Posted by: Doug Henwood | May 26, 2012

Bain actually loves Dems

All good Democrats are busily hating on Bain Capital right now. What they’re forgetting is how many Bain-affiliated political contributions have gone to Democrats.

Plug the words “Bain Capital” into an OpenSecrets.org search and you learn that while Bain people have lovingly contributed to their former CEO’s presidential campaign, almost 3/4 of their contributions to other candidates, 72% to be precise, have gone to Democrats. That’s a higher percentage to Dems than the AFL-CIO!

And among the top recipients are Dem headliners like Al Franken, Claire McCaskill, John Kerry, Mark Udall, Nancy Pelosi, and Sherrod Brown. They were also major contributors to the Democratic National Committee and the national Democratic party. There are very few Republican candidates on the OpenSecrets list, and no major gifts to the GOP itself.

So Cory Booker’s defense of private equity (PE) against attacks by the Obama campaign has a very materialist explanation: PE titans like Bain have been funding Dems for ages—including Booker himself (e.g., “Cory Booker’s Bain Capital money”). It was just a few years ago that hedge fund (HF) hotshot Paul Tudor Jones held a 500-guest fundraiser for Obama, back when “the whole of Greenwich” (an epicenter of the industry) was behind him (“Another top hedge fund chief backs Obama”). Then he hurt their feelings with one intemperate use of the term “fatcats.” But it’s not like Obama is about to expropriate the PE and HF types.

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Responses

  1. Of course, it could be that certain business-financial interests have captured both parties, thereby, creating gridlock in pro main street economic policy.

  2. [...] Bain Capital (Romney’s former firm) Gives A Greater % of its $ to Democrats than AFL-CIO [...]

  3. As progressives, we might actually be better off electing Romney. We could be Progressives for Romney, or PRs, to counter the PEs and HFs for Obama and the Dems.

    By the way, isn’t “private equity fund” a euphemism? Aren’t these really leveraged-buyout outfits? If so, I suggest we all resume using the latter, appropriately descriptive term.

  4. Bain actually doesn’t love the Democrats, Doug. The table you reproduced shows that the great bulk of Bain’s contributions – $2,000,000 of $2,756,238 – have gone to conservative PAC’s. While it’s true that Democratic candidates have received $544,491 and the Republicans $211,747 of the remainder, roughly three-quarters of Bain’s total expenditures are directed to supporting the Romney campaign when the PAC spending is factored in.

    Bain’s conspicuous contributions to DP candidates, with the undoubted connivance of the Romney camp, are presumably designed to create the impression that Obama and the Democrats are more tied to Bain than their man is – quite a stretch since Romney, as you know, was a co-founder and CEO of the hedge fund, and was hammered by Gingrich and other Republican rivals for his role as a co-founder of the job-killing hedge fund.

    The Democrats, as expected, have enthusiastically picked up the theme. It’s pure electoral demagogy by both parties, of course. But the point is that Bain and the corporate sector neither love nor hate the Democrats. In fact, their preferred choice ordinarily, as in this election, is the Republicans, the more conservative of the two governing parties – the case also in Europe and elsewhere in the duopolistic political systems run by and for the rich and powerful.

  5. Marv, you’re great, but really, you are way too soft on the Dems. I said that they had given lovingly to Romney, but three-quarters of their contributions to other candidates have gone to Dems. I doubt there’s anything “connived” about this. Wall Street often leans more Dem than other business sectors. At this point, it makes more sense for the rational element of the bourgeoisie to lean Dem, given how crazy the GOP has gotten. Which party courts default to make a political point?

  6. Bain et al. knows it already has most Republicans in its back pocket. Now, it is just baiting the hook and seeing which of the more agreeable Democrats will bite.


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