April 20th, 2010
05:19 PM ET
5 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. Hammerer

    Is that a surprise? The banks bought and paid for congress, they got nearly a trillion dollars handout and now the Dems want to setup a slush fund to provide billions for bailouts, handouts and of course pay offs to congress.
    CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN, right?

    April 20, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Brass

    Not confusing a bit. Obama makes millions and year and is a man of people. He wants to tax rich people more. He hates big business who support his campaigns and employ millions of Americans. Wealth like he has is bad but he doesn't need to worry about it beacise he has mail box money in Government pension, books, and speaking engagements for the rest of his life. Work hard and get rich and you can help fund his lifestyle too.

    April 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. catmomtx

    Okay, and.... Was a law broken? Is there a law against Obama's campaign accepting a campaign donation? Is there any proof that President Obama did anything wrong other than his campaign accepting the donation? Why must you people try and make something out of nothing?

    TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT: 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...
    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    We? Who? We haven't confirmed anything. You have just used a little piece of information to make it fit what ever your beliefs are about the President. Nothing more, nothing less. In this country, people make contributions to whoever they want. Just because you have received a contribution from someone does not mean you control anything they do nor does it mean they control everything you do. Besides, didn't the Supreme Court just say this was okay? Sorry dude, this won't do it . This will not condemn President Obama

    April 20, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Goldman Sachs, like all big corporations, doesn't care who they sleep with, as long as they think they will get something from it. The Republicans have been shown to be very cozy with G-S, but that doesn't stop G-S from trying to buy influence where and when they can.
    What the government needs to do is hold the corporations responsible for every dollar they spend or risk if the corporation is holding the public's money. No matter how much profit the corporations make it isn't company money, but belongs to everyone who invests in the company.

    April 20, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. Michelle

    I have an idea..let's end all PACs. Palin is using hers to funnel money to her buddies, not to political causes, and I'm sure most of the PACs are sleazy. Why do they exist? If a person wants to donate, let them do it under the rules for individuals, not in the name of a company. Oh, I forgot, companies are now people according to the Supreme Court. Next they will be voting.

    April 20, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. Peter E

    There is nothing surprising here. Corporations have always bet on the winner, trying to grease/buy them. Obama collected from the very same pharmaceutical and oil companies that he criticized his opponents for accepting money from. Betting on a winning horse is just how it is here in America.

    April 20, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. annie against biased news

    Would that surprise anyone? How soon is the incapable pres. giving that back?

    April 20, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Maria

    This so called investigation is a stunt to get financial reform passed. Why are we not talikng about Fannie and Freddie, as well as Chris Dodd and Barney Frank? Shouldn't charges be filed against them?
    I'm shocked CNN is actually reporting this about Obama.

    April 20, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    FACTS: Goldman Sachs could not donate millions in 2008 to President Obama's campaign, the $994,795 was donated by Goldman Sachs employees.

    BTW: Hank Pauslon was Bush's Treasury Secretary. Paulson was the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, and the author of the original Wall Street Bail Out Bill.

    So, why not be fair and balance and report the .......whole truth?

    April 20, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. Brian L

    Thanks to the radical conservative Supreme Court they can attack politicians at will. These judicial activists are destroying America..... Where have all the Liberals gone? We need them to save this country!

    April 20, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. TonyInLargo

    Therefore, what I can extract from this is that it doesn't matter that Goldman Sachs contributed to the President's campaign, because their executives are still going to be held responsible for misleading investors and the regulations for more disclosure on their part will be passed.

    April 20, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. John D

    Just who is surprised by this? Obama and the Democrats will stab anyone in the back. It is what they do best!

    April 20, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. m smith

    Whats the news??? The repos take contributions also. Seems like our president will not be bought off just because someone contributes to his campaign . He will do the right thing for the American people. Unlike the repos who want to kill the reform bill. So who is taking what ??

    April 20, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. Tom

    And exactly how much have Bush, Cheney RNC, GOP senators and reps received from the same company over the years?

    April 20, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Carmelle

    Well I guess Goldman made a bad bet on Dems huh? That's why they are going back the Repubs.

    Dems, push it even further: Return the money from Goldman. That will send a clear message on who you stand with.

    April 20, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. T. Jefferson

    Give back that bundled money, uhbama.

    April 20, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  17. Jerry - Florida

    Yes, yes I took their money! But, they did not provide enough. Now my administration will prosecute them to the full extent of my law. Take that you Goldman Sachs.

    Your Vengeful-in-Chief

    April 20, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. SD, Michigan

    In 2007 and 2008, how many people knew what was going on in Goldman-Sachs? The shady deals and everything. Maybe a handful of insiders....
    Even as of today with the fraud charges they still insist everything they did was legit.
    They're gonna have to change their way of making deals, and no past campaign contribution is gonna stop that.
    Certainly not Pres Obama, who said he'd veto a weak bill that doesn't regulate the derivatives and all the "exotic" instruments used to fool investors.
    Wall Street is gonna have to change and become transparent after this bill is passed.
    No more intentionally selling bad assets to their investors (like pension funds, etc...)

    April 20, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  19. Fed Up

    Hmm. And now a White House lawyer is working for Sachs. Isn't this just a great administration. Has anyone looked into the contributions from Citi, Chase, AIG, etc? Bet there's lots more where that came from.

    April 20, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  20. phoenix86

    Two groups own Obama. The health insurance industry and Wall Street. They say jump, and he jumps.

    April 20, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  21. LORD STANLEY'S MUG.

    Quite refreshing i'd say,... to see a politician refusing to show favoritism, even to his contributors,.. Pres. Obama could have chosen to whitewash the whole deal, and sweep it under the carpet,.. instead he chose to prosecute the criminals. I like the message here,.." your money will not buy you immunity, if you break the law". Bravo Mr. President.

    April 20, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. KateHikes

    Surprise, surprise...the Eternal jew lines the pocket of every politician in Washington.

    April 20, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. cat West

    The article is couched in terms to make it sound like Obama received funds from PAC and individuals. That simply is not true. Obama did not accept ANY PAC dollars. So including this as part of the equation is questionable...

    Secondly, IF Obama had taken all this money from GS as the article overly implies, it would not paint Obama as a bad guy in any way. It would show that he cannot be bought, that he stands on his principles, and that he has more integrity than we are accustomed to finding in our elected politicians.

    So, essentially, the article says that it doesn't matter who contributes to Obama, he is going to do the right thing by the American Public, regardless.

    Now, go sharpen your wits and try to get out of the corner you just painted yourself into.

    April 20, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. so rich even obama couldn't hurt me but you middle class folk should worry

    Charles W Skimmer!!!!!! you are the definition of " hitting the nail on the head" it is absolutely AMAZING to me , and scary, that you obama freaks can spin anything !!! do you people have any concrete beliefs? I mean you are so passionate about your beliefs you know like profiling at airports but yet you profile 25 percent of your own country because they are in a yes party!!! Hillary Clinton screamed years back how she was sick and tired with the fact that if you speak up against your government you are considered unamerican! fast foward and ...... you guys are laughable!!!! go spit on a soldier that's all you libs are good for!!!! Nov is right around the corner!!!!!

    April 20, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    And . . . . . . so what? Many corporations and individuals have given money to any candidate at any time.
    Was President Obama supposed to know what the future held? Remember he is not the chosen one. That's the shrilla' from Wasilla who thinks she IS god.

    April 20, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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