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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Courant notices that Dodd received $13M from finance sector contributions

Much of the nation is reviling Senator Dodd, and the Courant has noticed, in an article dated September 29:

"At the end of my tenure on this committee," Dodd said in early 2007, "I want it to be said that the safety and soundness of our financial institutions was not weakened on my watch."

A year and a half later, Dodd acknowledges that the nation's finances are in an "economic maelstrom." And while Washington engages in an urgent search for after-the-fact fixes, there is also plenty of finger-pointing, and there are enduring questions about whether campaign cash — millions and millions in campaign cash — blinded Dodd and other overseers to the excesses of industry.

Financial-sector firms — mortgage firms, insurance companies, accountants, brokerage houses, hedge funds — are among the most generous political donors in America, lavishing more than $1 billion on candidates this decade. And in Congress, few politicians have fared better than Dodd. During the past 20 years, PACs and employees of finance-related firms have contributed more than $13 million to Dodd's election efforts, including nearly $6 million in the past two years. Among members of Congress, only leading presidential candidates — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain and John Kerry — have collected more money from the sector.

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