Raising McCain’s funds

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Cheap labor means big profits for capitalists. In his book Moving Millions: How Coyote Capitalism Fuels Global Immigration, Jeffrey Kaye writes:

The pursuit of business-friendly immigration policies has been a priority for companies that have come to rely on immigrant work forces…. The immigration laws they favor would have the effect of providing a cheap disposable compliant labor force by authorizing additional work visas. They would like the current illegal workforce legalized and, beyond gathering paperwork and consulting computer records, employers do not want to be held responsible for hiring immigration workers with the wrong identification documents….

And few Senators are as beloved by investors as John McCain of Arizona; ten of McCain’s top dozen career donors are financial firms. Leading the pack is Merrill Lynch, the world’s largest brokerage, now an extension of Bank of America, which separately was his eleventh largest donor. Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, two of the other Big Four US banks, rank second and third in contributions to the Senator. Goldman Sachs (fifth) and Morgan Stanley (sixth) each provided McCain with roughly a third of a million dollars since 1989, while Swiss banks UBS AG (eighth) and Credit Suisse (tenth) pitched him about a quarter million apiece. Wachovia, which has since merged into Wells Fargo, ranked 12th with just over $200,000.

Humongous multinationals AT&T (his fourth largest contributor), FedEx (13th), PricewaterhouseCoopers (14th), and General Electric (18th) all tossed him money, as did one-time telecommunications giant Qwest (19th). Members of the US Government (seventh) have donated over a quarter million dollars, and those of the US Army (15th) gave the ranking member of the Committee on Armed Services just under $200,000. Pinnacle West Capital (ninth), Arizona’s largest electric utility, has given McCain $223,000 over the years.

Global law firms Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (16th), Blank Rome (17th), and Greenberg Traurig (20th) fill out his top-twenty list. Securities and investment groups and the legal industry are two of McCain’s three largest overall contributors. (By far, retired people make up his biggest donor base, giving him more than $37 million over his political career.)

As a new immigration bill moves through Congress, it should not be surprising that two of its foremost proponents, Republican McCain and Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, count financial firms as major sources of their campaign funds. Enthusiastic backing by big business means bipartisan support among the establishment in Congress. Writes Daniel Strauss in The Hill:

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) both predicted that immigration reform legislation would ultimately win significant support among both Democrats and Republicans — and pass the Senate and then the House.

“I think it could take three, four weeks,” Schumer said Wednesday at an event sponsored by Politico.

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