The watchdog Web site OpenSecrets.org has released a study today showing many of the companies in financial trouble now (and asking politicians for help) were the same companies that bankrolled elements of the political party conventions in St. Paul and Denve last summer.
Embattled insurance giant American International Group (AIG), which received an $85 billion loan from the government just weeks after the GOP convention, gave $750,000 to each gathering. And AIG isn't the only high-profile company that sought a handout from taxpayers after writing a big check toward the summer's political gatherings. Others included Citigroup (which spent a total of $600,000 on the conventions), Goldman Sachs (which spent $505,000), Ford Motor Co. ($100,000 to each convention) and Bank of America (which spent $100,000, entirely on the Democratic convention). The federal government took over Freddie Mac just weeks after the mortgage buyer split half a million dollars between the two conventions.
The full report from the Center for Responsive Politics is here.
(h/t: Mike Mulcahy)
Wait, this surprises you?! No one gets anything that big from the government without having their hands in the government pockets. Maybe I'm just cynical, but this kind of thing has been going on for as long as government (in whatever form) offered money or goods to the public. There is no free lunch, nor is there an honest/unbiased politician.
What will be the next startling revelation? Cold weather in MN tonight?
If you use a little logic, this would seem to show that the conventions were publicly funded (that is more than the obvious public safety and security funding).
To play devil's advocate, how many companies who aren't on the bailout list gave big dollars to the conventions & during the election? And weren't a lot of these companies enormously profitable up until fairly recently?