US Senator Scott Brown, who played a critical role in the battle over the 2010 financial regulatory overhaul, has used a joint fund-raising committee to collect $ 2.9 million in political donations over the last year, nearly half of which came from the nation’s financial sector.
The mechanism is a joint committee, the Scott Brown Victory Committee, between Brown and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Campaign finance laws allow this kind of committee much higher donation limits than traditional campaign committees, $ 30,800 per donor per election cycle versus the $ 5,000 limit for regular committees.
So he has this Victory fund, along with his regular campaign committee, allowing for seven times the donation power for donors, an effective limit of $ 35,800. Among those donors, the Globe reports, are “deep-pocketed venture capitalists, bankers, and leaders of some of the country’s largest investment firms.”
Brown’s spokesman tried to brush off the dominance of Wall Street financing in the campaign by saying, “Scott Brown was the tie-breaking vote in favor of the same bill that Elizabeth Warren called the ‘strongest set of financial reforms in three generations.’” Which is, of course, not the whole story. Brown’s tie-breaking vote came after he was able to extract some serious concessions for Wall Street in return for his vote:
Brown delivered for Wall Street in the battle over Dodd-Frank when he extracted a pro-industry concession from the Democratic majority: the elimination from the bill of a proposed $ 19 billion tax on banks, money which would have been used for part of the regulatory overhaul. He also championed a provision that curbed restrictions on certain investment activities by banks and insurance companies.
With the financial industry’s primary nemesis, Elizabeth Warren, running strong against Brown, they’ve massively stepped up their support for him. Whereas the financial sector contributed just four percent of Brown’s takings in his special election in 2010, it now represents “a full 13 percent of what he raised” in the first quarter of this year, just to his campaign committee. “He collected another $ 431,000 for his Senate campaign committee during those months from that sector, according to a Globe review of Brown’s latest quarterly filings.”
We might have a hard time matching Wall St. money, but we can try. Please send Elizabeth Warren $ 5 on Orange to Blue.