Obama's Pick for Chief of Staff Tops Recipients of Wall Street Money
A day after being elected president and acknowledging "the worst financial crisis in a century," Barack Obama asked one of the biggest recipients of Wall Street campaign contributions to be his chief of staff. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman who was an aide in the Clinton White House, was the top House recipient in the 2008 election cycle of contributions from hedge funds, private equity firms and the larger securities/investment industry--not the most popular of industries in the current economy. Since being elected to Congress in 2002, after working as an investment banker, Emanuel has received more money from individuals and PACs in the securities and investment business than any other industry.
Emanuel knows how to raise money for political campaigns, and there aren't many better places to find it than Wall Street. Fundraising was Emanuel's job for Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign, and in 2006 he helped Democrats collect enough cash to retake the House of Representatives when he was head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. For his 2008 re-election, Emanuel raised more than $2.7 million yet faced no serious opposition in his Chicago district. Since being elected to the House six years ago, he has collected $1.5 million from the investment industry , with lawyers and law firms and the entertainment industry coming in at a distant second and third place ($682,900 and $376,100).
As a member of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee--which has jurisdiction over tax legislation, Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs--Emanuel is a popular industry target. Private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners has given Emanuel more than any other contributor over his career at $93,600. Emanuel and Obama have more than just Chicago in common; investment bank UBS, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are among both men's lists of top donors ....MORE