Goldman Bankers Shower Romney With Cash, Snub Obama
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Goldman Sachs (GS) donors to the 2012 Presidential campaign overwhelmingly favored Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney to President Barack Obama in the month of January, according to data from OpenSecrets.org the website of the Center for Responsive Politics.
Romney raised a total of $25,250 from 15 donors versus just $1500 from three donors for Obama, according to the nonprofit's website, which does not appear to have any data beyond Jan. 31.
The disparity is even more pronounced if super PAC data is taken into account. Goldman managing director gave $95,000 to Romney super PAC Restore Our Future in January. She also gave the same amount in July for a total of $190,000. There are also four other Goldman executives who gave more than $50,000 thus far. They are James Donovan ($95,000), Edward Forst ($95,000), Richard Friedman ($50,000) and Gene Sykes ($50,000). (Forst left Goldman in December.)
Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action has attracted no money from Goldman employees through January, according to Federal Election Commission filings through Feb. 7.
While those totals would not include any funds Obama may have raised from Goldman employees during a $35,800-a-plate Wall Street fundraiser he held earlier this month, they nonetheless represent a big shift from the 2008 campaign, when Obama raised $1 million from employees of the investment bank.
Obama has gone back and forth between attacking Wall Street and backing away from tough rhetoric during his Presidency, though memories of the whopping $550 million fine Goldman paid to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges against the bank in 2010 are unlikely to have faded in the minds of Goldman employees. That case caused the bank to lose its bulletproof aura, and injected political risk in a major way into the thinking about how to value Goldman shares.
It also represented a blow to Goldman executives, who have long been proud of their participation in government and politics, something that had been a great asset to the institution but became a liability in the wake of the 2008 crisis as many people argued the government was essentially for sale to well-connected firms like Goldman.
Even beyond Goldman, however, Wall Street campaign donors, including employees of Citigroup(C) and Bank of America (BAC) overwhelmingly favored Romney in the fourth quarter .
Nonetheless, prominent Obama supporter and Evercore Partners (EVR) President and CEO Ralph Schlosstein told Bloomberg in an interview Wednesday that Wall Street antipathy to the President is "one of those things that probably gets exaggerated in both directions. It was never as bad as some people made it out to be who had an interest in making it look icy, and it's probably never going to be as warm as some of us might hope it would be."