Two months ago, the Washington Post revealed that Mitt Romney’s presidential bid is largely fueled by Wall Street money, including major donors from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America.
Today, the former Massachusetts governor took a step that will undoubtedly make bankers happy, appointing the chairman of a Wall Street front group to his campaign. Romney tapped Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator and current chairman of the Board of the American Action Network, to be his “special adviser for policy.”
As ThinkProgress has written in the past, the American Action Network (AAN) is a front group funded by conservative Wall Street moneymen, including Robert Steel, Ken Langone, and Fred Malek. Because of its seemingly limitless money supply, the AAN was the second biggest outside spending groups in the 2010 election, dropping $26 million in support of conservative candidates.
The AAN has a troubled history in its year-and-a-half existence. Local Fox affiliates refused to air some of their health reform ads, calling the commercials’ claims “unsubstantiated.” The group ran an ad comparing Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-WA) vote in favor of CHIP — a children’s health insurance program — to stomping on children, a parallel AAN was unable to defend under questioning from ThinkProgress. This year, they are under fire for likely skirting tax law by focusing predominantly on political campaign activity, despite regulations regarding the group’s tax-exempt status.
With Coleman’s appointment to Romney’s campaign, the former Massachusetts governor won’t have to wait for the results of the 2012 election to put smiles on the faces of his Wall Street backers. Couple today’s move with Romney’s kowtowing on scrapping financial reform legislation — he regularly attacks the Dodd-Frank law and has even said he’s open to repealing the landmark financial reform legislation — and onlookers could be forgiven for believing that Wall Street is receiving handsome dividends for its investment in Romney.