Brown’s defense of the financial industry has not been ignored by Wall Street. Wall Street’s two largest political enforcers are also out fighting to elect him:
– The Wall Street front group FreedomWorks is mobilizing get out the vote efforts for Brown this weekend. FreedomWorks organized the very first tea party protests, and has used its extensive staff and resources to mobilize rallies and advocacy campaigns on behalf of corporate interests. Dick Armey, who as a corporate lobbyist represented AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch during the bailouit, is the leader of FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks is also funded and chaired by Steve Forbes and Frank Sands of Sands Capital Management.
– The Wall Street front group Club for Growth is strongly “boosting” Brown and is expected to run ads in support for him. According to recent disclosures, the Club for Growth is funded by a $1.4 million dollar donation from investor Stephen Jacksons of Stephens Groups Inc, a $1.4 million dollar donation from broker Richard Gilder, and $210,000-$630,000 donations from at least 10 other investors and financial industry professionals. The Club is also supporting a slate of candidates to repeal health reform, while its other endorsed candidates have opposed a financial truth commission.
According to a ThinkProgress analysis of Brown’s latest Federal Elections Commission disclosures (part 1, part 2, part 3), filed on Jan. 8 and 11, business executives and Wall Street executives have lavished Brown’s campaign coffers with 11th hour contributions:
A report on financial industry compensation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo found that large financial corporations — including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Citigroup — spend between 25% to 50% of total revenue on paying out executive compensation. While the finance industry often refuses to offer lines of credit to American businesses struggling in this economy, they operate largely as vehicles to make bankers richer.
Brown casts himself as an everyday man, telling reporters “it’s me against the machine.” In fact, Brown is teaming up with Wall Street bankers to kill financial reform and preserve a system of Bush-era unfettered capitalism.
(ThinkProgress interns Nick McClellan and DJ Carella contributed research to this post.)