FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Schumer, Gillibrand, and the Wall Street payoffs.
Via Jen Rubin:
Wall Street has showered nearly $11 million on the Senate since the beginning of the year, and more than 15 percent of it has gone to a single senator: Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.
Of the $10.6 million the industry has given to sitting senators this year, more than $7.7 million has gone to Democrats. Schumer got his $1.65 million; his New York colleague Kirsten Gillibrand took in $886,000; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada received $814,000; Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut scored $603,000; Colorado freshman Michael Bennet got $401,000; and Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas— who will have a big say on the derivatives portion of regulatory reform — got $336,000.
Mind you, it’s a perfectly rational decision on Wall Street’s part: paying protection money often is. Despite Yahoo/Politico’s somewhat disingenuous suggestion of ‘Stockholm Syndrome,’ what actually is happening here is a trade. Wall Street gives Schumer – and his new junior partner Gillibrand* – money, and Schumer makes sure that all those potentially fatal regulations and restrictions and investigations that Schumer says and talks about never happen. Remember, this is the guy who declared that the American people don’t care about “little porky amendments:” he’s about as populist as T. Coddington Van Voorhees VII.
On the bright side, every other person on that list above is worried about their reelection prospects next year – or, in Gillibrand’s and Bennet’s case, worrying about being actually elected. As well they should be: if you’re going to be pro-business, be pro-business. If you’ve determined to foment class warfare**, foment class warfare. But this have-it-both-ways pioneered by Schumer (and understudied by Gillibrand) reveals a certain lack of seriousness about one’s nature.
*There’s a reason why she got more than either Reid or Dodd, both of whom are arguably better investments.
**The Tea party people are currently demonstrating that this does not mean the same as ‘populist,’ much to the rage of progressives. It makes their heads hurt to see a genuinely popular, business-friendly mass movement; libertarians, please note.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.