Suzan said...

Welcome to Pottersville, Demetrius!

Thank you.

Come back and see us often.

S

TomCat said...

I have to say that Ron Wyden has an excellent record for voting progressive. I think he gets the money, just because he's on Finance.

Suzan said...

TC,

I certainly agree about Ron Wyden. He's been a favorite of mine since gaaaaahhhh knows when, but why would he accept the money, knowing how it could be portrayed?

Or do Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer's greed provide a get-out-of-jail-card to everyone else?

Surely Wyden was smart enough to know that this easy and reported acceptance (during the current crisis) could well be the mechanism that could ruin public faith in honorable behavior from now on among all the giftees?

Or is he ready to resign too?

S

Just sayin'.
__________________

Distributorcap said...

my two senators - #1 and #2 no surprise
#14 my rep Maloney, no surprise

until there is public financing of elections we are all sitting deadducks

Suzan said...

I used to write about public financing as the only answer to dishonorable behavior, and this was years(!) ago.

It's a nonstarter until we toss this whole crowd out.

And don't you know that the rightwingnutters are beginning to campaign once again on term limits?

As if.

S