April 29th, 2010
07:33 PM ET
13 years ago

Dems to attend fundraiser with donors who have ties to Wall St.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/29/art.gillibrand.file.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will attend a fundraiser Monday with some top Democratic donors who also have ties to Wall Street."]Washington (CNN) – As many Americans rail against big banks and lawmakers push for financial reform, Democratic Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Chris Dodd of Connecticut will attend a New York fundraiser with some top Democratic donors who also have ties to Wall Street.

The Monday fundraiser will be hosted by Jane Hartley, a longtime Gillibrand supporter, at her Manhattan home. Hartley does not work in the financial industry, but her husband is Ralph Schlosstein, president and CEO of the investment firm Evercore Partners. Schlosstein also served in the Carter administration.

Politicians have long rubbed elbows with Wall Street executives, who have traditionally been an important source of campaign dollars. But Gillibrand and Dodd's attendance at the event could prove politically embarrassing.

Dodd is the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which is deeply involved in crafting legislation to reform to Wall Street. In November, Gillibrand hopes to win a full six year term after New York Gov. David Paterson appointed her to the seat left vacant when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.

The senators' attendance at the event could give critics political ammunition in what has become a major battle over which party is cozier with Wall Street.

Recently, Republicans slammed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, for holding a fundraiser on Wall Street in January. Afterwards, the senator's office said Reid is committed to financial reform and holding Wall Street accountable. President Obama claimed that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, attended a meeting with Wall Street leaders to strategize how to block Wall Street reform – a charge McConnell denied. And Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas, recently cancelled a New York fundraiser with Goldman Sachs executives – and vowed not to take anymore campaign cash from the firm.

This week, current and former Goldman Sachs executives faced blistering cross-examination from lawmakers about the firm's role in the financial crisis. And earlier this month the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Goldman with defrauding investors in the sale of a complex mortgage investment – a charge Goldman denies.

The upcoming fundraiser was first reported in the Wall Street Journal.

The paper said that donors to the fundraiser, hoping to reach "host" status, are encouraged to contribute and solicit up to $19,800.

A Gillibrand spokesman said her attendance at a fundraiser that will include financial sector executives should not be misinterpreted.

"Senator Gillibrand's support for strong financial reform proves there is zero conflict," Communications Director Matt Canter said in a statement to CNN.

"The event is not an industry event. It is being hosted by some of the leading Democratic donors in New York City, many of who have supported Senator Gillibrand since her first run for Congress," he said.

Bryan DeAngelis, a spokesman for Dodd, said in a statement, "Senator Dodd has seen the great work Senator Gillibrand is doing for the people of New York and strongly supports her re-election."

The statement added, "Dodd's Wall Street Reform bill, which Senator Gillibrand strongly supports, is going to bring tough new rules and accountability to Wall Street."

Filed under: 2010 • Chris Dodd • Extra • Kirsten Gillibrand • Wall Street
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. ib

    Typical demo's hyprocrites all of them.

    April 29, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    I have a cousin that was once married to a man whose parents were republicans.

    Does that make me a republican?

    Boy – CNN, anything to tie everyone to everything to stir up even more crap.

    April 29, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Niki

    These people have no shame. Hypocrites all of them!!!

    April 29, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. Ken

    That can't be!! All Dems are moral compasses and are of the people and would never associate with Wall St types...gasp sob unless the media has lied to me.

    April 29, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    If anyone gets upset because an American national politician has ties to Wall Street somehow, they need to sit back and think about it for a minute. Business is not a bad thing. Wall Street is not evil. Profits are good. Bigger profits are better. Sure, there needs to be integrity and good intentions, but that does not conflict with big profits or big paychecks. People who contribute big should be rewarded big. What's wrong with that? This is all a part of what made America great and will give America a bright future.

    April 29, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. rachel

    And all the dems will say this is okay.

    April 29, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. cassamandra

    it's embarrassing to be in the same room with investment bankers now? what's the matter, slow news day? All that matters is what laws they pass. How about an analysis, folks?

    April 29, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. George of the jungle

    Another stupid story. Painting everyone with such a wide brush will not do. Of course at fund raisers held in New York you will have some people with ties to wall street. Give us all a break and find some real news. If the dem's can get these people to contribute to the party after the riot act they where read, Good for them

    April 29, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. honestmistake

    I thought only evil Republicans had fund-raisers with greedy bankers. This must be a mistake.

    April 29, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Elliott Carlin

    I though only the GOP liked Wall St.

    April 29, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. jenn,philadelphia

    This is why no true reform will ever be made. Our representatives take their money. Half of the Administration's employees come from their offices, or are leaving to go there.

    April 29, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  12. joe

    This is simple. HYPOCRITES

    April 29, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. Mark from Louisiana

    What's new? Dodd is one of the biggest crooks in the Senate.

    April 29, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. one voice

    So what is the GOP argument on this one? Should donations from wallstreet be a monopoly only for Republicans? Talking out of both sides of your mouths again?

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

    Democrats are totally corrupt and treat voters with blatant contempt.

    They should all be voted out.

    April 29, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. Russ

    The difference is, they can donate all they want to the Democrats and Obama will go forward with financial reform. He won't be bought off, unlike the Republicants that take the money and try to stop the reform.
    The Repulicans don't have the guts to do that. They cave at the sight of money, and give the donors everything they want, even at the expense of the American people.

    April 29, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  17. art in kingwood

    Naaa....this couldn't be true. Could it ? My heart skipped a beat when I saw the headling. What is the world coming to ? Dems lining their pockets with Wall Street money.

    April 29, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    are we surprised..............

    dems = no honor

    goodbye america....it was a nice knowin ya.......

    this congress and administration will destroy this wonderful country........oops......to late

    dems, man up and stop blamin bush............silly beavers

    April 29, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. Albo58

    Only Dimwit sheeple don't know how firmly/deeply their party's representatives are in with Wall Street! Just note how Freddie/Fannie reform are NOT in the current Dimwit Regulatory bill...

    April 29, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  20. Bunnibee

    They are crooks.! Only thing you can do is pick the lesser evil that would be the dems.

    April 29, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  21. Bunnibee

    They are all crooks.! Repubs and dems! Only thing you can do is pick the lesser evil that would be the dems.

    April 29, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. indy

    It would be very hypocritical toaccept money from the people you call crooks. Wouldn't this be like laundering money? If the Democrats are so distraught about what Wall Street did to Main Street, they should put the money in the public's hands vice their political coffers.

    April 29, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  23. Charlie in Maine

    Well that's just a plain silly notion. Take their money as much as you can get.

    April 29, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |