Seth Cline – LikeTheDew.com http://likethedew.com A journal of progressive Southern culture and politics Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:58:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://likethedew.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-DewLogoSquare825-32x32.png Seth Cline – LikeTheDew.com http://likethedew.com 32 32 Looking Back at South Carolina Winner Newt Gingrich’s Long Money-in-Politics Past http://likethedew.com/2012/01/24/looking-back-at-south-carolina-winner-newt-gingrichs-long-money-in-politics-past/ http://likethedew.com/2012/01/24/looking-back-at-south-carolina-winner-newt-gingrichs-long-money-in-politics-past/#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2012 17:00:15 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=35980 Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina GOP presidential primary, defeating Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Despite claiming to be an outsider, Gingrich has been in Washington a long time. Since he was first elected in 1979, Gingrich has heavily relied on support from his home state, as well as the health and financial sectors, to fund his campaigns.

Of the top 11 donors to Gingrich since the 1990 election cycle, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, four have headquarters in Atlanta: Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola Inc. and BellSouth and AT&T Mobility (both of which are subsidiaries of AT&T).

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The Newted 100 dollar billFormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina GOP presidential primary, defeating Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Despite claiming to be an outsider, Gingrich has been in Washington a long time. Since he was first elected in 1979, Gingrich has heavily relied on support from his home state, as well as the health and financial sectors, to fund his campaigns.

NEWT’S HOMEGROWN MONEY TREES

A look at Gingrich’s fundraising profile shows the former Georgia congressman has relied heavily on his home state for campaign cash.

Atlanta, in particular, has been a crucial artery to his coffers.

Of the top 11 donors to Gingrich since the 1990 election cycle, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, four have headquarters in Atlanta: Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola Inc. and BellSouth and AT&T Mobility (both of which are subsidiaries of AT&T).

Delta Airlines employees have provided Gingrich and his political committees $58,000 since 1989, $36,500 of which came through its political action committee.

And fellow aircraft company Lockheed Martin, whose aviation affiliate Lockheed Martin Aeronatics is based in the Atlanta area, has also been a large contributor over the years. The defense contractor has given Gingrich $43,000 over the years, almost all through its PAC.

Gingrich, who founded the House Aviation and Space Caucus during his early years in Congress, also counts two aviation trade groups among his biggest donors.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has given Gingrich $58,000 and Air Line Pilots Association $18,500 through their respective PACs. In fact, the air transport industry as a whole has given Gingrich nearly $280,000 over the years, the 11th most of any industry.

The air transport industry was also his third-biggest source of funding the last time he ran for office, for Georgia’s 6th Congressional district (which includes suburban Atlanta) in 1998.

Coca-Cola has been another robust source of homegrown cash for Gingrich’s political career.

Employees of the Atlanta-based beverage giant have contributed $57,000 to his campaign since 1989.

Flowers Foods, a Georgia-based bakery whose products include bread brands Nature’s Own and Sunbeam, has followed Coke’s lead — its employees have given Gingrich $33,000 since 1989.

Altogether the food and beverage industry has provided him with nearly $400,000 over that time. And in the 1998 election cycle, his last until this year, it gave him $80,000 — more than any other politician.

Geographically speaking, the vast majority of the money Gingrich has raised has come from neighbors back home.

Nineteen of the 25 zip codes that have given the most to Gingrich since 1989 are located in the Atlanta metro area, and together they have accounted for $1.9 million.

In all, Atlanta metro area contributions to Gingrich total $2.9 million of the $3.5 million he has received from the state of Georgia.

Nearby Florida, the second most Gingrich-friendly state, has given him a third of that, despite having four large metro areas that are among Gingrich’s biggest sources of funding.

And as of the end of September, 12 percent of his $2.9 million haul for his 2012 presidential campaign has come from Georgia and 7 percent has come from Florida, according to the Center’s research. Residents of no other states have given more.

HEALTH SECTOR A LARGE SOURCE OF CAMPAIGN CASH

The health sector has been a reliable source of funding throughout Gingrich’s political career.

After resigning from Congress in 1998, healthcare became one of his pet issues. In 2003, he founded the Center for Health Transformation, a healthcare think tank that charged large healthcare firms annual dues to discuss, and attempt to influence, healthcare policy in Washington, as the Washington Post previously reported.

Altogether the sector has accounted for $1.1 million in contributions, fourth-most among all sectors.

Eight of the top 50 companies in terms of donations to Gingrich since 1989 fall into the health sector, and five of these are among the top 25.

Health professionals have given Gingrich almost $700,000 over the course of his career, fourth-most among all industries.

Golden Rule Financial, a health insurance and finance services company, has been Gingrich’s No. 1 supporter, according to the Center’s research. Employees of this UnitedHealth Group subsidiary have donated $75,500 to Gingrich since 1989, of which $57,500 has come from individuals and $18,000 from its corporate PAC.

In general, insurance companies — and particularly health-related ones like Golden Rule — have been generous to Gingrich. The industry has given him about $800,000, and five insurance companies are among his top 100 donors.

The employees of HealthSouth Corp., his largest insurance contributor, have given him $60,000 since 1989, the fifth-most of any organization that’s given to Gingrich. And another Georgia company, supplemental insurance provider AFLAC Inc., has given him $50,000 over the years, mostly through its PAC.

Several other insurance firms have also contributed more than $20,000 to Gingrich, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance and New York Life Insurance.

FINANCE SECTOR TOPS THE LIST

Though the health sector and his home state stand out the most in Gingrich’s fundraising career, it is the deep-pocketed finance sector that have given him the most money.

This sector, which includes finance, real estate and insurance interests, has donated $2.9 million to Gingrich and his political committees over the years. The largest chunk of this has come from insurance groups, which have given about $800,000. Notably, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, the fourth-largest political giver in the insurance industry this cycle, has given Gingrich $56,000 since 1989.

The securities and investment industry, led by Citigroup’s $65,000 in donations, has contributed $717,000 to Gingrich’s cause. Other Gingrich supporters in this industry include Merrill Lynch, which has given him $41,000 since 1989, Morgan Stanley, which has given $32,000 and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, which has given $49,000.

Real estate interests such as the National Association of Realtors, which has contributed $48,500 to Gingrich since 1989, make up $611,000 of the $2.9 million total from FIRE interests.

Center for Responsive Politics senior researcher Douglas Weber contributed to this report.

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Tea Party House Members Even Wealthier Than Other GOP Lawmakers http://likethedew.com/2012/01/05/tea-party-house-members-even-wealthier-than-other-gop-lawmakers/ http://likethedew.com/2012/01/05/tea-party-house-members-even-wealthier-than-other-gop-lawmakers/#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2012 06:07:26 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=35048 Their politics may differ. But both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement have laid claim to representing the interests of the middle class, whose economic frustrations helped spur the groups' establishment and growth.

So which side's congressional lawmakers come closest to embodying that wide swath of the U.S. population? Or, in Occupy terms, which side is closer to the 99 percent?
Neither the members of the House Tea Party Caucus nor those of the House Progressive Caucus -- whose views most closely align with the Occupy Wall Street movement -- are remotely middle class, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of congressional personal financial disclosure forms covering 2010, the most recently available data.
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Their politics may differ. But both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement have laid claim to representing the interests of the middle class, whose economic frustrations helped spur the groups’ establishment and growth.

So which side’s congressional lawmakers come closest to embodying that wide swath of the U.S. population? Or, in Occupy terms, which side is closer to the 99 percent?

Neither the members of the House Tea Party Caucus nor those of the House Progressive Caucus — whose views most closely align with the Occupy Wall Street movement — are remotely middle class, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of congressional personal financial disclosure forms covering 2010, the most recently available data.

U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant of Texas is richest Tea Partier.

The members of the House Tea Party Caucus are especially wealthy, the Center’s research shows.

The median average net worth of a member of the House Tea Party Caucus was $1.8 million in 2010. (Financial disclosure forms require lawmakers to value their assets and liabilities only in ranges, so it’s impossible to know exactly how wealthy a particular elected official is. However, it’s possible to calculate an average net worth for each member of Congress.)

That’s significantly higher than the comparable number for the median House member: $755,000. It’s also more than 130 percent above the $774,280 average net worth of the median, non-Tea Party Caucus House Republican.

Furthermore, the caucus, a group of 60 House members founded by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), includes 33 millionaires and six members worth more than $20 million, according to the Center’s research. That means a member of the group is more likely to be a millionaire than the average Republican who isn’t in the caucus.

Christopher Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University,  called the Republican lawmakers’ personal wealth unsurprising.

“Because they have amassed personal wealth, or inherited it, they are much more likely to be attuned to business or investment as an issue and less friendly towards regulations,” Arterton told OpenSecrets Blog.

“Their own background leads them to lean ideologically in the direction of business interests and free market.”

The median House Republican, generally speaking, was worth significantly more than the median House Democrat last year: $834,250 versus $635,000.

“The Republican Party is known to be a party that has lots of connections to big business, business interests and the so-called job creators so these people do tend to be more wealthy,” Arterton noted. “So it’s not surprising to me that the Republican members are wealthier than Democratic ones.”

The wealth among the House Tea Party Caucus’s membership ranges from Rep. Stephen Fincher‘s (R-Tenn.) estimated average net worth of negative $3.3 million to the $49.3 million of the richest member of the group, Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas). The congressional offices of several members of both caucuses were contacted by OpenSecrets Blog, but all declined to comment for this story.

Similarly, on the other side of the aisle, members of the House Progressive Caucus may have less first-hand familiarity than some of their fellow lawmakers with the economic pinch being felt by many in the nation. Those in the caucus are less wealthy than the average House member, according to the data for last year — but actually slightly wealthier than the average Democrat.

The Center’s research found that the median average net worth of a member of the Progressive Caucus was about $639,500 in 2010. That’s 3.4 percent more than the average net worth of $618,500 of the median House Democrat who is not part of the Progressive Caucus.

The least wealthy member of the House Progressive Caucus is Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.), whose estimated average net worth puts her $383,500 in debt. At the other end of the spectrum is Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), whose estimated average net worth clocks in at $143.2 million. In all, 24 of the 73 voting members of the caucus are millionaires.

The small number of Senate-side members of both these caucuses may actually be closer, financially speaking, to the 99 percent.

The Senate’s three Tea Party Caucus members are relatively poor compared to their peers. Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) were, on average, each worth less than $774,000. That’s well below the $2.6 million average for the Senate, and also well below the $3.2 million average for non-Tea Party Caucus GOP senators.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the only senator in the Progressive Caucus, had an average net worth of $429,000 in 2010. That’s about one-sixth the average net worth of the median member of the Senate Democratic caucus, which stands at $2.7 million.

Notably, Sanders, DeMint, Paul and Lee are all among the 25 poorest senators, according to the Center’s research.

Center for Responsive Politics senior researcher Dan Auble contributed to this report.

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Boehner, Cantor, Ryan Among Goldman Sachs Investors in Congress http://likethedew.com/2011/11/26/boehner-cantor-ryan-among-goldman-sachs-investors-in-congress/ http://likethedew.com/2011/11/26/boehner-cantor-ryan-among-goldman-sachs-investors-in-congress/#respond Sat, 26 Nov 2011 05:16:33 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=33281 Goldman Sachs, the most notorious investment bank on Wall Street, has two things in common with the legislators with significant investments in the company: wealth and power.

According to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, 19 current members of Congress reported holdings in Goldman Sachs during 2010. Whether by coincidence or not, most of these 19 Goldman Sachs investors in Congress are more powerful or more wealthy than their peers, or both.

Nine of them sit on either the most powerful committee in their chamber or committees charged with regulating the Wall Street giant. Moreover, seven of them are among the 25 wealthiest members of their respective chambers, according to the Center's research.

And of the six lawmakers who fall into neither category, two are the most influential Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

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Goldman Sachs, the most notorious investment bank on Wall Street, has two things in common with the legislators with significant investments in the company: wealth and power.

According to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, 19 current members of Congress reported holdings in Goldman Sachs during 2010. Whether by coincidence or not, most of these 19 Goldman Sachs investors in Congress are more powerful or more wealthy than their peers, or both.

Nine of them sit on either the most powerful committee in their chamber or committees charged with regulating the Wall Street giant. Moreover, seven of them are among the 25 wealthiest members of their respective chambers, according to the Center’s research.

And of the six lawmakers who fall into neither category, two are the most influential Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

Altogether, the 19 had at least $480,000 and as much as $1.1 million invested in Goldman Sachs in 2010, the most recent year personal finance data are available. That’s an average of about $812,900 for these 19 lawmakers’ holdings combined.

Lawmakers are only required to report their personal assets and liabilities in broad ranges, meaning it’s impossible to know the precise value of these holdings. The Center uses the minimum and maximum values listed on the filings to calculate an average value for each asset and liability.

But these financial interests are not a one-way street: Goldman Sachs employees and its political action committee have contributed about $124,000, combined, to a dozen of the lawmakers who reported holdings in the company in 2010, according to the Center’s research. This includes all money given during the 2010 election cycle and thus far in 2011.

INFLUENCE

The congressional Goldman Sachs investors wield considerable influence in both chambers, either through powerful committees, leadership positions or committee assigned to overseeing Goldman and the big-money interests on Wall Street.
In the leadership category are names such as Boehner and Cantor, each of whom has an average $32,500 invested in Goldman.

Goldman Sachs’ employees, meanwhile, have also contributed heavily to Boehner and Cantor.

Boehner has received $29,500, and Cantor $48,000, from them since 2009, according to the Center’s research.

Other Goldman investors with this kind of power include two members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, better known as the debt supercommittee.

The first, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), reported $1,177 invested in Goldman in 2010, and, as minority whip, is the second highest ranking Republican in the Senate.

And not only is Kyl a member of the supercommittee and party leadership, he also sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which regulates Goldman Sachs and its peers on Wall Street.

Another one of Kyl’s colleagues on the supercommittee, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is also a Goldman investor.

Upton had an average of $8,000 invested in the company in 2010, according to the Center’s research.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), is another influential Goldman shareholder in Congress.

Ryan sits on two very important House committees: the Budget Committee, which he chairs, and the Ways and Means Committee.

Ryan reported an average of $8,000 invested in Goldman and has received $5,800 from the company’s employees so far this year after receiving $10,000 from them during the 2010 cycle, according to the Center’s research.

One of Goldman Sachs’ most valuable congressional investors is Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), whose average of $550,000 in investments in the company is far and away the most in Congress.

Additionally Neugebauer sits on the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees Wall Street and the securities and investment industry of which Goldman is a part.

That also helps explain the $9,500 Goldman Sachs employees have contributed to Neugebauer since January 2009 through the company’s political action committee.

Rep. Gary Peters (R-Mich.) is another Goldman Sachs investor on the Financial Services committee. He has an average of $8,000 invested and has received $4,500 from the company this year from its PAC.

WEALTH

The Goldman Sachs investors in Congress aren’t just influential, many are also among the wealthiest of their peers.

The fifth wealthiest member of Congress, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), was invested in Goldman in 2010.

Warner’s average net worth is an estimated $192.7 million. He has between $0 and $1,000 invested in Goldman Sachs, a company whose employees have given him $3,000 since January 2009.

Rep. Vernon Buchanon (R-Fla.), the eighth richest member of Congress and fifth richest member of the House, had an average $32,500 invested in Goldman in 2010. Buchanon also sits on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Another wealthy member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Berg (R-N.D.), is also a Goldman investor.

Berg had $3,026 invested in Goldman in 2010 and is worth $33.5 million, making him the 14th wealthiest House member.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) is a Goldman investor and is also among the 25 wealthiest members of the House.

Sensenbrenner, who is worth an estimated $18.7 million, had $16,816 invested in Goldman in 2010.

Other wealthy members of Congress invested in Goldman include Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

Here is a table showing these 19 lawmakers, along with the average amounts of their 2010 Goldman Sachs holdings and the amount of campaign contributions they’ve received from Goldman Sachs employees or the corporate PAC since January 2009:

Name Average Investment Value Amount Received 2009-2011
Richard Berg $3,026 $5,000
Jeff Bingaman $8,000.50 $3,000
John Boehner $32,500.50 $29,500
Vernon Buchanon $32,500.50 $2,500
Larry Bucshon $8,000.50  $0
Eric Cantor $32,500.50 $48,150
Jack Kingston $8,239  $0
Jon Kyl $1,177  $0
Claire McCaskill $500  $0
Ben Nelson $500 $1,235
Randy Neugebauer $550,001 $9,500
Gary Peters $8,000.50 $4,500
Phil Roe $21,602  $0
Steven Rothman $8,000.50 $500
Paul Ryan $8,000.50 $15,800
James Sensenbrenner Jr. $16,816  $0
Fred Upton $8,000.50  $0
Mark Warner $500 $3,000
Sheldon Whitehouse $65,001 $1,000
Total $812,866.50 $123,685

See the more detailed information on members of Congress and their Goldman Sachs investments here.

Center for Responsive Politics senior researcher Dan Auble contributed to this report.

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