“No” Votes on Derivatives Bill Received 30% More From Financial Interests

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  • Dale Eisman

The eight Senators that voted against derivatives legislation in the Senate Agriculture Committee today have received 30 percent more in campaign contributions, on average, from financial interests than those that voted in favor of the bill, according to analysis by Public Campaign and Common Cause. The vote was 13-8, with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) joining the other Democrats on the committee.

“Wall Street is spending money hand over fist on lobbying fees and campaign contributions to influence the policy-making process in Washington, DC,” said Bob Edgar, President and CEO of Common Cause. “Today’s vote highlights how powerful these contributions can be.”

The Senators that voted in favor of the legislation-deemed too tough by many Wall Street firms-have received, on average, $1,106, 814 from financial interests from 2005 to today. Those Senators that voted against the legislation received, on average, $1,429,945 from the industry-a difference of more than $300,000.

“We had to bail out these banks for wreaking havoc on our economy and now they are in Washington trying to maintain the status quo,” said Edgar. “We need to end this pay-to-play system that pits wealthy interests against the voices of everyday Americans.”

Public Campaign and Common Cause are working to pass the Fair Elections Now Act, legislation that would end this nonstop chase for campaign cash and make politicians accountable solely to their constituents. With Fair Elections, candidates can run for office on a blend of limited public funds and a match on donations of $100 or less. Sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin and Reps. John Larson (D-Ill) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.), the legislation has the broad, bipartisan and cross-caucus support of 144 House members and 16 Senators.

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