[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.
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.