MBNA Is Bush's Top Fundraiser - With An Assist From A War On Terror Failure
It probably comes as no surprise that financial services and Wall Street brokerage firms have become George W. Bush’s largest donors over the last several months. But according to the Center for Public Integrity, our good friends at credit card giant MBNA are now Bush’s top all-time donor, even bypassing Enron for that honor. As you can see from the list, Wall Street has been dumping money into Bush’s monstrous fundraising efforts, and MBNA has been no pauper themselves.
The Center's study found that investment companies continue to make staggering donations to Bush, driven by so-called bundlers. Nine of Bush's largest ten donors during October 2003 through January 2004 were financial services companies. All of Bush's ten largest donors from October through January are linked to bundlers who have pledged to donate $100,000 to $250,000 as part of the president's Pioneer and Ranger Programs.
The change in the top donor spot occurred in January, when MBNA employees donated $6,000 to the Bush campaign—enough to push the company, which calls itself the world's largest independent credit card issuer—ahead of Enron. Coming in third was Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. ($585,754). PricewaterhouseCoopers, which contributed $214,000 during the last four disclosed months, came in fourth, with a total of $576,698. Rounding out Bush's top five career patrons was UBS AG Inc. ($490,800).
In its 2003 filings with the Senate Office of Public Records, the credit card firm disclosed that it lobbied Congress, the Bush administration and the Treasury Department on a host of issues, including provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act on banking records, amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and tax issues. The firm reported spending a total of $5.2 million on lobbying that year.
Guess who heads up MBNA’s federal PAC? It looks like Mr. Freeh is better at raising money for the GOP than he ever was in allowing his agents to go after Osama Bin Laden. But given his willingness to work with the GOP to undermine Janet Reno and investigate Clinton’s zipper, I guess that is no surprise.