Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It turns out that the Stanford scandal was also probably aided and abetted

by federal legislators (via Joe Weisenthal):
In late November 1999, with the Clinton Administration's crackdown on money-laundering under way, Stanford hired one of Washington, D.C.'s most respected lobbying firms, Verner Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand. Suddenly, in February 2000, Stanford Financial Group - which had never made a federal campaign contribution before - started pouring money into Republican and Democratic party committees.

Stanford's lobbying disclosure reports in 2000 made it clear that the company had only one interest in federal policy: money-laundering legislation. Former Treasury Department officials confirmed, in interviews with Public Citizen, that Stanford Financial vigorously opposed the legislation - along with several other Texas-border banking institutions - in meetings held on Capitol Hill. Between February 2000 and June 2001, Stanford Financial gave Republican party committees $208,000 and Democratic party committees $145,000.

But Stanford didn't stop there. Stanford Financial and R. Allen Stanford gave another $95,000 to the 527 groups of three influential politicians - Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle ($40,000), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Martin Frost ($50,000), and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott ($5,000).

In doing so, Stanford became the single largest contributor between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001 to the 527 groups of Daschle and Frost. (Public Citizen's efforts to discuss these contributions were rebuffed by a Stanford Financial Group spokesperson.)

Stanford also contributed the maximum allowed to Daschle's 527, given Daschle's self-imposed limit of $10,000 per donor per year. Stanford contributed $10,000 from his company and $10,000 from himself in both 2000 and 2001.

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