Senator Wall Street

Posted by on Nov 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

We already know who took in more money than any presidential candidate ever, but did you know the United States Senator leading the pack in raising money from Wall Street is none other than Kirsten Gillibrand?

This weekend, The New York Times ran two big stories on the strong feelings being provoked by Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.

The first was a long profile in the Sunday magazine describing the liberal love she’s engendered (headlined “Heaven Is a Place Called Elizabeth Warren“); the second was a front-page story on Saturday that detailed Wall Street’s desire to see Warren defeated.

To support that thesis, the latter included a handy graphic showing that her opponent, the incumbent Republican Scott Brown, has raised more than half a million dollars from the finance industry this year, ranking him second among Senate candidates who are up for re-election in 2012.

The number-one recipient, who has collected nearly twice as much as Brown from Wall Street, happens to be Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who is much closer to Warren in ideological terms than she is to Brown.

The numbers aren’t even very close. Gillibrand has raised $937,400 from the securities and investment sector, to Brown’s $519,278, with Utah Senator Orrin Hatch a distant third at $259,671, according to Open Secrets.

By virtue of being a senator from New York, Gillibrand has had the advantage of representing a big chunk of the industry. But her success raising money from them is also testament to the fact that she’s been able to cast herself as a liberal champion in the Senate without alienating an important constituency of contributors (as the Times suggests Warren already has).

In doing so, she’s followed the model of her mentor, New York’s senior senator Charles Schumer.

In other words, be as duplicitous and two-faced as possible.

Our junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, stated the obvious October 10 when she told The National memo she thinks Occupy Wall Street. “has become a vehicle for people to vent their frustration with the economy.”
“I share the frustration at how broken Washington has become in forging solutions,” Ms. Gillibrand said.

This has not gone unnoticed.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is playing both sides of Wall Street — by accepting millions in contributions from the financial sector while also helping the group formerly known as ACORN raise money, a political rival has charged.

The group, New York Communities for Change, supports the Occupy Wall Street movement and used Gillibrand’s name at a Nov. 10 fund-raiser, says Nassau County’s Republican comptroller, George Maragos, a long shot to unseat Gillibrand in next year’s election.

“I think she is playing both sides,’’ said Maragos. “She is part of the 1 percent, with millions in political contributions from big Wall Street attorneys and bankers.’’


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