February 08, 2012

Shining a Light on Rep. Cantor and the STOCK Act

By CREW Staff

No wonder House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is trying to gut the STOCK Act

The House version of the bill drops a Senate amendment requiring political intelligence consultants to register and disclose their activities.  Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) inserted the amendment after a Wall Street Journal story described how the $100-million-a-year political intelligence industry gathers political information, then sells it to hedge funds and other investors for use in investment decisions. 

CREW has pointed out Rep. Cantor’s strong ties to Wall Street investors before.  In addition, it turns out the chairman of one of the leading political intelligence firms has donated thousands to Rep. Cantor.  Mark Gerson, chairman of Gerson Lehrman Group Inc., donated $23,500 to Rep. Cantor’s joint fundraising committee during the 2010 election cycle alone, according to campaign contribution data tracked by CQ Moneyline.  So far during the 2011 cycle, Mr. Gerson has contributed $15,000 to the Cantor Victory Fund.   Mr. Gerson’s donations made Rep. Cantor, by far, the biggest recipient of donations from employees of Gerson Lehrman.

Given the secrecy in which the political intelligence firms are cloaked, Rep. Cantor may well have received significant contributions from others in the industry.  We just don’t know.  And that’s the point.

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