Bailout beneficiaries give hidden ‘bundles’ to House Committee overseeing industry reform


As the House Financial Services Committee begins to consider financial industry reform legislation (discussion drafts started appearing on the committee’s Web site on Sept. 25), will we see the same kind of hidden “bundles” flowing to members that we saw going to key members of the Senate Finance Committee from health care interests and their lobbyists? That one-two punch flooded Sen. Max Baucus’ campaign coffers with more than $450,000 from 11 health care interests–and 109 lobbyists who represented them–from Jan. 2007 through the end of June, 2009.

To date, we ‘ve found far fewer of these contribution clusters–in which outside lobbyists and their clients both donate to the same member of Congress–coming from interests in the financial sector. Of the 71 members of the House Financial Services Committee, 55 had a contribution cluster, and of those, only 34 had more than one. Sunlight and the Center for Responsive Politics will begin examining data from the third quarter to see whether this pattern holds, or whether all the financial services fundraisers we’ve tracked at Political Party Time have boosted the number of clusters.

But some patterns have emerged already. Beneficiaries of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act–the bailout that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP–dominated the list of clients in our survey. Goldman Sachs and lobbyists that represent it were the biggest source of clusters; both contributed to 16 members of the committee, followed by Bank of America (15), J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (14) and Citigroup, accounting firm Ernst & Young and Morgan Stanley (all tied with 12). Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America acquired in 2008, had ten clusters–if you combine those with its new parent, Bank of America rises to the top of the list.

Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., had the most client/lobbyist pairings from financial industry interests–15 in all, followed by the committee chair, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., (13) and Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., (11).

Below are lists of the top clusterers and the top clusterees (that is, the clients who with their outside lobbyists gave to the most members, and the members who were the focus of the most client/outside lobbyist giving).

Top financial industry client-lobbyist contributors
Client No of members Industry
Goldman Sachs 16 Securities & Investment
Bank of America 15 Banking
JPMorgan Chase & Co 14 Banking
Citigroup 12 Banking
Ernst & Young 12 Accounting
Morgan Stanley 12 Securities & Investment
Credit Suisse Group 11 Securities & Investment
Merrill Lynch* 10 Securities & Investment
PricewaterhouseCoopers 9 Accounting
Federal Home Loan Bank 8 Mortgage Banking
FMR Corp 7 Securities & Investment
Freddie Mac 7 Mortgage Banking
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 6 Accounting
Fannie Mae 6 Mortgage Banking

Top House Financial Services Committee contribution cluster recipients
Member Clusters
Paul E Kanjorski (D-PA) 15
Barney Frank (D-MA) 13
Dan Maffei (D-NY) 11
Ron Klein (D-FL) 10
Jim Himes (D-CT) 9
John H Adler (D-NJ) 8
Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) 8
Paul W Hodes (D-NH) 8
Ed Royce (R-CA) 8
Spencer Bachus (R-AL) 7
Melissa Bean (D-IL) 7