Wall Street Donations Drop for Dems

By Erika Lovley
|  Thursday, Sep 9, 2010  |  Updated 7:45 AM EDT
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Wall Street Donations Drop for Dems

Bonus season has arrived for Wall Street Execs.

Wall Street is continuing to punish Democrats for passing tough financial reform laws, shifting its contributions back to Republicans after flirting with winning Democrats over the past two election cycles.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a regular Wall Street cash recipient, has taken a big hit this year, as financial, insurance and real-estate-related donors have begun funneling more of their cash to Republican lawmakers who opposed financial reform, according to new numbers from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Reid averaged $135,572 each month in donations from the financial industry for the first half of last year, but as Democrats moved to crack down on Wall Street’s activities last fall, Reid dropped to an average of $93,415 a month between September 2009 and June 2010, according to the most recent financial disclosure figures on record.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who has enjoyed solid donation support from Wall Street, saw her monthly donations from the industry drop from $153,592 between January and August 2009, down to $143,875 from September 2009 until June 2010.

Over much of 2009, Democrats often made up the majority of the top 10 lawmakers that the financial, real estate and insurance industries gave money to.

For instance, in March 2009, Democrats made up seven of the top 10 recipients. But as of June, only two Democrats were among the top 10 — Gillibrand and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who both have Wall Street under their watch.

In the meantime, Republican candidates have been steadily creeping into the top 10 donor ranks of the Wall Street sector, including Carly Fiorina, who is challenging Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), as well as senatorial candidates Marco Rubio of Florida, Rob Portman of Ohio  and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

In June, Fiorina was the third biggest recipient of Wall Street industry cash, raking in $249,853, but Boxer, a previous top 25 recipient, failed to crack even the top 25 rank that month and brought in only $104,381 from the industry.

Other Republicans seeing an increase in financial industry contributions include Reps. Daniel Coats of Indiana, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Eric Cantor of Virginia and House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.

As a whole, Democrats still hold a slim lead over Republicans in financial industry donations, raking in 51 percent of the $194.4 million total.

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