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|
|Source: Center for Responsive Politics|