Breaking down banking contributions in bailout
As Congress works to help Wall Street avert the financial markets’ downward spiral, it is worth noting the financial powers-that-be hoping for a government bailout have not sat on the sidelines in Colorado’s federal races.
According to OpenSecrets.org, which tracks the money special interests contribute to political campaigns, nearly all of the federal policy makers either on the ballot this year or representing the Western Slope have taken money from Wall Street’s biggest players.
Here are the contributions the Western Slope’s federal candidates and sitting senators have accepted along with their views on a federal bailout package for Wall Street:
Rep. John Salazar
Democrat, 3rd Congressional District
Contributions from financial and banking sectors as of midsummer: $21,350, or nearly 2 percent of the $1.1 million he had raised as of mid-July.
“A bailout package of this magnitude is going to have to have a tax increase somewhere or another. That is something we as Blue Dogs have been against. … This country is borrowing way too much. This could translate to a bill to every man, woman and child of about $3,700. And I think that is wrong, totally wrong.” (Sept. 23 interview)
Republican, 3rd Congressional District candidate
Contributions from financial and banking sectors as of midsummer: $0, represents none of the $9,505 he had raised as of mid-July.
“The system as it is built right now is inherently flawed in that it … encouraged people to make bad loans with the ultimate out being the federal government.” (Sept. 23 interview)
Rep. Mark Udall
Democrat, U.S. Senate candidate
Contributions from financial and banking sectors as of midsummer: $249,568, or 3.3 percent of the $7.7 million he had raised as of mid-July.
“My bottom line is that any response we bring to this crisis has to include accountability and no golden parachutes for the executive who got us into this mess.” (Sept. 25 interview)
Republican, U.S. Senate candidate
Contributions from financial and banking sectors as of mid-summer: $322,658, or 6.6 percent of the $4.9 million he had raised as of mid-July.
“It would be a mistake to adjourn without doing anything. It would hasten a recession.” (Sept. 25 Rocky Mountain News article)
Sen. Ken Salazar
Contributions from the financial and banking sectors during his 2004 election: $317,293, or nearly 3.2 percent of the more than $9.9 million he raised that year.
“We must focus our efforts on drafting a bill that minimizes taxpayer liability; directs as much assistance as possible toward Americans on Main Street, to improve the economy and create jobs, rather than just the corporate titans on Wall Street; and contains regulatory reforms that reduce the chance of a future financial crisis of this magnitude.” (Sept. 22 letter)
Sen. Wayne Allard
Contributions from the financial and banking sectors during his 2002 re-election campaign: $443,841, or more than 8 percent of the $5.5 million he raised that year.
“The long-term health of the American economy is dependent on Congress acting quickly but carefully to restore trust and confidence in the American economy, which is currently shaken.” (Sept. 23 statement)