Bernard Madoff, the investment fund manager and former Nasdaq chairman accused of a Ponzi scheme in which investors allegedly lost up to $50 billion, is a major contributor to Democratic causes, and his company spent almost $600,000 to curry favor in Washington, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
In addition to the $238,200 Madoff and his wife, Ruth, have contributed to candidates, parties, and committees during the past 16 years, individuals at his company donated $372,100 to campaigns since 1991, the center reports on its Web site. And that company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities in Manhattan, spent $590,000 on lobbying during the past 11 years, the center reports.
Madoff was arrested Dec. 11 and charged with securities fraud, allegedly bilking investors, hedge funds, and institutions, including charitable foundations, of billions of dollars.
Almost $173,000 of the money he and his wife donated went to Democratic causes and individuals, while $21,450 went to Republican causes and individuals, and $31,000 went to nonpartisan financial lobbying political action committees, according to CNS News’ analysis of the center’s statistics.
The candidate breakdowns for the donations is 22 Democrats and six Republicans. Similarly, the Center for Responsive Politics noted that 89 percent of the $372,100 others at his company donated went to Democrats.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee received $100,000 in $25,000 annual increments from Madoff between 2005 and 2008, the center says. A committee spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that committee members are studying what to do with the $100,000.
The CNS analysis included these donations to Democrats: $13,000 to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; $12,000 to Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; $11,000 to Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming; $6,600 to Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.; $2,000 to Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y; $2,000 to House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y; $1,000 to the former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, John Dingell, D-Mich.; and $1,000 to Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations. Schumer and Lautenberg both have pledged to donate at least part of the money their campaigns received from the Madoffs to charities, CNS reports.
Several Republican campaigns also accepted contributions from Madoff, including the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., who got $1,000 while he was running against Schumer in 1998. In 1996, Ruth Madoff also donated $5,000 to the New Republican Majority Fund, which was the political action committee of then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss.
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