I do love all the different sites that are on the internet now, where you can do loads of searches about who donated money to which campaigns, etc. That's why some numbers out in the past week caught my eye about Barack Obama and the housing crisis.
The web site http://www.opensecrets.org is one of several that does a great job with federal campaign finance data. They crunched the numbers recently on who the top recipients of money in the Congress were when it comes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Remember, those financial institutions were taken over recently by the feds, all part of the Wall Street/financial mess involving the mortgage crisis.
In the last twenty years, the most Freddie/Fannie money - in terms of combined individual donations and from PACs - went to Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) who is now the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
Dodd netted $165,400 in donations, of which $48,500 was PAC money (political action committee for those keeping score at home.)
The #2 recipient sort of surprised me, since he's only been in the Senate for a little more than three and a half years.
That's right, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL.)
Obama received $126,349 in campaign donations, of which only 6k was PAC money.
Of the top twenty, 12 were Democrats and 8 were Republicans.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is also on the overall list, bringing in $21,500 in contributions. If I counted right, that put him in 62nd place overall.
McCain is now trying to tie Obama to some of the troubles at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with a new advertisement that highlights an Obama adviser named Franklin Raines.
Raines was once the CEO at Fannie Mae, as the ad accused Raines of "financial fraud." Raines did leave Fannie Mae under scrutiny in 2004 as part of an accounting scandal there.
Raines has denied being an economic adviser to Obama, but that isn't stopping the McCain camp, as both sides try to convince voters that the other has one finger in the current financial troubles on Wall Street and Main Street.