If you recall, I spent much of the month of June expressing exasperation with right-wing and libertarian critics who insisted financial regulation was a boon to Wall Street. Many of these critiques relied upon the increasingly out-of-date claim that Wall Street was donating mainly to Democrats:
As far as the parties go, it's not even close -- Wall Street has given 60 percent of its cash this year to Democrats, and seven of the top 10 recipients of Wall Street political action committee money are Democrats.
Now a more complete picture of Wall Street's political activity has emerged and the pattern is pretty clear:
Republicans candidates collected about 70% of the political donations from the employees and political accounts of financial services firms in June, the most recent month in which records are available, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a reversal from March, when Democrats collected 70% of the donations from Wall Street.
The switch is largely attributable to the successful efforts by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats to pass new regulations on the financial services sector. Many Wall Street firms found the legislation to be too onerous. Wall Street executives also complained that the president had made them the scapegoat for a faltering economy.
For years prior, Wall Street had been among the largest sources of campaign cash for the Democratic Party.
Congressional Republicans sought to capitalize on the friction between Democrats and Wall Street by calling on financial services executives to donate to GOP candidates. Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, held closed-door meetings with Wall Street executives making the case that Republicans had fought the Democratic regulations and should be rewarded with campaign funds.
In the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas – who heads the Senate Republican campaign arm – set up monthly meetings between Republican senators and Wall Street executives.
You can make a good case that financial reform didn't go nearly far enough. But a sop to Wall Street it was not.