Wall Street No Longer Paying

News

The Washington Post and Politico both ran stories yesterday about the Democrats losing big Wall Street donors. From the Washington Post’s “Democratic campaign committees losing big Wall Street donors”:

This fundraising free fall from the New York area has left Democrats with diminished resources to defend their House and Senate majorities in November’s midterm elections. Although the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have seen just a 16 percent drop in overall donations compared with this stage of the 2008 campaign, party leaders are concerned about the loss of big-dollar donors. The two congressional committees have raised $49.5 million this election cycle from people giving $1,000 or more at a time, compared with $81.3 million at this point in the last election.

Almost half of that decline in large-dollar fundraising can be attributed to New York, according to a Washington Post analysis of records filed with the Federal Election Commission. Donors from that area have given $8.7 million this year, compared with $23.9 million at this point in the 2008 cycle, with most of those contributions coming from big contributors in the financial sector. New York donors had given congressional Democrats almost twice as much money at this stage of the 2006 midterm campaigns, when Republicans ruled both chambers and held the White House.

Politico’s article points out that politicians who voted for financial reform (e.g. most of the Democratic Caucus) are engendering some resentment for even asking for donations now. The article specifically points out two New York names as those who are (hypocritically in my opinion) now asking Wall St for money:

“I think at least in the short term there is going to be a great deal of frustration with people who were beating the hell out of us — then turning around and asking for money,” said a senior executive of a Wall Street bank.

One member coming in for special criticism: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), viewed as largely unwilling to publicly defend her home state’s top industry but who continues to make fundraising requests, according to Wall Street insiders.

“Sometimes their chutzpah just has no bounds,” an executive said, referring to Gillibrand, who is on the ballot this fall. “People like her who didn’t stand up for us at all during the debate are certainly going to feel some pushback.”

Gillibrand’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“The fact is that the ink is not even dry on this bill, and everyone in town is still getting fundraising requests from members of the conference committee and all sorts of other people who were beating up on Wall Street,” an official at a large bank said, citing Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) as two conference committee members who recently sought Wall Street contributions. Maloney and Kanjorski would not comment.