2020 Democrats Won’t Take Corporate Money – But are First on Wall Street

Democrats have pledged and sworn off lobbyist and corporate contributions left and right in order to court progressives. The Daily Caller reported that Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are the only presidential challengers who have not been actively courting Wall Street. Warren has even taken it a step further and has said she will not host top dollar exclusive fundraising tickets to events and dinners.

  • Pete Buttigieg: In February he met with Wall Street veteran Charles Myers
  • Kamala Harris: In March Citigroup Inc.’s managing director, Yann Coatanlem, hosted a fundraiser in his apartment on Fifth Avenue.
  • Amy Klobuchar: In March Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, Bruce Heyman, raised over $100,000 in Chicago. Sources said he is in the works of planning a fundraiser for Joe Biden for the fall.

Heyman said, according to Bloomberg, “I’ve talked to about half of them, and I have not run into a single one who said, ‘Hey you worked for Goldman Sachs, I can’t take your money.’”

2020 Democrats have focused on delivering a grassroots appeal but have to raise a massive amount of cash for the Iowa caucuses, and June’s Democratic debates in June.

In April, Buttigieg had to return $30,250 from lobbyists to keep his favorability up in a crowded field of Democrats.

Steven Billet, a professor of legislative affairs and expert on PAC management said PACs do not typically give in presidential primaries, thus a candidate taking a stance against PACs means very little right now.

A report on Splinter News stated that before taking the no PAC money pledge the following candidates all cashed at least $129,000 in PAC contributions — Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris.

Walter Shapiro, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice and columnist at Roll Call, told the Washington Examiner the Democratic Party pledge to refusal corporate PAC money “is, shall we say, a feel-good pledge that no one is going to have to worry about the consequences of adhering to.”

Marissa Martinez is a political contributor for Accuracy in Media. She is the former political director to Massachusetts Governor’s re-election campaign, alumna of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political consultant to national PACs. Follow her stories, @MarissaAlisa.


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Author: Marissa Martinez