“These senators get the most Wall St. campaign cash” reads the headline in a CNBC story.
The headline is very effective because it lures people into reading the story precisely because they want to know who tops the list of senators who receive money from Wall Street business executives. If you’re like most people who are interested in politics, you’re probably thinking, ‘I wonder which of the Republicans who support big business is No.1.’
So who do YOU think receives the most money from Wall Street donors? Mitch McConnell? Marco Rubio? Ted Cruz?
OK these are unfair questions because our headline wasn’t as mysterious as the CNBC headline. You knew from the start of this article that Wall Street is a fan of Cory Booker so the New Jersey senator is likely high on the list. Here’s the big surprise though — Cory Booker is not only high on the list, but he is NUMBER ONE.
“Financial firms are shelling out big cash for the (2014) midterm Senate elections, but their favorite candidate is an unlikely one: left-leaning New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker,” reported CNBC in 2014.
“An industry that has historically favored Republicans is spreading out campaign contributions this fall in an attempt to influence Washington lawmakers on the plethora of banking reforms already enacted or in the pipeline.”
There were 36 Senate elections for the U.S. Senate in 2014. That means there were roughly 72 major candidates. Wall Street securities and investment firms donated $17.6 million to Senate candidates that year or roughly $250,000 to each candidate.
Booker, though, received $1.88 million, which was more than Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader at the time who was Wall Street’s second favorite candidate, as well as Jeff Sessions, Pat Roberts, Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Lamar Alexander, John Cornyn, and many other GOP stalwarts.
But the news gets worse — worse that is if you’re a Democrat who expects that Booker’s rhetoric on the campaign trail is an indication of what he would do as President Booker. The Wall Street industry was the NUMBER ONE donor to Booker in 2014, according to records kept by SNL Financial and OpenSecrets.org. Attorneys were No. 2; the real estate industry was No. 3.
“Booker also received more money from real estate groups than any other member, as well as more from the entertainment and tech industries, accountants, and groups considered to be pro-Israel,” reported the 2014 WNYC article “Booker Gets More from Wall Street Than Any Member of Congress.”
Why is Booker so popular with financial industries although in the words of the CNBC article “Booker’s policy stands are mostly favorable to the left?”
The easiest answer is that he’s a hypocrite, but there’s more to it than that. The fact is that Wall Street loooooves him because of his record as the mayor of Newark, N.J., a city that is not hospitable to the ordinary people he claims he will fight for if he becomes president. Booker’s record as mayor is probably a far, faaaaaaaar better forecast of what he will do as president than what his votes have been as a liberal senator.
On the campaign trail, Booker has been as liberal as he has been as a senator. He has to be if he wants to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2020. In his April 13 speech officially declaring his candidacy, his focus was in the words of that day’s The New York Times article “Cory Booker, Citing a Rising Newark, Pitches a Campaign of ‘Justice’” “his vision for addressing the economic and social ills of the country.”
So what has Booker done for a “rising Newark?” The article’s facts are different than what Booker “cites.” “(Newark) still struggles with crime and poverty,” the article reports. “The median household income is roughly $20,000 less than the national average, and more than 28 percent of the city’s residents live below the poverty line, according to the United States census.”
Booker is also a very wealthy man — and most of his wealth comes from “lucrative speaking engagements and royalties” reports Fox News in the article “Cory Booker’s tax returns shows income from lucrative speaking gigs, royalties.” He earned $2 million in speaking fees between 2009 and 2014. Booker is worth $5 million, reports Fox.