Among Democrats who earned their income, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) first made his money as a mobile phone franchiser, later as a high tech venture capitalist in Northern Virginia just outside of Washington.
Warner is reported to have learned about the telecommunications industry while working for Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT). Sen. Dodd decided not to run for re-election as he was under a cloud for taking a below-market mortgage from the CEO of now bankrupt Countrywide Financial.
For those who are keeping score, Dodd recently landed a sweet job as the head of the Motion Picture Association of America after he declined to run for re-election in 2008. The Hollywood Reporter says his annual salary will be pegged at $1.5 million.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), earned his fortune in the flower and greeting card business. He was the founder of Pro-Flower and an e-commerce greeting card company which he sold to Excite.com for more than $700 million.
New Jersey’s long time Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) rounds out the top ten. He originally was with a high tech company and is worth $116 million. New Jersey, considered one of the most corrupt states in the country, has had many home-grown Democratic gazillionaires for a long time.
Former Democratic Senator and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine last week resigned as CEO of MF Global, a well established company he ran into the ground. As of last week federal investigators were trying to determine why the company is missing $900 million. It closed its doors last week and laid off more than 1,000 employees.
The issue of politics and money has been a complicated one. President Barack Obama brought in far more money from Wall Street in his 2008 campaign than his Republican opponent Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Obama raked in $1 million from Goldman Sachs employees that year. While his numbers are lower this year, the President has attracted $15.2 million from the financial services industry that he attacks so frequently.
Many Democrats run institutions on Wall Street. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan has been a long-time Democratic supporter. So too has Goldman Sachs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein.
When will the mainstream media figure out that Democrats are part of a millionaire’s club too? Maybe someone should tell the Occupy Wall Street protesters, if they are still in their park.
Note: This post erroneously stated that Rep. McCaul represents Florida, and that Rep. Jared Polis is a senator. Both have been corrected, and we regret the errors. -bp