News Release

The Buying of the President 2004

The Center for Public Integrity has released The Buying of the President 2004: Who’s Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers –and What They Expect in Return. Among the findings:

GEORGE W. BUSH: The top career donor for Bush is the scandal-ridden Enron Corp. The President’s campaign has already raised more money than any other candidate in history in the year before the election, $85.2 million (numbers are as of Sept. 30, 2003). His personal assets are $8,837,079 – $21,936,000. Bush, who has signaled an interest in Social Security privatization, numbers financial firms Merrill Lynch & Co., Credit Suisse First Boston, UBS Paine Webber and Goldman Sachs Group among his top ten patrons.

WESLEY CLARK: Campaign has raised over $3 million; there is insufficient data on his personal wealth. His top patron is Citigroup. Acxiom, a company that was seeking Homeland Security contracts, paid Clark hundreds of thousands of dollars for his help in persuading the government to buy the company’s wares. Clark was a registered lobbyist while he served as a military analyst on CNN, and was still a lobbyist when he declared his candidacy.

HOWARD DEAN: Campaign has raised over $25 million; personal assets are $2,194,036 – $5,061,000. In his 11 years as governor, Dean did not propose a law requiring financial disclosures for legislatures or executive branch officials. Vermont is one of just three states with no such disclosure laws.

JOHN EDWARDS: Campaign has raised more than $14 million; personal assets are $8,707,072 – $36,500,000, largely from suing for medical malpractice. Most of his largest contributors are law firms.

JOHN KERRY: Campaign has raised over $20 million; personal assets are $198,794,683 – $839,038,000 (almost all through his wife’s wealth). Top patrons include Fleet Boston Financial Corp., Time Warner and law firms. He wrote letters to the FCC asking it to delay its spectrum auction, keeping in line with his brother’s law firm, which represents the telecommunications industry and has given the senator more than $222,000.

DENNIS KUCINICH: Campaign has raised over $3 million; personal assets are $2,002 – $32,000. Top patrons are unions. Accepted a $6,000 expenses-paid trip to Croatia from the Praxis Peace Institute.

JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: Campaign has raised over $11 million; personal worth is $320,061 – $1,536,000. Top patrons are Citigroup, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group. After receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from biotechnology companies, Lieberman hired the industry’s top lobbyist for his staff and co-sponsored bills on which the industry lobbied.

AL SHARPTON: Campaign has raised over $200,000; there is insufficient data on his personal wealth. His previous runs for office show his campaigns extended more than $10,000 in personal loans.

Available for interviews:

CHARLES LEWIS, BILL ALLISON, [via Ann Pincus]
Lewis is executive director of the Center for Public Integrity; Allison is the group’s managing editor.

More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167