Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friendly Persuasion

I'm still in a snit over Jamie Dimon's visit to the Senate last week. It was like old home week, and, all things considered, I guess that's understandable. Dimon has given plenty of money to campaigns (mostly Democrats), and his company, the one that lost $2 billion gambling at the paper casino, has also been very generous to various congress critters. Open Secrets provides some details on that generosity and other connections the Wall Street bank has with Congress, especially the Senate Banking Committee.

Combined contributions from JPMorgan Chase PACs and employees favored Democrats from 2002-2008, before trending Republican in the 2010 elections and, thus far, in the 2012 cycle as well. Those numbers do not, however, tell the full story, as donations from JPMorgan Chase's PACS -- which are officially on behalf of the corporation -- typically swing Republican. JP Morgan's main PAC for candidate contributions has favored Republicans each year since 1996, with the exception of a near-tie in 2002. A second company PAC has focused on contributions to Republican-aligned PACs and party committees in 2010 and 2012.

JPMorgan Chase has been relatively non-partisan in its giving to Banking Committee members, however. Its PAC money has found its way to all but six of the committee's senators. While Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) are both retiring and have no need for campaign funds, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Michael Johanns (R-NE) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have all faced reelection from 2008-2012 and have had to do without support from JPMorgan Chase's PACS.

Besides campaign contributions, JPMorgan Chase has other ways to grease the wheels with the committee: Naomi Camper, currently the co-head of the bank's federal government relations group, was an aide for committee Chair Tim Johnson from 2001-2004. Additionally, Kate Childress -- who The New Republic credited for spearheading a campaign to weaken the proposed regulation of derivatives during the 2009 debate over financial reform -- was a staff director for the panel prior to joining JPMorgan Chase as a lobbyist.

That's some history, eh?

No wonder we can't get any decent regulation of Wall Street and the banks.

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Blogger Charles said...

And, BTW, Herb Kohl donations to Tom Barrett campaign = $0 (when I last checked).

A guy with nearly $300M, and he couldn't be bothered to help get rid of Scott Walker.

2:39 PM  

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