In less than a month, Massachusetts residents will get a chance to vote on who will be their next U.S. Senator. In an act of desperation, incumbent Senator Scott Brown (R) is desperately trying to portray himself as a friend of the middle class and his opponent Elizabeth Warren as a friend of Big Business — due to some minor consulting work she did with Dow Chemical in the 1990′s.
But if there’s one thing that’s true in American politics, it’s this: you are who funds you. Senators bankrolled by Big Oil give the industries subsidies. Lawmakers backed by health insurers helped kill the public option. And if there’s one thing that’s clear in the race between Warren and Brown, it’s that Corporate America has sided with the latter.
As of October 2012, Elizabeth Warren’s top donors are the grassroots donors of EMILY’s List, employees of Harvard University, and grassroots members of Moveon.org. Scott Brown’s top donors are the financial giant Fidelity Investments, EMC Corporation, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, and Goldman Sachs.
More than half of Scott Brown’s top ten donors are big banks, hedge funds, or other big financial institutions. Meanwhile, there is not a single bank or financial institution among the top twenty donors to Elizabeth Warren. It’s clear who’s on Corporate America’s side — or at least whose side Corporate America is on.
Unsurprisingly, Brown went to bat on behalf of the Big Banks. He helped weaken the Volcker Rule and voted against killing “naked credit default swaps,” a dangerous financial instrument. A week after he helped pass a watered-down financial reform bill, Morgan Stanley’s Political Action Committee gave him a $5,000 check.
So next time you see propaganda from the Brown campaign remember the lesson we taught you above: you are who funds you, and it’s the incumbent senator from Massachusetts who has welcomed Big Business’s campaign dollars with open arms.