“Whether it is preserving favored tax loopholes or forestalling more comprehensive reform, private fund executives spend on politics for the purpose of getting richer at the expense of everyone else,” Ricardo Valadez, private equity campaign manager at AFR, said.
Wall Street private equity and hedge funds pumped at least $627 million into the political process – campaign contributions and lobbying – during the 2019-2020 election cycle. The sum, amounting to about $858,000 each day, reflects the meteoric rise in the size and scope of the private funds industry, which has come to control vast swaths of the American economy over the last decade.
During the 2019-20 election cycle, Wall Street spent at least $2.9 billion on campaign contributions and lobbying to influence policy in Washington, according to a report released today by Americans for Financial Reform. That total, which amounts to $4 million a day, shatters the previous record of $2 billion set in the 2015-16 presidential cycle. The highest-ever level of spending by Wall Street banks and financial services reflects the industry’s relentless push to influence decision-making, regardless of the party that controls Congress or the executive branch.
In the 2019-20 election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial services interests reported spending $2.9 billion to influence decision-making in Washington. That total – officially reported expenditures on campaign contributions and lobbying – works out to $4 million a day. This level is a full 50 percent above the previous record of $2 billion in the previous presidential cycle, reflecting the industry’s enduring effort to influence policy no matter which party controls Congress and the executive branch.
On January 6, 2021, Congress was scheduled to formally certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. But based on spurious allegations of voter fraud, 147 Republican members of the Senate and the House of Representatives voted to object to either the results in Arizona or Pennsylvania or both. Individuals and entities associated with the financial sector reported making a total of $43,483,590 in contributions to these members.
Wall Street is pumping tremendous sums of money into the 2020 elections, and there are some notable trends regarding who is getting the money and who, within the financial services industry, is contributing this cycle. At the presidential level, Wall Street is splitting its contributions close to evenly, or maybe slightly favoring Biden over Trump. At the same time, it is fairly clear that Wall Street is investing in keeping the Senate in Republican hands.
New members of Congress demonstrated substantially less reliance on money from the financial services industry than incumbents who won re-election in 2018. First-term Democratic members of the House raised, on average, 17 percent of the money for their campaign committees from small donors, compared with 9.4 percent by Democratic incumbents who won re-election.
Wall Street pumped $719 million into the political process in 2017, a rate that puts it on pace to outstrip the record $2 billion it spent during the 2015-2016 campaign cycle, according to a new report by Americans for Financial Reform.
In the first twelve months of the 2017-18 election cycle, Wall Street banks and financial interests have reported spending $719 million to influence decision-making through campaign contributions and lobbying. That total works out to about $2.0 million a day. The financial sector is by far the largest source of campaign contributions in federal elections, and the third largest spender on lobbying