Live Presidents

The companies that traffic the most in dead presidents also have a demonstrated interest in live ones. The Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector, which includes brokerages, is the largest donating sector to all federal election campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, an organization that tracks political contributions. So far this time around, the big wirehouses have given hefty

The companies that traffic the most in dead presidents also have a demonstrated interest in live ones.

The “Finance/Insurance/Real Estate” sector, which includes brokerages, is the largest donating sector to all federal election campaigns, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, an organization that tracks political contributions.

So far this time around, the big wirehouses have given hefty sums of money to several candidates, but a disproportionately large percentage has gone to President Bush's campaign.

In 2000 and 2004, Finance/Insurance/Real Estate was the largest contributing sector to Bush, giving nearly twice the amount of the next biggest, “Other.”

Among wirehouses, Merrill Lynch, UBS and Wachovia have given more to Republicans. Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have been hedging their bets a bit more (Morgan even gave to Rev. Al Sharpton's recently-terminated candidacy).

Most of the wirehouses were among the top 20 contributors to several 2004 campaigns. Wachovia, while not listed among the top 20 donors to any candidate, did give $440,660 to the 2004 elections, with a large majority going to Republicans.

Broker/Dealer Contributions to 2004 Individual Presidential Candidates

Morgan Stanley UBS Americas Merrill Lynch Citigroup
G.W. Bush $177,075 352,850 432,104 187,500
J. Kerry $40,000 36,550 79,400
H. Dean $19,100 17,300 22,375
J. Lieberman $27,900 44,250
J. Edwards $34,050
W. Clark 25,150
A. Sharpton $2,000
Source: Center for Responsive Politics
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