The latest campaign finance reports reveal which candidates are raising the most cash from big banks and investment firms.
And two of the biggest winners were the frontrunners — Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R).
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Clinton raised about $US300,000 from people working at the US’ six largest banks, “with about $US88,000 coming from Morgan Stanley executives alone, and about $US62,000 from workers at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.”
However, that’s just a small drop in the bucket: Clinton’s full quarterly report showed she raised more than $US46 million from more than 250,000 donors. In a statement announcing the total, Clinton’s campaign manager said this proves that she isn’t being financed by “billionaire backers” giving “unlimited sums of money.”
Indeed, Clinton’s campaign report provides sharp contrast with some of her potential Republican foes who are much more reliant on megadonor-powered super PACs running adjacent to — but supposedly independent from — their main campaign apparatus.
For his part, Bush raised a far higher percentage of his $US11 million haul from Wall Street than Clinton.
Bush’s nascent White House bid, which only officially launched last month, raised almost $US150,000 from people who specifically listed Goldman Sachs in their job title. That total does not include spouses or others who did not list Goldman as their employer, even though their donations may be linked to the Wall Street powerhouse. His report only spanned the last two weeks in June.
And that’s only looking at contributors who gave directly to Bush’s presidential campaign. Before he kicked off his bid a few weeks ago, Bush was raising far more money for his super PAC, Right to Rise, that can take unlimited contributions. Right to Rise announced last week that it has pulled in $US103 million — dwarfing Bush’s campaign.
Records show that the vast majority of Bush’s donations from Goldman executives were $US2,700, the maximum amount under federal campaign laws. Among the notable names were Robert Zoellick, Eric Lane, Gene Sykes, David Solomon, Dina Powell, and Timothy O’Neill.
Earlier this year, Politico’s Ben White profiled Bush’s push for Goldman cash, which he framed as a competition against Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in 2016.
“Bush hopes to go head to head for Goldman money and support with Hillary Clinton, who also has strong ties to the bank and is expected to raise large sums from its executives to help fund her likely presidential campaign,” White wrote. “And it means employees of the nation’s richest investment bank are increasingly putting their money on the two best-known candidates, both of whom are viewed across Wall Street as centrists who could cool some of the scorching anti-banker rhetoric and policies emanating from the Elizabeth Warren wing on the left and the tea party movement on the right.”
In addition to the $US144,000 he received in from Goldman Sachs employees, Bush raised another roughly $US167,000 from seven other big banks, according to the Thursday report in the Journal.
“Another $US63,100 in contributions came from employees of the financial firm Neuberger Berman, run by his cousin, George Herbert Walker IV, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs,” the outlet reported.
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