NEW YORK – As Wall Street fund manager Bernard Madoff pleads guilty to 11 counts of criminal fraud in the largest investment Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, prominent Democratic politicians apparently have no intention of returning to Madoff’s victims the more than $260,000 he contributed almost entirely to Democratic Party campaigns since the Clinton administration.
While the mainstream media have given considerable coverage to the Madoff scandal, few reporters mention Madoff was a Democrat with a history of thousands of dollars in contributions to Democratic Party candidates.
According to Federal Election Commission records, among Madoff’s dozens of contributions to Democrats were the following:
- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.: $2,000 in 2002, $6,000 in 2004 and another $2,000 in 1998;
- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.: $1,000 in 2000
- House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo, presidential campaign: $2,000 in 2003;
- Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.: $1,000 in 2001; $1,000 in 1998;
- Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.: $10,200 in 2007; $1,000 in 2004;
- Gov. Jon Corzine, D-N.J.: $1,000 in 1999.
Madoff appears to have gotten around rules limiting campaign contributions. For instance, he contributed not only to Schumer’s campaign but also to a group called “The Friends of Schumer.”
Madoff also contributed to Lautenberg’s campaign and to the senator’s NJ Victory Committee.
Madoff appears to have contributed more than $100,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee while Schumer was chairman, including a $25,000 contribution in 2005.
OpenSecrets.org at the Center for Responsive Politics reports that Madoff and other individuals at his company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, gave $372,100 in campaign contributions beginning in 1991, with 89 percent going to Democrats.
The offices of Schumer and Rangel did not return WND phone calls asking for comment.
Lautenberg’s office referred the call to his attorney in Newark, Mike Griffinger, who also did not return WND’s phone call.
Corzine’s office indicated he had donated Madoff’s campaign contributions to charity.
The State Department did not return a WND phone call asking about how Secretary of State Clinton planned to handle contributions Madoff made to her political campaigns.