Romney's Raised More Than Twice the Wall St. Cash as Obama... Why Does the WaPo Say the Opposite?

Compare and contrast. Here, via Open Secrets, are the top recipients of campaign cash from the finance, insurance and real estate sector, according to FEC filings:

Top Recipients, 2011-2012

Candidate Office Amount
Romney, Mitt (R)    $5,047,797
Obama, Barack (D)    $2,464,605
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) Senate  $1,398,945
Corker, Bob (R-TN) Senate  $1,195,864
Boehner, John (R-OH) House  $1,159,137 

 And here is the lede from a Washington Post story that's been getting a lot of play:

Despite frosty relations with the titans of Wall Street, President Obama has still managed to raise far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate, according to new fundraising data.

What's going on? Well, the WaPo included not only cash that Obama has raised on Wall Street for his campaign, but also for the Democratic National Committee, which, it notes, "will aid in his reelection effort."

That's not an entirely inappropriate analysis -- Obama raised that cash, which is news-worthy if for no other reason than we have a lot of Wall Street execs taking to various opinion pages to whine about how mean Obama has been to them and promising to take their balls and go home if he's not nicer. And of course Obama was the Darling of Wall Street in 2008. But there are a few problems with it. 

First, this is simply an advantage of being an incumbent at this point in the cycle. Eventually the GOP will have a nominee and he (it won't be Bachmann) will go to Wall Street and raise money for the RNC.

So, it's an apples to oranges comparison. The RNC has already raised about $3.3 million from finance and real estate, according to OpenSecrets

The other problem is that while the DNC will "aid in his re-election effort," it will also spend some of that cash on party infrastructure and for the campaigns of other Democratic candidates. 

I note this mainly because we use contributions to the campaigns themselves in our report on Wall Street's influence in Washington, merely noting in parentheses that the figures don't include money raised for the two parties' national committees. So, a clarification seemed to be in order.

AlterNet / By Joshua Holland

Posted at October 20, 2011, 7:28am

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