Reminder: Bernie Madoff Donated Mostly to Democrats

February 5th, 2016 3:39 PM

Many of you have probably seen the ABC miniseries, Madoff, about disgraced Wall Street investment manager Bernie Madoff who in reality ran a massive Ponzi scheme. How accurate was his portrayal by actor Richard Dreyfuss can be up for debate but what is not debatable, but now mostly forgotten, is that Madoff invested heavily in the campaigns of mostly Democrats. Just after the Madoff scandal broke in December 2008, the extent of his political contributions to Democrats was revealed by CNN.Com:

(CNN) - Alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff has been a major political donor, directing hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic lawmakers over the past two decades.

Since 1991, Madoff and other individuals connected with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities made campaign contributions totaling $372,100, with about 89 percent of those funds directed to Democrats, according to, the Web site of the Center for Responsive Politics. The majority of the senators and representatives who benefited from these donations were New York-area legislators.

In 2008, Madoff contributed $50,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, pushing his total donations to the group since 1992 over the six-figure mark.

Madoff contributed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign, but there’s no record of donations to any of this year’s Democratic presidential candidates, including the secretary of state-designate.

Of course, if Madoff has contributed just as heavily to Republican candidates, you can bet that fact would have been brought out in the miniseries especially since it was based on a book by ABC News reporter Brian Ross who has a history of falsely accusing conservatives of crimes they did not commit.

Perhaps Madoff could have escaped jail if he had tied himself even more closely with the Democrats. That sure worked for former Democrat governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine, who was a sort of a mini Madoff. Julia Seymour of MRC Business described the antics of Corzine who has so far avoided serving time along with Madoff:

Flashbacks of 2008 were on the minds of many when MF Global, a Wall Street firm led the Democratic former N.J. Gov. Jon Corzine, filed for bankruptcy amid a huge scandal. Forbes said the firm owes $2.2 billion to JP Morgan and Deutsche Banks. But the broadcast networks had amnesia when it came to their previous coverage of Corzine, his role as adviser and fundraiser for Obama and their previous use of him as an economic expert.

MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 3. The firm, under Democrat Corzine's leadership had invested in more than $6 billion European sovereign debt and was overleveraged (borrowed too much). Why would they have invested in such risky assets? According to both New York Times and Fox Business contributor Charles Gasparino, Corzine was betting on a European bailout.

The firm's bankruptcy from bad investments would have been scandalous enough, but with CBS reporting Nov. 4 that more than $600 million dollars is still missing, landing Corzine in "hot water." Corzine resigned as CEO on Nov. 4 after hiring Andrew J. Levander, a well-known criminal defense attorney. The former governor and his firm are under F.B.I. investigation.

The networks have done little reporting on this "big name" Democrat's scandal airing just 12 news stories or briefs (most were briefs), according to Nexis. On the morning of Nov. 1, not one of the three networks reminded viewers that Corzine is a Democrat. ABC, CBS and NBC also forgot to mention that they have relied on the former politician as an economic expert and that he is tied to the Obama administration.

...CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin reacted to the MF Global scandal saying on NBC "Nightly News" by comparing it to 2008. He described MF Global's investments in European bonds as high stakes gambling, called it like a "mini Ponzi scheme" and similar to the Maddoff scandal. Sorkin's report was one of the only full stories (rather than a news brief) about the MF Global scandal on ABC, CBS or NBC.

Although Corzine has not yet served any jail time, surely he must have been subsequently shunned at least publicly by the Democrats, right? Wrong. The Political Ticker report from August 2014 reveals Corzine to be hosting a fundraiser for guess which major Democrat:

Washington (CNN) – Embattled former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, the man who was at the center of the $1.6 billion MF Global collapse, will be the co-host of a Ready for Hillary fundraiser in the Wainscott, New York later this month.

Corzine will co-sponsor the event along with special guests David Brock, the head of Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton messaging and rapid response group; actress Ashley Judd and Craig Smith, a longtime Clinton friend and Ready for Hillary senior adviser.

It seems that Madoff's big mistake might have been not aligning himself even more closely with the Democrats. If he had, perhaps instead of spending the rest of his life in prison, he could have remained on the outside and hosting fundraisers for Hillary in the Hamptons. That's one of the fringe benefits of being Too Democrat to Jail.