What do Joseph Rooney, Chris Phole, Steven Pike, Greg Ruffa, Leonid Shekhtman, Christian Todd, Joseph Cassano, Steven Wagar, Doug Poling, and Jonathan Liebergall have in common? Well, first, they are all AIG executives who received bonuses that are now the subject of more or less universal outrage. Second, they have all been subpoenaed to testify about these bonuses next week before the Banks Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly. Third, sometime between November 21 and December 16, 2006, each of them made the maximum contribution ($2,100) to Friends of Chris Dodd and, at the same time, an identical $2,100 contribution to Chris Dodd for President.
A few of these executives, namely Cassano, Wagar, Poling, and Liebergall, have occasionally made other political donations (including, in the cases of Cassano and Poling, past donations to Dodd), But for Rooney, Phole, Pike, Ruffa, Shekhman and Todd, the 2006 donations to Friends of Chris Dodd and Chris Dodd for President are the only political donations disclosed by the FEC’s online database, which goes back to the 1990s.
It is not exactly surprising that AIG executives would want to make a contribution to their home-state Senator, particularly right after the 2006 election that elevated that Senator to the chairmanship of the Senate Banking Committee. Still, this level of participation by people who are not generally inclined to make political contributions suggests a pretty concerted effort on AIG’s part.
I wonder whether this has any connection to the involvement of Attorney General Blumenthal, who is said to be interested in Dodd’s Senate seat, in next week’s hearing.