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Let’s Play ‘Who Gave Chris Dodd More Money Than Connecticut Residents?’

We know that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), burned by voter anger over his coziness with Wall Street, received only $4,250 in donations from actual residents of his home state during the first three months of this year.

That’s not great news for the embattled Dodd, who is fighting for his political life in the face of a 33 percent approval rating and a 2010 reelection challenge from former Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.). But even if the five-term senator doesn’t have too many fans in Connecticut, they love him at Intercontinental Exchange, one of the nation’s leading exchanges trading credit default swaps and other risky financial instruments.

Executives at Intercontinental (known as ICE) donated $18,400 to Dodd’s reelection campaign during the first quarter of this year, according to the senator’s report to the Federal Election Commission this week.

That’s more than four times the amount that Connecticut residents contributed to Dodd.

And ICE has good reason to cultivate a friendship with the Banking Committee chief. The company was recently approved by government regulators to begin “clearing” trades of derivatives, the risky financial instruments that helped take down AIG and were estimated last year to exceed the real value of the whole world’s financial holdings. ICE now has an interest in ensuring that derivatives trading remains supervised by a small group of firms, thus maximizing its ability to profit from the market.

But ICE isn’t the only company outdoing Connecticut natives in generosity to Dodd. Six employees of the lobbying firm Patton Boggs gave the senator’s campaign $5,500 on a single day during the first quarter, and employees of the financial services company Chesterfield pitched in $6,900.

So Dodd has an impressive number of supporters … just not that many who can vote for him next year.

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