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

Goldman a top Obama donor

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/20/art.sachs.gi.jpg caption="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. Broad

    Is this a surprise., Obama speaketh with forked tongue.

    April 20, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Average American

    One day your righties are saying that Obama only got donations from unions and welfare queens. The next day you say he is in the pocket of big banks. Please pick a side! I don't know a single unionized welfare queen who works at Goldman.

    If you're going to blindly attack this president, at least be consistent. Geez!

    April 20, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No one had a crystal ball to know that Goldman Sachs was committing fraud that's what prompted the investigation, so get over yourself.

    April 20, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. char

    wow surpising cnn is reporting legit news regarding their master..

    April 20, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Lori in St Pete

    The real question is how many of those Obama contributors' annual compensation and benefit packages combined topped $45k a year? My guess is probably not many.

    April 20, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Dink

    OH I"M SORRY.... I missed those articles CNN published on

    Who were the Top donors of Health Care?

    Oh, I forgot.... the Republican's didn't send out that 'Daily Briefing Memo'

    But CNN got THIS ONE!

    April 20, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. William

    CNN's next intriguing title: Goldman Hussein Sachs?

    April 20, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. kravitz

    Which proves Obama can't be bought. And Mitch McConnell can. We don't need another Michael Moore movie to see that.

    April 20, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. char

    Perfect timing. I smell a setup to force finacial overhaul
    down our throat!

    April 20, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Tom, Vermillion, Ohio

    Looks like an excellent opportunity for the Dems, Repubs and of course the Administration to "root" out those unsavory, unethical and perhaps even corrupt big business corporations headquartered on Wall Street. Wanna "win votes" politicians?? Go ahead, go after those corporations even though they might have contributed to your compaign, beat them up and legislate them into the ground. The American people will love you for it and keep or put you in office! There are many corporations waiting in line to take their place that you all can get adequate contributions from. Another tip, publically complain about those special interests and lobbyists. Tell us how they are trying to maneuver and manipulate you. You may lose the compaign contributions, but you will have gained OUR VOTE!!! And that's what counts.

    April 20, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. felicia

    So what cnn, i mean what are you trying to say.
    That doesn't mean President Obama had anything to do with their crookedness.

    That's what i mean by how i can't stand cnn, you people are crooked.

    April 20, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Sergio

    I believe that no one entity should be exempt from prosecution if it has dealt illegally. And we as American should not condone these acts but support our president in going after those who have broke the law and swindled so many out of their hard earn money. Americans need to stop condemning our president due their prejudice ideologies.

    April 20, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. worriedmom

    hmm seems Obama bit the hand that fed him. seems to be happening a lot

    April 20, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Joanna in PA

    Everyone and there mother knew that the GOP was going to lose power in 2008. so, the goldman people and such donated to the dems in hopes it would buy them some piece of mind. But i didn't, and Obama is going to slap major regulations on these criminals. Know body new what these huge banks were up too. we had Bush who was anti government and didn't enforce a thing. Thank goodness we have Obama!

    April 20, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Terry from West Texas

    Corporate contributors do not give money just to those they support. They also give money to those they think will win. If you give somebody a million dollars, he will probably take your phone calls.

    I am pessimistic about regulating global corporations. They have unlimited funds. Good advertising and spending plenty of money to finance the campaigns of friendly candidates will win out in the end. Most Americans are profoundly influenced by advertising.

    Oh yes, does anyone know what DagneyTag was saying. All the words are English and I can define them all, but I can't understand any of the sentences.

    April 20, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. Chitown Jason

    Meaningless, really. Goldman Sachs is HQ'd in New York City, which is predominantly Democrat. So of course they're going to contribute more often to Obama than to McCain.

    No conspiracy here, just common sense.

    April 20, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. Obama must give the money back....

    he CANNOT associate with people that he and his administration are accusing of fraud against the people......

    We'll now see how honest Obama is.....

    April 20, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. Tommy

    So get out there and find out what is behind it, CNN. Find out who these G-S "employees" are and why they gave. What did they expect? I am an employee too (not G-S) and I contributed to Obama's campaign. I did it because I wanted to see a good man in the presidency for a change, not for some financial benefit.

    April 20, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. S

    aware, just like under FDR, only crises kept him in power. Beware.

    April 20, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. JWB

    Seems a little distorted headline to me. Was it contribution by Goldman as a company or was it contributions by people who happened to be employed by Goldman?

    April 20, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. char

    It really amazes me that anybody can still defend barack obama.
    from his radical friends to his secret donors.
    this man has a agenda and its not good for our counry!

    April 20, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. In the West

    That's the difference between the right and the left: the right has always been willing to sell out America for contributions and kickbacks, the left less so, which is why the dems will go after the greedy banks DESPITE their campaign contributions. If the conservatives were in power does anyone actually think there would be any penalty for the recent bank BS that almost wrecked the economy? I'm proud of our President for having more balls than ANY republican sellout.

    April 20, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. MattInOhio

    I just LOVE seeing all the Obama-nots trying to spin this...best president ever? Not even close. He may go down as worse than Jimmy Carter. How's that Gallup Poll looking today...ONE AND DONE!

    April 20, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. Patrick

    For those that think this is an allegation that Obama was involved in wrongdoing, it is just a story reporting facts which are readily available that people may be interested in. And good for Obama that he's not afraid to go after his own supporters when they are guilty of wrongdoing. Hope it sends a message to other lobbyist that they won't be protected by their pocketbook.

    April 20, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Obama Victim

    Obama is a crook.........

    April 20, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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