Lehman’s impending collapse — unless the taxpayers bail it out — is especially bad news for pols.
The Center for Responsive Politics points out this afternoon that the Wall Street scuffed-shoe firm has hardly ever met a politician it didn’t try to buy. That’s no surprise, of course, but the numbers are interesting. In its latest news alert, “Brothers Grim: Is Lehman Next?” the CRP (also known as opensecrets.org) reports:
In the 2008 election cycle, Lehman employees have given about $1.3 million to presidential candidates, making the firm the fourth-largest contributor in the race for the White House (after fellow financial giants Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley).
Lehman employees have made their firm one of the top contributors to both Barack Obama ($370,524) and John McCain ($117,500). Overall, CRP has identified more than $1.9 million in federal contributions to candidates and parties from Lehman’s PAC and individuals in the ’08 cycle, 64 percent to Democrats. Lehman Brothers is on track to spend more than $800,000 on federal lobbying this year.
The D.C. pols may try to keep Lehman afloat at least until it spends all its lobbying and campaign money for this election cycle.
Bad news for the Democrats. It was uncomfortable enough that one of Obama’s top dogs was a Fannie Mae guy, James Johnson, and that Obama has reaped much more loot from Fannie and Freddie than McCain has gotten.
Now it seems that Lehman has handed over many more cash-stuffed envelopes to Obama than to McCain. Takes a little edge off Obama’s claim to be an agent for change.