Democrats got over $1 million from Bain

Even as they attack Romney for his record at Bain, Democrats have received generous contributions from the company

Published January 19, 2012 3:51PM (EST)

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz                (AP/Alex Brandon)
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (AP/Alex Brandon)

The record of Bain Capital is already a primary line of attack against Mitt Romney by Democrats, especially because of Romney's claim that he created 100,000 jobs during his tenure at the firm.

Democrats have released ads on Bain, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said this month of Romney, "He was a corporate-buyout specialist at Bain Capital. He dismantled companies. He cut jobs. He forced companies into bankruptcy and he outsourced jobs and sent jobs overseas."

Obama campaign strategists are also promising that the current flare-up over Bain is just a taste of what's to come in the general election, if Romney is the nominee.

As an investigation by the Hill found, though, Democratic campaigns have actually received more money from Bain executives than Republicans in recent years. The Washington newspaper reports:

During the last three election cycles, Bain employees have given Democratic candidates and party committees more than $1.2 million. The vast majority of that sum came from senior executives.

Republican candidates and party committees raised over $480,000 from senior Bain executives during that time period.

This is an important point, but it's not the whole story. If one adds super PACs into the equation, the GOP takes the advantage in Bain contributions. That's because three people employed by Bain have given $1.25 million to the pro-Romney group Restore Our Future this cycle.

Still, though, it's worth keeping in mind that lots of prominent Democrats have taken significant amounts of money from the company that they are now attacking so vociferously. This isn't hypocrisy, exactly -- I haven't heard Democrats attacking Republicans for taking money from Bain. But it does cast into relief the contradictions of the Democratic Party, with its very cozy connections to Wall Street and big finance, attacking the GOP over the same.

By Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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2012 Elections Bain Capital Democratic Party Mitt Romney War Room