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September 29, 2014

House Leadership Backed by Securities & Investment Firms Omit Political Intelligence Disclosure from STOCK Act

 

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on Thursday on its version of the STOCK Act, which omits disclosure requirements for "political intelligence" workers that were included in the version of the bill passed by the Senate last week (S 2038). The STOCK Act explicitly bars members of Congress from profiting from investment decisions based on non-public or privileged information.

The House version of the bill (an amendment to S 2038) is notable for its omission of an amendment proposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley, which would require those working in the so-called “political intelligence” trade to register as lobbyists under theLobbyist Disclosure Act (LDA). A previously little-known industry outside of Washington, political intelligence agencies specialize in collecting and selling inside information about upcoming legislation and regulations. This political intelligence is especially valuable to the Securities & investment industry, such as hedge fundsprivate equity, and investment banks, which leverage their access to political information for financial gain. Some firms reported to be recipients of this political intelligence include investment bank Goldman Sachs and hedge funds Third Point and Viking Global Investors.

Interest groups from both Wall Street and K Street are opposed to the amendment. House Republican leadership wrote their version of the bill without any input from longtime sponsors of the bill, Reps. Tim Walz and Louise Slaughter, even though Slaughter has introduced multiple versions of the bill since 2006. Eric Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner are the two largest recipients of contributions from Securities & investment interest groups in the House of Representatives. Both are also amongst the top 5 recipients of campaign contributions connected to Goldman Sachs in the House of Representatives.

Securities & investment is one of the largest contributing interest groups to congressional campaigns. MapLight has conducted an analysis of campaign contributions to members of Congress from interest groups representing Securities & investments.

  • Click here to download a spreadsheet of contributions from Securities & Investment to all lawmakers.

U.S. House of Representatives (July 1, 2009  June 30, 2011)

  • Interest groups representing the Securities & investment industry have given a total of $18,780,724 to members of the U.S. House of Representatives. 
  • Republican House members received a combined $11,367,220 in contributions connected to Securities & investment interest groups while Democrats have received $7,413,504.
  • House Majority Leader Eric Cantor received $629,350; House Speaker John Boehner received $830,700; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi received $157,800; and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer received $136,150.

U.S. Senate (July 1, 2005  June 30, 2011)

  • Interest groups representing the Securities & investment industry have given $52,462,797 to current members of the U.S. Senate.
  • Democratic and Independent senators received a total of $25,917,187 in contributions connected to Securities & investment interest groups while their Republican counterparts totaled $26,545,610.

 

Submitted by Chris Gorin on Feb 9, 2012

METHODOLOGY: MapLight analysis of reported contributions to congressional and presidential campaigns of current House and Senate members, from Security brokers & investment companiesPrivate Equity & Investment FirmsInvestment bankingHedge FundsVenture capitalCommodity brokers/dealersSecurities, commodities & investmentStock exchanges. July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2011 for House members and July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2011 for senators. Campaign contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org).

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MapLight is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, research organization that reveals money's influence on politics.

Elected officials collect large sums of money to run their campaigns, and they often pay back campaign contributors with special access and favorable laws. This common practice is contrary to the public interest, yet legal.

MapLight connects data on campaign contributions, politicians, votes, industries, companies, and more to show patterns of influence that could never be seen before. 

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