Bush's Treasury Nominee Gave to Dems

President Bush’s nominee to lead the Department of the Treasury has a history of giving money to Democrats and liberal causes. Former President Bill Clinton, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley, Sen. Chuck Schumer and the pro-abortion Emily’s List have benefited from his largesse, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The nominee, Henry M. Paulson Jr., chief executive of Goldman Sachs, has given tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans over the past 15 years, but prior to 2000 he also donated money to Democrats who are staunchly opposed to Bush’s agenda.

In fact, during Bush’s campaign for the White House in 1999, Paulson gave $1,000 to Bradley, who sought and eventually lost the Democratic nomination to Al Gore. Paulson gave $2,000 to Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) prior to the 2000 election, but there is no record of his donating to Bush.

Paulson has given more than $20,000 to the liberal League of Conservation Voters since 1998. It is one of his favorite charities. In 1997 he donated $500 to Emily’s List, a group that backs candidates who support abortion.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.), a member of the Finance Committee, was the recipient of two $1,000 gifts in 1996. Paulson also gave $2,000 to incumbent Republican Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, but those gifts came a year earlier.

Shortly after Bush nominated Paulson this morning, Schumer offered his unwavering support. “His experience, intelligence and deep understanding of national and global economic issues make him the best pick America could have hoped for,” said Schumer, according to the Associated Press.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D.-Ind.) received a $1,000 check from Paulson in 1997 when Bayh was running against Republican Paul Helmke. Sen. Chris Dodd (D.-Conn.) was the beneficiary of a $1,000 check in 1989. The late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D.-Tex.) received $1,000 in 1991.

Even former President Bill Clinton scored $1,000 from Paulson in 1992. Clinton was running against Bush’s father at the time. During the 1992 election cycle, Paulson also donated $1,000 to George H.W. Bush, but those checks were written in 1991—at least two months before he gave to Clinton.

Writing for HUMAN EVENTS today, Steven Milloy of the Free Enterprise Education Institute has outlined the ideological and ethical challenges that could face Paulson as he awaits a hearing in the Senate.

Paulson’s Donations to Democrats, Liberal Causes

Date Amount Recipient
6/19/2003 $5,000 League of Conservation Voters
4/4/2002 $5,000 League of Conservation Voters
9/27/1999 $5,000 League of Conservation Voters
3/31/1999 $1,000 Bill Bradley
11/2/1998 $500 League of Conservation Voters
8/19/1998 $5,000 League of Conservation Voters
8/13/1997 $500 Emily’s List
6/19/1997 $1,000 Evan Bayh
3/18/1996 $1,000 Charles E. Schumer
3/15/1996 $1,000 Charles E. Schumer
2/12/1992 $1,000 Bill Clinton
11/13/1991 $1,000 Lloyd Bentsen
7/11/1989 $1,000 Chris Dodd

UPDATE — 5:19 p.m.: I was a bit hasty in the paragraph about the 2000 election. Let me clarify. Based on my research, I could find no record of Paulson’s donating to George W. Bush prior to 2000. However, he has given to the President subsequent to 2000. And, as I noted in the story, Paulson has given “tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans.” I’m simply pointing out the money he’s given to Democrats—all of whom happen to be big Bush critics.