According to two private, nonpartisan organizations, some of the major corporations that received enormous sums in bailout funds and loans had just donated large amounts of money to the Democratic and Republican conventions weeks before coming to Washington to beg for their taxpayer-funded handouts.
These include American International Group (AIG), Citigroup, Ford Motor Company, Freddie Mac, General Motors Corporation, and Goldman Sachs. In all, big businesses, labor unions, and individual millionaires donated $118 million into the nominating conventions for Barack Obama and John McCain. The Democratic convention in Denver received $61 million and the Republican one in Minneapolis-St. Paul got $57 million.
According to the reports by the Campaign Finance Institute and the Center for Responsive Politics, key industry participants in the current financial crisis gave $14 million to conventions. The following are some of their findings:
- • Freddie Mac gave $500,000, half to each committee.
- • Ford Motor Company donated $200,000 for the conventions, half to each host committee (Also, Kirk Kerkorian, Ford’s largest shareholder with ties to GM and Chrysler, gave $3.5 million).
- • General Motors provided 735 new cars to the Democratic and Republican Party convention committees for elected officials’ use.
- • American International Group, or AIG, gave $1.5 million split evenly between the two committees.
- • Hedge funds and their managers gave $3.9 million – $2.7 million to Republicans and $1.2 million to Democrats.
- • Investment companies including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, UBS, and Lehman Brothers, gave $1.5 million.
- • Other financial institutions that have received or are eligible for bailouts, such as Citigroup, U.S. Bancorps, Wells Fargo, Cobank and Bank of America, donated $2.9 million – much of it was given to the Republican committee.
- • Finance, insurance, and real estate companies gave $24.6 million.
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