April 20th, 2010
05:19 PM ET
4 years ago

Goldman a top Obama donor

Goldman Sachs, Wall Street's top investment bank, was a generous contributor to Obama's presidential campaign.
Goldman Sachs, Wall Street's top investment bank, was a generous contributor to Obama's presidential campaign.

Washington (CNN) - Goldman Sachs, the embattled Wall Street investment bank defending itself from civil fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, has been an active donor to political candidates and parties in the past 20 years and was a top contributor to the 2008 presidential campaign of then-Sen. Barack Obama.

According to Federal Election Commission figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Goldman Sachs' political action committee and individual contributors who listed the company as their employer donated $994,795 during 2007 and 2008 to Obama's presidential campaign, the second highest contribution from a company PAC and company employees. Only the PAC and employees of the University of California, which donated more than $1.5 million, topped Goldman Sachs. Federal law prohibits a company from directly giving money to a campaign committee.

Goldman Sachs contributions to the Obama campaign were more than four times larger than the $230,095 in donations to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.

Read: More about Goldman's political contributions

Since 1990, Goldman Sachs' PAC and employees have consistently contributed more money to Democratic rather than Republican candidates for federal office. In the 2008 election, three out of every four dollars contributed by Goldman Sachs went to Democrats.

FEC reports also indicate that Goldman Sachs has contributed generously to Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee members in the last 15 months. The two panels are responsible for oversight of the industry.

In addition to the SEC lawsuit, the company, along with the rest of the financial services sector, faces an aggressive Democratic-led campaign to impose new rules on banks.

Updated 5:20 p.m.


Filed under: Goldman Sachs • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. It has begun-

    Gee I thought Wall Street was in bed with only the Republicans?

    Even more astounding is that Wall stree gave more to Dems than Republicans by a margin of 60-40.

    If Goldman did something bad why aren't criminal charges filed? U really have to wonder if this is just a stunt to get the Financial Reform passed. If passed, this suit will be dropped due to "lack of evidence". Mark my words.

    April 20, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. bmw

    Thank goodness we have a President who thinks and acts independently of his campaign contributors. I like this man the more I know about him.

    April 20, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. dave

    Yea they were. You just figuring this out CNN? Every politician both sides of the isle have taken Money from them. The key is Obama is willng to go after them anyway. Stay classy CNN

    April 20, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. aware

    Mr. Obama seems to be more interested in creating a global crisis!

    The plan is for the dominoes to fall, so the world will be ripe for a global dictatorship! :(

    April 20, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Sgt. USMC

    All this is telling me is that unlike the Republicans, the Democrats are not FOR SALE.

    April 20, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Obama getting pockets full of money from the "evil WALL STREET"??? I'm SHOCKED!!!!!

    Now that we have confirmed that he is a hypocrit, where is his birth certificate? His school records? There's a lot we still don't know about this guy...

    April 20, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Tony

    And let's not forget that Obama is employing numerous former Goldman Sachs employees.

    Goldman Sachs are experts at crony capitalism, they have their dirty hands on both parties. Still no change, just more of the same.

    April 20, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Steve (the real one)

    Why does the term "you get what you pay for" come to mind?

    April 20, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. EWPitt

    It is rather misleading to present employee's contributions to campaigns as a contribution from the employer they work for. I didn't like it when it is done with Exxon Mobile and I don't like it here. I would much rather they extract the PAC dollars from the whole, as I believe this more telling of where the Company wanted the dollars directed. Unfortunately this article doesn't do that.

    April 20, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Fed Up With Dems

    "In the 2008 election, three out of every four dollars contributed by Goldman Sachs went to Democrats."

    And the Democrats have the gall to claim that the Republicans are in bed with the "fat-cat" bankers and Wall Street? I think that Americans need to wake up quickly and stop believing the lies that the Democrats repeatedly spread!

    April 20, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Kevin B

    No big deal, now all of the big time corporate donors now know that thier huge political contributions do not guarantee thier exclusion from regulation.

    Mr Obama is putting the interest of regular americans first.

    April 20, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. al in memphis

    Little misleading because an employee for any company can donate to whom they want. It has nothing to do with Goldman.
    However, I guess it was clear that Obama was going to be brought off by big business while doing the people business.

    April 20, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. rob

    I can't wait for the front page expose in the NYT about the sleazy dealings of the democrats and the President. You know the one where they will paint the whole party in bed with the EVIL Wall Street types who got filthy rich while the little guy got clobbered.

    I guess I'll be waiting forever because the NYT, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC etc. etc. etc. will never tell us the whole truth about any issue if its against this President or the Dem party. There is a dangerous "Group Think" mentality going on in the MSM more today than ever. The more we get more ballanced news coverage from other networks like Fox or the internet etc. the more this group will dig in their heels until hopefully their ratings or circulation drops to zero and their forced to be more fair. I believe that day is coming sooner than they think and it can't happen fast enough.

    April 20, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Why is the University of California PAC giving $1.5 million to political campaigns? What's the source of the money? It had better not be the taxpayers.

    April 20, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. thanatos

    Yeah well I think that Obama at least tries to put the people over money. Just because they contributed money doesn't mean that Obama has to bend over backwards for them.

    April 20, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Stu - Las Vegas

    CNN – What is your point here?

    You can also spend a million bucks on lottery tickets, it does not mean that you are going to get anything in return.

    My point is, just because you "invest" in a candidate, doesn't mean you are going to get anything in return.

    Stop trying to infer otherwise. That's not reporting, Paul Steinhauser is a Tea Partier anyway. NOT a Journalist.

    April 20, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Don't worry, President Obama will take care of his "Buddies".

    April 20, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. moosehead

    Misleading and fraudulent headline,.. should read " Goldman-Sachs Employees contribute." Any numbers on how much the Company and it's employees contributed to the GOP and McCain?? Or was their contribution in the forms of bribes, and untraceable?

    April 20, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    They are a big donor? Then why is the Obama administration coming down so hard on them?

    As a conservative, I can't understand how you can bite the hand that fed you. Obama has no loyalty. How can we trust him? Next time, Goldman-Sachs should support only conservatives. We will protect our friends.

    April 20, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Ray Fisher

    Democracy is dead, replaced by the almighty greed of politics!!!

    April 20, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Frozone

    And now they're under indictment from Obama's SEC. But I'm sure the GOP, who are wholly owned by Wall Street, want us to believe Obama and Goldman are both crooks.

    April 20, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Capt. Snarky

    When you see the investigation into GS fall apart and the .Gov loses it's case, then you'll know who Barry's masters are...................

    April 20, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Eric in Denver

    Wow one fraud donating to another fraud!

    April 20, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Papasan in Az

    Wall Street is the Largest Recipient off Bail Out $$$.

    Main Street USA gets nothing...

    Where are the Jobs!

    Where is the Help for Middle Class USA!

    We can't eat HOPE!

    Why are the Banks still foreclosing!

    April 20, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. aos

    So what? I gave money to Obama and my husband gave to McCain, but our employers had nothing to do with it. We were just required to insert the companies' names on the forms we filled out when we sent in our donations. We don't discuss politics at work; in fact we are not allowed to talk about politics at work. It doesn't surprise me that Obama had a lot of donations from employees from Goldman's. I bet he had a lot of donations from employees from most major corporations (and small ones).

    April 20, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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