Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Among Bailout Supporters, Wall St. Donations Ran High

From DealBook:
...Though there was much talk about ideals and principles on the House floor, there’s another factor to consider as well.

The Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington nonprofit group that studies money and politics, reports that on average, lawmakers who voted in favor of the bailout bill have received 51 percent more in campaign contributions from sources in the finance, insurance and real estate industries — or FIRE industries, for short — over their congressional careers than those who opposed the emergency legislation.

The legislation is of vital interest to Wall Street firms and banks, many of which would like to use the program to offload noxious mortgage-related assets.

The FIRE industries — or, more specifically, individuals and political action committees associated with them — have been the top source of campaign contributions in federal politics, the group said, giving more than $2 billion to federal candidates and political parties since 1989.

This year, sources from the FIRE industries have been particularly busy, doling out millions to candidates that are facing tough reelections.

In this election cycle, the 140 House Democrats who voted for the bailout bill collected 78 percent more from the FIRE industries than the Democrats who opposed it. Over their careers, they collected 88 percent more, the data show.

On the Republican side, the gap was smaller. Republicans in the House that voted yes on the bailout bill got an average of 23 percent more in contributions from the FIRE industries in this election cycle than House Republicans who voted against it. In the long run, they got 53 percent more....MORE