Repost: Cutting the Crap on Campaign Finances: “Wall Street” Doesn’t Support Dems. At All.

Campaign Finance

I’m reposting this because I feel that I need to. Also, WordPress is being buggy and won’t allow me to re-copy the tables below intact. But this is for everyone who’s told that Democrats are just as “beholden” to “corporations” and “Wall Street” as Republicans. It’s not even CLOSE, really. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

——————————

Let’s talk about campaign finance. No, I mean really talk about it, not just throw up a whole bunch of numbers and scream at them.

Last year, according to the FEC, Wall Street gave more than $100 million to just the presidential candidates and their super PACs, as of the end of 2015. Now, we can all agree that $100 million is a hell of a lot of money. Well, to us, anyway. To these companies, it really isn’t all that much. More importantly, it’s not the companies themselves who are donating this money. In point of fact, most financial services companies have policies in place that prohibit donations of corporate funds for political campaigns. That includes all of the companies progressives love to hate, like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.

When you go to the FEC or Open Secrets websites and you look at the contributions, you should realize that more than 95 percent of the money listed under each company’s tally comes from individual contributors, from the required box where the donor inputs the name of their employer. The money doesn’t come from the companies themselves, but from individuals who work in that industry.

Hillary Clinton gets a lot of her campaign money from the financial industry, although whether it’s a significant amount depends on your perspective. As of the end of 2015, she received more than $17 million from that industry for this cycle. (Source) That’s a lot higher than Bernie Sanders, who received about $55,000. (Source) Now, I know a lot of you think that’s a plus and points to Sanders having a lot more “credibility,” but does it? To win an election, you need votes. And to get votes, you have to earn them. You have to get your name out there and get people excited about you, and that doesn’t happen by employing an army of people to bully people on social media into believing you’re the greatest in the world.

Let me reiterate; these are individual contributions. It’s entirely possible that individuals in the financial industry support Clinton to such a degree because they oppose the Sanders proposal to pay for “free college” with a tax on investments. They may be under the impression that such a proposal could hurt their income. In other words, there are many legitimate reasons for someone working at Goldman to support Hillary Clinton; not everything people who work in the banking and investment industries is nefarious. I mean, I would like to think you don’t shout at bank tellers and call them names whenever you go into the bank.

However, that’s not the important thing to keep in mind for an election. The most important thing to remember is that, as much as Clinton has collected, it’s a drop in the bucket out of that more than $100 million when compared to the Republican campaigns. Jeb Bush alone has received more than $34 million from the “Securities & investment” industry (Source), with Cruz and Rubio receiving $12 million and $9 million, respectively (Source and Source). Even Chris Christie pulled in more than $7 million from “Wall Street,” roughly half what Clinton took in, even though he never polled higher than a few percent. (Source) What that means is, while you focus your ire on Clinton as being a “tool of Wall Street,” the far right Republican leadership is laughing at you and raking in the big bucks. As I keep saying, comparing any Democrat to any Republican at this point in time is pure foolishness.

But again, these donations don’t come from the firms themselves. Securities are too afraid of upsetting stockholders to give huge sums of money to any one political candidate. Keep in mind, they have clients and customers all over the country and the world. Therefore most donations come from people who give based on their personal political beliefs. Yes, executives and managers at these companies are probably “strongly encouraged” to give to someone in particular, and their tendency is to help the firm since they depend on them for a paycheck, but their donations are still limited to $2,700, like everyone else.

It’s also important to point out that, if financial firms wanted to buy influence, they could do a better job of it. Yes, $100 million was donated last year, which is, again, a lot of money, but consider how much these firms make. Goldman Sachs alone recorded profits (yes, that’s profits!) of $33.82 billion last year. (Source) To these companies, spending $1 billion on a presidential campaign would still be like donating pocket money, and it would provide a whole lot more influence if that was what they were after.

Also, as you can see, just the simple stats above show that the whole “Hillary Clinton is practically a Republican” meme is a complete lie. Here is a list of industries recording the largest contributions to the Clinton campaign so far (Source):

Rank Industry Total
1 Securities & Investment $17,256,075
2 TV/Movies/Music $11,002,782
3 Retired $10,335,422
4 Lawyers/Law Firms $10,150,909
5 Non-Profit Institutions $8,003,087
6 Building Trade Unions $4,784,100
7 Real Estate $3,276,065
8 Business Services $3,079,388
9 Education $2,927,259
10 Women’s Issues $2,751,304
11 Democratic/Liberal $2,734,636
12 Health Professionals $2,243,724
13 Electronics Mfg & Equip $1,925,111
14 Civil Servants/Public Officials $1,529,007
15 Misc Business $1,298,043
16 Printing & Publishing $1,248,205
17 Food Processing & Sales $1,188,253
18 Misc Finance $1,175,953
19 Public Sector Unions $1,141,747
20 Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $1,139,798

As you can see, in addition to the donations from the “Securities & Investment” industry, most of her money comes from labor unions, non-profits and trial lawyers, all of which are positive influences, I think we can all agree.

Now, let’s compare that to the same list for one Jeb Bush (Source):

Rank

Industry

Total

1

Securities & Investment

$34,564,344

2

Insurance

$11,434,060

3

Real Estate

$10,589,333

4

Oil & Gas

$10,530,607

5

Retired

$10,136,975

6

Misc Finance

$6,685,816

7

Lawyers/Law Firms

$3,985,724

8

General Contractors

$3,386,013

9

Business Services

$2,496,482

10

Non-Profit Institutions

$2,394,069

11

Crop Production & Basic Processing

$1,767,417

12

Lodging/Tourism

$1,715,409

13

Automotive

$1,705,247

14

Health Services/HMOs

$1,652,011

15

Misc Business

$1,641,068

16

Misc Transport

$1,636,150

17

Lobbyists

$1,614,029

18

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products

$1,562,383

19

Electronics Mfg & Equip

$1,471,806

20

Electric Utilities

$1,276,019

You can’t make any kind of valid comparison between Clinton’s list and Bush’s because there is no comparison to be made. Bush just happens to be the largest fundraiser so far; he’s even raised more than Clinton. If you go through the field, you’ll find similar numbers for all of the Republicans. Combine just Bush, Cruz and Rubio and they have collected almost four times as much from “Wall Street” as Hillary Clinton.

To reinforce the reality that there is no comparison to be made between the two parties, I offer this chart from the 2012 election cycle. Look at it closely. It is a list of the Top 50 donors in that cycle and who they gave their money to. If you can still claim any similarity between the two parties, it’s willful ignorance.

 

 

 

To Candidates and Parties

To Outside Spending Groups

Rank

Contributor

Total Contribs

Total

Dem%

GOP%

Total

Lib%

Con %

1

Las Vegas Sands

$52,408,435

$780,050

0%

100%

$51,628,385

0%

100%

2

Adelson Drug Clinic

$42,040,600

$90,600

0%

100%

$41,950,000

0%

100%

3

Contran Corp

$31,398,368

$1,708,368

18%

82%

$29,690,000

0%

100%

4

Perry Homes

$23,662,700

$212,700

1%

99%

$23,450,000

0%

100%

5

National Education Assn

$14,731,654

$2,282,144

94%

6%

$12,449,510

97%

3%

6

Newsweb Corp

$14,163,200

$163,200

100%

0%

$14,000,000

100%

0%

7

City of New York, NY

$14,080,926

$405,803

87%

13%

$13,675,123

96%

0%

8

United Auto Workers

$13,354,970

$1,852,970

100%

0%

$11,502,000

100%

0%

9

Hugo Enterprises

$12,925,454

$75,454

3%

97%

$12,850,000

0%

96%

10

American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees

$11,406,477

$2,835,102

100%

0%

$8,571,375

100%

0%

11

Specialty Group Inc

$10,575,000

$0

0%

0%

$10,575,000

0%

100%

12

Renaissance Technologies

$9,975,572

$566,218

60%

40%

$9,409,354

43%

57%

13

Republican Governors Assn

$9,797,355

$3,750

0%

100%

$9,793,605

0%

100%

14

AFL-CIO

$9,027,441

$863,920

81%

19%

$8,163,521

100%

0%

15

Goldman Sachs

$7,917,024

$6,833,274

25%

75%

$1,083,750

12%

88%

16

National Assn of Realtors

$7,342,571

$4,167,795

44%

56%

$3,174,776

0%

0%

17

Senate Conservatives Fund

$6,953,307

$6,803,307

0%

100%

$150,000

0%

100%

18

Service Employees International Union

$6,604,289

$1,954,405

100%

0%

$4,649,884

100%

0%

19

Euclidean Capital

$6,596,600

$96,600

95%

5%

$6,500,000

100%

0%

20

United Food & Commercial Workers Union

$6,551,557

$2,100,519

100%

0%

$4,451,038

100%

0%

21

TRT Holdings

$6,356,600

$221,600

0%

100%

$6,135,000

0%

100%

22

Bain Capital

$5,614,508

$2,342,008

29%

71%

$3,272,500

0%

100%

23

Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

$5,499,744

$3,244,744

98%

2%

$2,255,000

100%

0%

24

Mostyn Law Firm

$5,460,391

$281,541

94%

6%

$5,178,850

100%

0%

25

Communications Workers of America

$5,424,708

$1,868,068

99%

1%

$3,556,640

100%

0%

26

Carpenters & Joiners Union

$5,037,684

$2,156,501

83%

17%

$2,881,183

100%

0%

27

Environment America

$5,013,434

$1,730

100%

0%

$5,011,704

100%

0%

28

Oxbow Corp

$4,881,400

$131,400

0%

100%

$4,750,000

0%

100%

29

Plumbers/Pipefitters Union

$4,854,203

$2,597,103

95%

5%

$2,257,100

100%

0%

30

Bank of America

$4,654,657

$4,470,940

27%

73%

$183,717

18%

82%

31

American Assn for Justice

$4,564,726

$2,780,726

97%

3%

$1,784,000

100%

0%

32

Comcast Corp

$4,486,317

$4,483,067

62%

38%

$3,250

100%

0%

33

JPMorgan Chase & Co

$4,474,294

$4,352,483

36%

64%

$121,811

88%

12%

34

JW Childs Assoc

$4,435,950

$200,950

2%

98%

$4,235,000

0%

100%

35

Club for Growth

$4,409,246

$4,342,274

0%

100%

$66,972

0%

100%

36

American Federation of Teachers

$4,389,884

$2,590,518

100%

0%

$1,799,366

100%

0%

37

Oracle Corp

$4,366,313

$1,360,063

54%

46%

$3,006,250

0%

100%

38

Chartwell Partners

$4,259,000

$159,000

0%

100%

$4,100,000

0%

100%

39

AT&T Inc

$4,134,932

$4,106,112

35%

65%

$28,820

71%

28%

40

Microsoft Corp

$4,106,086

$4,097,964

68%

32%

$8,122

82%

2%

41

EMILY’s List

$4,094,148

$3,929,148

100%

0%

$165,000

100%

0%

42

Operating Engineers Union

$4,006,209

$3,335,231

85%

15%

$670,978

29%

71%

43

League of Conservation Voters

$3,933,636

$1,567,997

98%

2%

$2,365,639

100%

0%

44

Deloitte LLP

$3,903,179

$3,900,929

38%

62%

$2,250

56%

44%

45

Chevron Corp

$3,875,496

$1,372,981

16%

84%

$2,502,515

0%

100%

46

Laborers Union

$3,853,380

$1,997,115

88%

12%

$1,856,265

98%

0%

47

Clarium Capital Management

$3,787,200

$52,200

5%

95%

$3,735,000

0%

100%

48

Morgan Stanley

$3,754,615

$3,731,715

30%

70%

$22,900

44%

56%

49

Blackstone Group

$3,651,422

$3,426,422

41%

59%

$225,000

0%

100%

50

Honeywell International

$3,612,877

$3,607,877

41%

59%

$5,000

0%

100%

This is the bottom line; when you read these FEC figures, keep in mind the disclaimer, which appears on every page at both the FEC and Open Secrets sites:

This table lists the top donors to this candidate in the 2016 cycle. The money came from the organizations’ PACs; their individual members, employees or owners; and those individuals’ immediate families. At the federal level, the organizations themselves did not donate, as they are prohibited by law from doing so. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates. (Source)

If you’re going to talk about money and politics, especially if you’re going to use it to smear a fellow Democrat, know what you’re talking about. That’s all I ask.

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