The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 December 2008

Alleged Mega-Ponzi Scheme Operator Big Dem Donor


Disgraced Hedge Fund Cheater Big Lib Backer


While Americans ponder how one well-heeled Wall Street huckster could have fooled so many for so long with the mother of all Ponzi schemes, a key detail has largely been overlooked: Bernard L Madoff used some of his money to fund Democratic Party candidates.

You won't read about this at the far-left Huffington Post, for example, where contributor Bob Franken is instead using the scam to smear business leaders and capitalism in general:

As we're discovering, almost the entire economy is the moral equivalent of a Ponzi scheme.

Hyperbole? Well, let's see:

While the operating details may be different... somewhat's undeniable that much of our financial and industrial structure is a Pyramid based on a phantom foundation.

It has been constructed by opportunists who were such con artists they didn't care whether it ultimately imploded, as long as they got theirs.

Or so inept they had no business around the building.

Or worst, the people who adopted the "Get along-go along" approach to success...never going against the grain, no matter what.

Those may be the most corrupt of all, since their expedient "make no waves" mentality was at the very least amoral, which is another way of saying immoral.

By the way, that would include the politicians who looked the other way so they could either get the crumbs in the form of campaign contributions, or because raising a stink was simply too much of a hassle.

Now that the chickens have come home to roost the home has caved in.

Nor did the al-Reuters wire service have room to mention Madoff's strong Dem ties:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors scrambled to assess potential losses from an alleged $50 billion fraud by Bernard Madoff, a day after the arrest of the prominent Wall Street trader.

Prosecutors and regulators accused the 70-year-old, who was chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market in the early 1990s, of masterminding a fraud of epic proportions through his investment advisory business, which managed at least one hedge fund.

Hundreds of people, investing with him through the firm's clients, entrusted Madoff with billions of dollars, industry experts said.

"Madoff's investors included captains of industry, corporations -- some of which are publicly traded -- that used Madoff almost as a high-yielding cash management account, endowments, universities, foundations and, importantly, many high-profile funds of funds," said Douglas Kass, who heads hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Management.

"It appears that at least $15 billion of wealth, much of which was concentrated in southern Florida and New York City, has gone to 'money heaven,'" he said.

And yet, the facts are right there for all to see: over the past decade, Madoff has consistently been a major Democratic Party contributor.

According to NewsMeat and OpenSecrets, two sites that track political contributions, Madoff gave a total of $100,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee betweeen 2005 and 2008.

In addition, he backed a variety of Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, New York Senator Chucky Schumer, embattled New York City Congressman Charles Rangel, Massachusetts Rep Ed Markey and many others.

During the 1990s, Madoff also gave money to Republicans, but in recent years, almost all of the recipients have been liberal Democrats.

Finding a mainstream media outlet willing to mention this wasn't easy, but it was noted by the Chicago Tribune in a brief blog entry dated yesterday:

Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street bigwig arrested Thursday on an alleged massive securities fraud prosecutors call a "Ponzi scheme" was a major Democratic donor.

For instance, in the most recent election cycle, according to, he contributed $50,000 in two $25,000 donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chaired by Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat.

He also often frequent contributions over the years to New York area Democrats, including Sens. Hillary Clinton and Frank Lautenberg. Expect to hear Republican demands that Democrats return the money.

Yes, that might
be nice, but so far at least, we've seen no objection from the GOP. Beyond that, a smattering of blogs have made the connection between Madoff's funny money and his support for Dems, but others seem unaware.

On Friday's show, Rush Limbaugh had this reaction to the still-unfolding scandal:

RUSH: Have you heard about this guy in New York that was running this $50 billion Ponzi scheme? He was the former head of NASDAQ. Folks, do you know how many charlatan cheats there are in the financial asset management industry?

It's a crapshoot. This is why I didn't stay in it very long. I never did, instinctively, understand why I should give people who had less money than I have my money to manage. If they were so smart at it, they'd have more than I do. If they ever get hold of Social Security, it could be trouble. This guy was running a Ponzi scheme. He had $50 billion, he said, of managed assets, and he didn't have that much. What he was doing is taking the investments he got to pay previous investors, and it finally caught up with him, and he's admitted it -- and a lot of his clients live here, in Palm Beach, where I live! This stuff can happen to anybody.

There really is no doubt that anybody could be suckered by this kind of sophisticated huckster.

Though it will barely help those who have lost everything they had in this scheme, Democrats who benefited from funds sent by Madoff should be compelled to return the money at once. In addition, the lack of mainstream media coverage of this key point once again underscores their partisan nature.

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  • what a ridiculous post. a massive scam artist happens to support democrats, and brian thinks it's an important component to the story.

    maybe if madoff was accused of bribing folks, but the only officials who dropped the ball here were at the SEC -- which has been run by Republicans for the past 8 years.

    to be clear: i'm not blaming republicans for this. only man who deserves blame is madoff. this is not a partisan story, nor even a political one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 December, 2008 15:50  

  • Did I miss your post on Larry Elder leaving KABC?

    Seems a pretty important story.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 15 December, 2008 17:39  

  • Chuck Schumer involved on several levels. I read they'll all be bailed out now. Law firm hired to oversee the bailout is Baker Hostetler. I look it up and find out the firm defended Air America in 2007. And one of its principals, John Siegal, worked in congress as an aide to Chuck Schumer.I guess this is why no one complains. When you live in a third world dictatorship what good would it do.

    By Blogger susan, at 15 December, 2008 21:51  

  • Wow, rush has been gaining a lot of weight lately.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18 December, 2008 10:59  

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