Politics

Democrats Raking in Cash From Wall Street

| by OpenSecrets

Although the economy didn't show many signs of improvement in the first few months of 2009, Democrats were benefiting more from Wall Street than they had in any previous cycle, pulling in 58 percent of all contributions that the finance, insurance and real estate sector gave between January and March. The struggling sector has given a total of $12.6 million, which is far more than any other sector has given so far this year to candidates, party committees and PACs.

At the top of the sector's recipient list is a seemingly unlikely candidate--one who doesn't sit on a finance-related committee and who opposed the bailout bill that has funneled billions of dollars to Wall Street companies since it passed last fall. But in her transition from representing a rural, Republican district in the U.S. House of Representatives to securing a Senate seat, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) not only picked up a new voter base, but a new donor base as well, including individuals and PACs associated with Wall Street.

Popular Video

The average American throws away 82lbs of clothes:

In total, she has collected $480,000 from the finance, insurance and real estate sector in the first three months of 2009. It appears Gillibrand launched a successful public relations campaign to win over the finance sector after voting against the bailout bill, most recently holding a fundraiser with Wall Street executives in March, according to New York Magazine.

These are the top 10 recipients of cash (including only the current members of Congress) from the finance, insurance and real estate sector in the 1st Quarter of the 2010 election cycle:

Popular Video

The average American throws away 82lbs of clothes:

Name

Total from FIRE, 2010

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

$480,000

Sen. Charles E Schumer (D-NY)

$421,250

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va)

$352,350

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn)

$310,300

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev)

$285,075

Rep. Scott Murphy (D-NY)

$189,950

Sen. Michael F Bennet (D-Colo)

$179,450

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark)

$172,350

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala)

$168,000

Rep. Carolyn B Maloney (D-NY)

$157,900

Download list of top 25:TopFIREQ1.xls

Although Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chair of the Senate Banking Committee, has taken some heat for inserting a loophole in the bailout bill that allowed insurer American International Group (AIG) to pass out controversial bonuses, Dodd's total haul from the sector for the year comes in fourth among all current members of Congress. The $310,300 that Dodd raised from the finance sector so far this year is far less than the $1.9 million he raised in the first three months of 2007. But he's still near among the top all-time recipients, just after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), all of whom have been involved in expensive presidential bids.

Among current members of the three primary congressional finance committees--House Finance, Senate Banking and Senate Finance--Dodd, who represents a state where hedge funds are a big industry, raised more from the finance sector in the 1st Quarter of 2009 than all but Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y). Schumer may be a particularly appealing target for Wall Street cash because he's from New York and sits on both the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Banking Committee.

In total, current members of these committees collected $4.5 million from Wall Street, 61 percent of which went to Democrats. And individual Democrats collected, on average $3,200 more from the sector than the average Republican.

These are the top 10 recipients of cash (including only current members of the House Finance Committee, Senate Banking Committee and Senate Finance Committee) from the finance, insurance and real estate sector in the 1st Quarter of the 2010 election cycle:

Name

Total from FIRE, 2010

Sen. Charles E Schumer (D-NY)

$421,250

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn)

$310,300

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark)

$172,350

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala)

$168,000

Rep. Carolyn B Maloney (D-NY)

$157,900

Sen. Robert F Bennett (R-Utah)

$122,025

Sen. James W DeMint (R-SC)

$121,400

Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill)

$102,200

Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla)

$98,550

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif)

$96,250

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn)

$91,107

Rep. Paul E Kanjorski (D-Pa)

$86,200

Sen. David Vitter (R-La)

$85,800

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-NY)

$85,558

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind)

$80,370

Sen. Barney Frank (D-Mass)

$77,950

Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill)

$75,523

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky)

$72,500

Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif)

$70,800

Download the full list: TopFIREAll.xls
Download the House Finance Committee list only:HFinance_FIRE.xls
Download the Senate Finance Committee list only: SFinance_FIRE.xls
Download the Senate Banking Committee list only:SBanking_FIRE.xls