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Paul Rigby
11-08-2008, 06:46 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/08/barackobama-wallstreet-bankers-campaign-donations-goldmansachs

Bankers and academics at top of donor list

Andrew Clark in New York

guardian.co.uk, Saturday, November 8, 2008


Barack Obama owes Wall Street bankers a debt of gratitude for generous campaign donations as he ponders how to cope with a financial crisis that poses challenges over government aid and regulation for the banking industry.

Staff at banks, Silicon Valley technology companies and universities topped the list of contributors to Obama's record treasure chest of $640m (406m).

Goldman Sachs was linked to more donations than any other company as its employees and their families provided $847,207 to the successful Democratic candidate's fundraising machine.

People associated with JP Morgan provided $581,460 and donors linked to Citigroup gave $581,216 according to figures culled from public disclosures.

Some contributions were motivated purely by personal ideology. But experts said that other donors had specific concerns in mind. "Bankers certainly want to be well represented at the table as the government hands out rescue funds and decides how to regulate the industry going forward," said Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for the Centre for Responsive Politics, which compiled the figures.

Pressing political concerns on Wall Street include the future of tax breaks for private equity firms and hedge funds. Congress has been considering ending a loophole that allows top earners to classify their earnings as lowly rated capital gains, rather than as direct income.

Top fundraisers for Obama included the chairman of Swiss bank UBS's American arm, Robert Wolf, who generated more than $500,000 for the campaign. Bankers typically gave more to Obama than to his rival, John McCain. Those linked to Goldman Sachs, for example, only gave $228,695 to the Republican. A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman declined to comment.

In Silicon Valley, people linked to Microsoft and Google contributed a combined $1.4m to Obama's campaign while McCain, a self-confessed technophobe, secured virtually nothing from this potentially reach seam of funding. The LA Times said the Republican received just $20,000 from Google staff.

Obama has been a firm supporter of "net neutrality", which would force internet service providers to give equal access to the web rather than prioritising certain websites or charging content providers for prominent access to users.

The fundraising figures point to Obama's unusual success, for a Democratic candidate, in appealing to America's wealthiest voters in spite of a pledge to raise taxes for those earning more than $250,000 per year.

Richard Briffault, a political finance expert at Columbia Law School, said: "There's been a general increase in the number of well-educated, affluent people who gave to the Democrats this year."

He suggested that Obama seemed "more attentive to their concerns, more understanding of the financial situation" than Democrats in previous elections.

Steve Weissman, associate director for policy at the Campaign Finance Institute, said people at the wealthiest end of the spectrum were often sitting on assets rather than taxable income. "The interests of people who make $250,000 and above are not simply their tax rates," he said. "It becomes a much broader issue of who they think can do best for the country and who they want to have influence with."

Universities were another important source of financial support for Obama, who has an academic pedigree as a former law teacher at the University of Chicago.

The famously liberal University of California proved more financially significant than any company as its employees, members and their families gave $909,203 to Obama's campaign. For those in the academic world, Obama could be viewed as a potentially sympathetic prospect in terms of financing for education and in support for potentially contentious work such as stem cell research.

Myra Bronstein
11-09-2008, 03:15 AM
Great info Paul.
Thank you.

The media whores are already chanting in unison that this was a grassroots campaign, funded by little guys who sent quarters from their piggy banks. So on script.

I wonder how long ago the script was written.

Paul Rigby
11-09-2008, 06:05 AM
Great info Paul.
Thank you.

The media whores are already chanting in unison that this was a grassroots campaign, funded by little guys who sent quarters from their piggy banks. So on script.

I wonder how long ago the script was written.

M.,

You're being way too harsh. It was, after all, a grassroots Wall Street campaign, that has swiftly delivered unto the American people the finest Clinton retreads money could buy.

"Change" as political mantra - as meaningful as "Rhubarb."

Time to invade Pakistan, anyone?

Paul

Mark Stapleton
11-10-2008, 06:12 AM
Looks like the zionist lobby has called in the first favors and theyre running the new foreign policy___maybe obama accepted the deal that JFK reportedly rejected in nineteen sixty

Thought it was a bit odd how the Obama campaign was awash with money supposedly from grass roots supporters

Magda Hassan
11-10-2008, 07:05 AM
Tell me more Mark. What was the fish that JFK rejected?
I did notice that is was during LBJ's time that the US started big $ funding of Israel.

Dawn Meredith
11-10-2008, 12:39 PM
There was much grassroots $. And millions of volunteers. Not to say Obama isn't beholden to Wall street, only to point out that both statements are true.

Dawn

Linda Minor
11-10-2008, 03:31 PM
There was much grassroots $. And millions of volunteers. Not to say Obama isn't beholden to Wall street, only to point out that both statements are true.

Dawn

The Newsmeat website shows most large donors to be more connected to movie and sports industries than to Wall Street. The quoted article from The Guardian was very unspecific in facts leading to its conclusions.

Mark Stapleton
11-10-2008, 05:04 PM
Tell me more Mark. What was the fish that JFK rejected?
I did notice that is was during LBJ's time that the US started big $ funding of Israel.

In Piper's Final Judgement, (pp35/36 in the 2005 edition), the author cites Hersh's The Samson Option: Israel's Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, 1991. The story goes that in 1960 Abe Feinberg, President of the Israel Bond Organisation and acting on behalf of the Israel Lobby, offered to 'pay the bills' in exchange for JFK handing over ME foreign policy to them.

Apparently Kennedy was outraged and expressed his dismay the next day to a close friend, newspaper columnist Charles Bartlett. "They wanted control", he told Bartlett.

According to Hersh, after JFK became President he criticised the current method of campaign financing as "highly undesirable" as it made candidates "dependant on large financial contributions of those with special interests".

In 1962, Kennedy introduced five bills to reform campaign financing to Congress and a further two in 1963. None survived.