Jamie Dimon on Senate hot seat: Can money buy him love?
When JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon delivers his not-so-abject apology for his bank's $2 billion-plus blooper on Wednesday morning, he'll be facing some interrogators who are also his beneficiaries.
Since 1998, according to Sunlight's Influence Explorer, Dimon and members of his immediate family — wife Judith, father Theodore and mother Themis — have given more than $400,000 to politicians and political organizations, including to members of the Senate Banking Committee that has summoned Dimon to testify. Dimon gave $2,000 to committee chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., during his last reelection campaign and the same amount to Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the panel's second-ranking Republican. Two years ago, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., got a $2,000 donation from Dimon when the then-congressman ran successfully for the seat once occupied by President Barack Obama.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., received $2,000 from Dimon in 2008, the year he was first elected, and another $4,800 this year.
The biggest recipient of Dimon family funds has been the clan's home state senator, Chuck Schumer. Influence Explorer shows $9,000 in contributions to the veteran lawmaker from Dimon and his relatives, dating back to 1998 when Schumer was still a member of the House. Dimon also gave $28,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee when Schumer chaired in in 2008, helping to burnish the New Yorker's credentials as a party fundraiser and helping to position him for additional roles in Senate leadership.
Meanwhile, some of the more junior members of the committee have received donations in this campaign cycle from JPMorgan's political action committee. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the banking giant has given $8,000 apiece to Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., $4,000 to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and $1,000 to Kirk.
Dimon has been working his Washington contacts hard to roll back proposed regulations of precisely the type of transactions that cost his bank so much money earlier this year. Sunlight's Nancy Watzman chronicled the most recent series of meetings in a post two weeks ago. And Sunlight's Lindsay Young has reported on the growing concern about a possible conflict of interest between Dimon and some of his bank's regulators.