With all the hubbub erupting in the Republican presidential campaign over front-runner Mitt Romney’s role as co-founder of private equity firm Bain Capital, you might think Bain is an issue just for Republicans. Not so fast.
Democrats have received more than twice as much money in campaign contributions from Bain than Republicans during the past three election cycles, The Hill
Democratic candidates and party committees scored more than $1.2 million from Bain during that period, compared with $480,000 for Republicans. Senior executives contributed the vast majority of that cash. The data comes from the Federal Election Commission and Center for Responsive Politics.
The Democratic recipients include several senators facing difficult re-election challenges this year: Jon Tester of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Bill Nelson of Florida.
To be sure, Romney has garnered more in Bain donations than any other candidate since the beginning of 2007. He has pulled in more than $166,000 during that period, with $84,000 coming in the first nine months of 2011.
Still, Bain execs haven’t ignored President Barack Obama, either, contributing $80,000 to him since the beginning of 2007, with $27,500 coming during the first three quarters of 2011.
Bain’s generosity to Democrats should blunt their ability to go after Romney as a vulture capitalist for his connection to the firm.
“They’re going to have a difficult time explaining why they’re padding their war chest with contributions from the same executives that they’re accusing of hurting jobs,” Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told The Hill.
In Montana, the Republican Party already has run ads hitting Tester for accepting more than $200,000 in donations from lobbyists. In June 2011, he received a $2,500 contribution from Joshua Beckenstein, a managing director at Bain.
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