Goldman Sachs recently enacted a set of new rules regarding political campaign contributions for the company’s top employees. The rule bans Goldman Sachs partners from donating to certain campaigns, including the Trump-Pence ticket. However, due to the wording of the rule, partners would still be able to donate to the Clinton-Kane campaign and not violate company policy.
Fortune reports that Goldman Sachs has banned all partners from donating to the Trump-Pence campaign. The employees were notified via a memo that all partners in the company could no longer support certain political campaigns. The memo goes so far as to detail that Trump/Pence is not an option.
“Any federal candidate who is a sitting state or local official (e.g., governor running for president or vice president, such as the Trump/Pence ticket, or mayor running for Congress), including their Political Action Committees (PACs).”
While the ban makes it clear that Trump/Pence is not an option, it does not speak directly to the Clinton/Kane ticket. In fact, Fortune and MSN note that Clinton and Kane may be exempt from the new donation regulation as neither Clinton nor Kane are sitting state or local officials. Instead, Kane is a Kentucky senator, a position that is not considered “local” per Goldman Sach’s rules.
“At the same time, the rules do not restrict donations to Clinton-Kaine. Kaine is a U.S. Senator for Virginia, and not considered a local official under Goldman’s rules.”
— ALWAYS TRUMP! (@Always_Trump) September 7, 2016
It was pointed out that the memo did note that partners are “no longer able to donate to the Virginia Democratic party.” Although the memo does say that Goldman partners are no longer able to donate to the Virginia Democratic Party, which could be a reference to Kaine, it does not spell out no donations to Clinton/Kane like it does Trump/Pence in the new rules.
— King Robbo (@realkingrobbo) September 6, 2016
The memo was directed to “partners” of Goldman Sachs, which includes 467 employees globally. The company claims that the memo and new rule was necessary to ensure they are not implicated in “pay-to-play.” Goldman Sachs says they are especially careful following a ruling four years ago which resulted in the banking company paying out $12 million to settle charges that a former Boston banker had used donations to secure a bond underwriting business.
“The policy change is also meant to minimize potential reputational damage caused by any false perception that the firm is attempting to circumvent pay-to-play rules, particularly given partners’ seniority and visibility. All failures to pre-clear political activities as outlined below are taken seriously and violations may result in disciplinary action.”
Goldman Sachs has declined to comment on the story and has yet to definitively state that Clinton contributions are also on hold. However, as Clinton’s donation records reveal, it would seem unlikely that Goldman Sachs will stop making contributions to the candidate. Over the course of her career, Goldman Sachs has remained one of her top 10 donors donating $912,609 to the politician. In fact, the header picture on this article showcases Clinton’s ties with Goldman Sachs. In 2005, Hillary Clinton was at the ground breaking of the $2.4 billion Goldman Sachs world headquarters in Manhattan.
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) September 2, 2016
This isn’t the first time that it has been reported that the powers-that-be at Goldman Sachs want to ensure their name is not associated with donations to the Trump Campaign. According to Fox Business, numerous Goldman Sachs execs were reportedly told not to donate to Trump this election cycle. Instead, if they wanted to donate to the Republican Party, they were told to donate directly to the Republican National Convention or PACs.
“Goldman executives say they are being prodded by their supervisors that if they want to support the GOP this year, they should give more broadly to Republican party coffers, such as PACs and directly to the Republican National Committee.”
One GOP fundraiser reportedly told Fox Business that “What [Trump fundraisers] are hearing is that management has told Goldman executives who want to give they should do so to the party and not to Trump directly.”
What do you think of Goldman Sachs executives forbidding top employees from making donations to the Trump/ Pence presidential ticket but not directly forbidding donations to the Clinton/Kane camp? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Photo by Richard Drew/AP Photo]