Obama Seeks To Fatten More Contributors' Wallets
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) is a little-known institution that has become a hot topic in Washington as Congress debates whether to extend its authorization and increase its lending capability.
The bank is also a hotbed of crony capitalism—run by political donors for the benefit of political donors.
The bank’s board of directors—appointed by the president and approved by the Senate—is stocked with large political donors and campaign bundlers.
Ex-Im Bank chairman and president Fred P. Hochberg, for example, has personally given more than $100,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2007, including almost $10,000 to President Obama.
That is on top of the money he bundled for the Obama campaign in 2008—between $100,000 and $200,000.
Vice chair Wanda Felton has given more than $9,000 to Democrats since 2007, nearly all of which went to the Obama campaign.
They are joined by ex officio members Ron Kirk, the president’s trade representative, and John Bryson, who Obama recently appointed Secretary of Commerce.
Kirk bundled between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama in 2008, and personally contributed more than $7,000 to the president’s campaign.
Bryson, meanwhile, has given approximately $11,000 to Democratic candidates since 2007.