That Washington

Murray Releases Latest Ad. Republicans Say She's a Hypocrite. Not So Much.

By Josh Feit September 8, 2010

I was emailing with a GOP operative earlier today who said he'd seen yesterday's Cola takedown of Dino Rossi's latest ad and suggested I do a similar hit on incumbent US Sen. Patty Murray's latest.


His pitch? While Murray criticizes Rossi for being beholden to Wall Street contributors because Rossi came out against Wall Street reform after raising $134,000 at a Wall Street fundraiser (campaign finance report here), Murray herself has taken more than half a million in contributions from Wall Street over her entire career. (True, although, not much of it this election cycle.)

I was skeptical of his critique. Murray voted for Wall Street reform, I reminded him. So, any quid pro quo equation didn't make much sense.

The GOP operative also pointed out that Murray voted for the Wall Street bailout (the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP). OK. But that one is trickier to tie to corporate donations—the pressure to pass TARP came from President Bush and President Obama, who were looking at the collapse of the entire economy. The bill passed the Senate 74-25, with 34 Republicans voting 'yea,' along with Murray and most Democrats.

But voila: Answering my skepticism over the fact that Murray hadn't opposed financial reform, the Rossi camp hit with a press release this afternoon that tied Murray's donations to her support for Wall Street reform, with a press release blaring:

The Rossi camp pointed out that the CEO of Citigroup supported the reforms (and attended the White House signing) and that bigwigs from JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs were also "generally" supporters of Wall Street reform.
“Senator Murray keeps trying to fool Washingtonians by running false negative ads which conveniently leave out the fact that the big banks and Wall Street are filling her campaign coffers," Rossi spokeswoman Jennifer Morris said in the release.

Maybe. But that's a convoluted argument. The big banks supported the bill (if there had to be a bill) after they fought to water down the reforms Democrats such as Murray supported. In fact, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America were against regulations.

Nonetheless was Murray doing the bidding of her Wall Street donors, as the Rossi camp claims. It doesn't seem that way. A look at her campaign finance reports shows that Murray has not received any donations this election cycle from Citigroup. She has gotten $1250 total from two JPMorgan employees and $1250 total from employees at Bank of America.

She has also, as we've reported, taken about $4,000 in donations from Wall Street lobbyists this cycle.

Not exactly a ton a money from Wall Street.
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