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Citigroup's pain may be felt by candidates

November 5, 2007 |  4:54 pm

Presidential campaign fundraising could be taking a hit with the news from Citigroup.

Citigroup, the nation’s largest banking company, is the latest Wall Street firm to get into trouble over its investments in sub-prime mortgages, following similar billion-dollar difficulties at Merrill Lynch. Charles Prince, its chief executive, stepped down over the weekend, and the firm warned it might suffer $11 billion in additional mortgage-related losses. Not exactly chump change.

As with most major corporate donors, Citi's political giving is tiny compared to its revenue and its losses.  Still, when The Times' Dan Morain examined Federal Election Commission records, he found that Prince has donated $120,000 to federal candidates and campaign committees over the last decade.

Citigroup partners, employees and partners have handed out nearly $1 million to this year’s group of presidential hopefuls, and $1.64 million to candidates overall, plus another $360,000 in donations from its political action committees, records compiled by Congressional Quarterly’s Money Line show.

The company's financial troubles notwithstanding, Citigroup employees muscled up nearly $290,000 in donations to Sen. Hillary Clinton this year.  Citigroup accounted for $146,000 in the third quarter ending Sept. 30, thanks to a Citigroup-related fundraiser on Sept. 28.  Prince did not participate, her campaign said.

Other presidential hopefuls didn’t do nearly as well with Citigroup in the third quarter.  Sen. Barack Obama has raised $163,000 from Citigroup, including $21,350 in the third quarter.

Republican Rudy Giuliani got $118,000 from Citigroup, including $22,000 in the third quarter.

Sen. John McCain: $115,000 overall, including $12,000 in the third quarter.

Mitt Romney: $84,250 overall, and $15,750 in the third quarter.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, he of the Senate Banking Committee chairmanship, is the third largest recipient of Citigroup money, at $139,000.  But he transferred most of it from his Senate campaign account.

-- Andrew Malcolm