Wall Streeter Who Allegedly Ran $50-Billion Ponzi Scheme Was Major Democratic Donor

December 19, 2008 - 6:23 PM
Investment fund manager Bernard Madoff was a major donor to political campaigns and causes over the last 16 years, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and analyzed by CNSNews.com.

Bernard Madoff, chairman of Madoff Investment Securities, returns to his Manhattan apartment after making a court appearance Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008 in New York. The judge in Madoff's fraud case has set new conditions for his bail, including a curfew and ankle-monitoring bracelet for the disgraced investor. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

(CNSNews.com) - Investment fund manager Bernard Madoff, who allegedly ran a criminal scheme in which investors reportedly lost up to $50 billion, was a major donor to political campaigns and causes over the last 16 years, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics and analyzed by CNSNews.com.
 
A New York Times editorial on Friday characterized what Madoff is alleged to have done as “the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.”
 
Since 1992, Bernard Madoff and his wife, Ruth, donated a total of $225,050 to federal candidates, parties and committees. Seventy-seven percent ($172,600) of that money went to Democratic causes and individuals, 9.5 percent ($21,450) went to Republican causes and individuals, and 13.5 percent ($31,000) went to non-partisan financial lobbying political action committees (PAC).
 
Twenty-two individual Democrats received donations from the Madoffs, and six Republicans received donations.
 
Madoff ran the Manhattan-based Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC since 1960. He was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008 and charged with one count of securities fraud.
 
The members of Congress who received major contributions from Madoff and his wife over the years included: $13,000 to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.); $12,000 to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.); $11,000 to Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming; $6,600 to Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.); $2,000 to Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y); $2,000 to House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y); $1,000 to the former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, John Dingell (D-Mich.); and $1,000 to Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.
 
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also received $100,000 in $25,000 annual installments from Bernard Madoff between 2005 and 2008. 
 
To date, Schumer and Lautenberg both have pledged to donate at least part of the money their campaigns received from the Madoffs to charities.
 
Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the DSCC, which is now run by Sen. Robert Menendez (D- N.J.), told The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 15 that the DSCC has not made a decision on what to do with the $100,000 it received from Madoff. 
 
"It's under review," Miller said.
 
Several Republican campaigns also accepted contributions from Madoff, including the former chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y), who got $1,000 while he was running against Democrat Charles Schumer in 1998.
 
In 1996, Ruth Madoff also donated $5,000 to the New Republican Majority Fund, which was the political action committee of then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.).
 
The campaign donations from Madoff and his wife since 1992, provided by the Center for Responsive Politics:
 
Political Donations by Bernard Madoff
 
2008 
Democrat
$25,000           Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (D)
$2,300             Sen.-elect Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
 
$5,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.
 
2007  
Democrat
$300                Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
$2,300             Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
$25,000           Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
 
Republican
$2,300             Andrew Marshall Saul (R), manager of the federal Thrift Savings Plan
$2,300             Andrew Marshall Saul (R)
 
Other
$5,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.
 
2006
Democrat
$25,000           Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
 
Other
$5,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.
 
2005  
Democrat
$25,000           Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
 
Other
$5,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.
 
 
2004 
Democrat
$250                Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah)
$250                Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore.)  
$250                Rep. Martin Frost (D-Tex.)  
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
$2,000             Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
$2,000             Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
$1,000             Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
 
Other
$5,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.
 
2003  
Democrat
$2,000             Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.)
$2,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
$2,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
 
2002  
Democrat
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
 
2001
Democrat
$1,000             Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.)
 
2000
Democrat
$1,000             Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.)
$1,000             Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)
 
Republican
$1,000             Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.)
 
Other
$2,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.
 
1999
Democrat
$1,000             Sen. Jon Corzine (D), former senator, current governor of New Jersey
$1,000             Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), left Senate in 1997, ran for president in 2000
 
Other
$2,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.
$2,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.
 
1998
Democrat
$1,000             Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.)
$500                Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.)
$500                Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.)
$700                Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
$300                Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), then a representative, elected to Senate in 1998
 
 
Other
$1,000             Victory in New York
 
Republican
$1,000             Sen. Alphonse d’Amato (R-N.Y.), left office in 1999
$1,000             Rep. Wilbert ‘Billy’ Tauzin (R-La.), left office in 2005
 
1996 
Democrat
$1,000             Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
$1,000             Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)
 
Republican
$500                Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), left office in 2007
$1,000             Rep. Daniel Frisa (R-N.Y.), left office in 1997
 
1995
Democrat
$500                Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)
$1,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
 
Republican
$1,000             Rep. Jack Fields (R-Tex.), left office in 1997
 
1994 
Democrat
$200                Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
 
Republican
$1,000             Rep. Jack Fields (R-Texas)
$1,000             Rep. Jack Fields (R-Texas)
$1,000             Rep. Jack Fields (R-Texas)
$2,000             Rep. Jack Fields (R-Texas)
 
Other
$5,000             Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group representing investment firms.  
 
1993 
Democrat
$1,000             Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.)
 
Republican
$400                Rep. Paul Gilmore (R-Ohio)
 
 
 
Political Donations by Ruth Madoff
 
2007 
Republican
$2,300             Andrew Marshall Saul (R), manager of the Federal Thrift Savings Plan
$2,300             Andrew Marshall Saul (R)
 
2006  
Democrat
$2,000             Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) 
 
Republican
$1,000             Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.)
 
2004 
Democrat
$1,000             Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
$250                Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-Texas), defeated in 2004 
 
2003
Democrat
$2,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
$2,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
$2,000             Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.), left office in 2005
 
2002
Democrat
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) 
 
Republican
$1,000             Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.)
 
2000 
Democrats 
$1,000             Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.)
 
1999 
Democrat
$1,000             Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)
$1,000             Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.), former senator, current governor of New Jersey
$1,000             Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), left Senate in 1997, ran for president in 2000
 
 
1998
Democrat
$1,000             Mark Green (D-N.Y.), campaign for U.S. Senate
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), then a representative, elected to Senate in 1998
$1,000             Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
 
Other
$1,000             Victory in New York
 
1997
Democrat 
$1,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
$1,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
 
Republican
$550                Rep. Michael Oxley (R-Ohio), left office in 2007
$1,000             Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.), left office in 1999
 
1996  
Democrat
$1,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
$1,000             Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
$1,000             Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)
 
Other
$5,000             New Republican Majority Fund
$1,000             Fund for a Responsible Future
 
1995   
Democrat
$1,000             Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)
 
Republican
$1,000             Rep. Jack Fields(R-Texas), left office in 1997
$1,000             Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.)
 
1994  
Democrat
$1,000             Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)
 
1993 
Democrat
$1,000             Sen. Richard Bryan (D-Nev.), left office in 2001
$1,000             Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine), left office in 1995
 
 
 All numbers are based on data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics’ Web site, OpenSecrets.org. A representative for the  Center for Responsive Politics told CNSNews.com there are slight discrepancies in the way it presents its numbers compared with those of the Federal Election Commission, FEC.org, from which the official data were gathered.