Wall Street money parallels today’s bailout votes

I’ve got an article up containing statements from Bay Area House members on why they voted for or against the $700 billion financial-market bailout bill today, but here’s a fascinating factoid.

The data-digging geniuses at Berkeley-based MAPLight.org — illuminating the connections between Money And Politics — found that over the past five years banks and securities firms gave an average of $231,877 in campaign contributions to each Representative voting in favor of the bailout today, compared with an average of $150,982 to each Representative voting against the bailout. That’s 54 percent more money given to those who voted for this legislation.

MAPLight found the 140 House Democrats voting “yes” received an average of $212,700 each, about twice as much as the average $107,993 for the 95 House Democrats who voted “no.” On the other side of the aisle, the 65 House Republicans voting “yes” received an average of $273,181 each, about 50 percent more than the average $181,688 for the 133 House Republicans voting “no.”

“Profit-driven companies wouldn’t be making campaign contributions if it didn’t buy them influence or access,” MAPLight executive director Daniel Newman said in a news release. “Votes in Congress align with the river of money that flows through our political system.”

UPDATE @ 6:06 P.M.: The Center for Responsive Politics has a similar analysis going back even further, to 1989.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Although my representative, Tauscher (CD-10) failed to listen to the people of her Congressional District and voted “Yes” on the bail-out! From what I hear, 50% of the people that called their representatives’ said, “No” and the other 50% said, “Hell-No!” McNerney may have also committed political-suicide, by voting “Yes” on the bail-out! When I called his office and expressed my concern about the bail-out, his secretary mentioned the hign number of calls flooding into his office in opposition to the bail-out. She said, “Conressman McNerney will not vote for a blank check bail-out.” Can someone tell me what the difference is between a blank check and a 700 billion dollar check?

    The federal government and the Federal Reserve are responsible for this mess with their excessive regulations, easy credit, and other money and market manipulation schemes. Yesterday’s rejection was a rejection of further worsening the problem with the same intervention that got us to this point.

    The market will have to adjust, and the nation will have to deal with the effects of what the government has brought upon us, but the answer is not to weaken the dollar, continue to sell our debt and national security to China and Saudi Arabia, and socialize what remains of the American free market.

    If credit is tight, I don’t feel that’s a bad thing. We the people and our government (local, state and federal) need to start living within our means.

    We need to stop printing money out of thin air… We need to bring our troops home… We need to address big government spending… We need to say, “Hell No” to Paulson, Bernanke, Bush, McCain, Obama, Pelosi, Frank, Tausher, McNerney and to the bail-out(s)!

    For those of you that called in, or wrote your Congressmen and voiced your opposition to the bail-out… You should all be very proud of yourselves! It worked! Great job!

    Check-out this video:

  • rewgolfer

    In the modern era members of the House and Senate collect so much money from so many different sources they really don’t have to listen to these contributors that much. This belief that you can give money to a politician and they will do what you want is not correct. It’s not that easy, just ask any lobbyist. Labor has been trying to get rid of Taft Hartley since 1948. Most lobbyists just want to keep things the same, they spend thier time trying to maintain the status quo. I think most of these Congressman voted for the bailout because it was nessecary, not because of banking contributions.