testosteronepit.com / By Wolf Richter / July 25, 2012
Mitt Romney is venturing overseas for the first time during his candidacy to spend two days each in the UK, Israel, and Poland. It will hone his international credentials, give him an opportunity to look “presidential,” and allow him to establish, renew, or refine connections. He will also court Americans living abroad. Every vote counts. Campaign brawls are expected to stay “at the water’s edge,” so no speeches and news conferences. But there will be … fundraisers.
Politicians don’t leave home without them. Two of them on Romney’s first stop, London—the capital of the Libor scandal that is engulfing the world’s largest banks, along with central banks and regulators. One will be a tony event at $25,000 to $75,000 per person; the other, a down-to-earth reception of $2,500 per person. But they’re steeped in controversy; some of the people involved are tangled up in the Libor scandal [for my take on the scandal, read.... Libor Perp Walks Before the Election, but No Perp Walks for Rate Manipulation by Central Banks]. Romney, founding partner of Bain Capital, is a finance guy, and he’s got to go where the money is, and in London, the money is in banking.
Political campaigns have long received foreign contributions from sources other than fundraisers. It’s bipartisan, and widespread. Running for office is expensive. Luckily, just ahead of Romney’s trip, the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group in Washington, D.C., put together some data for the German paper,WirtschaftsWoche, on the contributions by German companies to US presidential and congressional races. These companies are export powerhouses, and they want to gain a bit of influence and bend some laws and loopholes their way, not unusual in our democracy that is so dominated by money. And the winner is…..