Friday, February 20, 2009
Robert Allen Stanford Gave
BIG MONEY To DEMS
The Texas financier accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday of “massive ongoing fraud” was a generous political donor who gave more heavily to Democrats.
Since 2000, R. Allen Stanford, the chief of the Stanford Financial Group in Houston, his wife and company gave $2.2 million in political contributions – $1.7 million to Democratic candidates and committees – according to Federal Election Commission records.
The most recent donation on record was $300,000 from Stanford Financial Group to the Democratic Governors Association, a so-called 527 group not subject to campaign contribution limits.
The SEC accused Stanford and two associates of misrepresenting the safety and liquidity of more than $8 billion worth of certificates of deposit held in Antigua.
Barack Obama's campaign fund moved Wednesday to distance him from the burgeoning scandal involving Texas businessman R. Allen Stanford, donating the value of Stanford's $4,600 campaign contribution to a Chicago charity.
Stanford had not been found by late Wednesday, but until now he was a fixture in the Washington political establishment-
[Stanford's company] web site touts its sponsorship of the Freedom Awards given annually by a civil rights museum. Among the recent award winners: former President Bill Clinton.
Although he donated to politicians of both parties, 65 percent of his donations went to Democrats, including $31,750 from Stanford, his family, and employees to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
Two of the largest recipients, Sens. Ron Wyden (D) of Oregon ($13,000) and Charles Schumer (D) of New York ($12,000), say they have donated the money to charity.
Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd came under renewed attacks Wednesday from Republicans who claim he has been bought off by a "rogues gallery" of financial scofflaws.
Dodd, who is up for re-election in 2010, has been ripped by Republicans for reportedly getting favored treatment on two mortgages from Countrywide Financial, which was at the heart of the nation's subprime meltdown.
He's now under the gun for accepting $27,500 in campaign contributions since 2002 from Stanford Financial Group, whose Texas offices were raided Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Connecticut Republican State Party Chairman Chris Healy issued a statement Wednesday blasting the contributions Dodd received from Stanford employees as "another example of how political tribute colored his judgment."
"Chris Dodd benefactors are a rogues gallery of those who have plundered our economy," said Healy. "Because of these massive donations from Wall Street and the banks, Chris Dodd's silence and inaction were guaranteed."
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Healy said he is galled Dodd can stand up on the floor of the Senate and rail against Wall Street swindlers who were the same people writing checks to his campaign only a few months ago.
As to Cornyn, Healy said Dodd should be held to a higher standard of accountability because he is chairman of the committee. He also does not believe Dodd can deflect criticism using Cornyn.
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