Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bond Firms Prove Heavy Political Campaign Contributors

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bond Firms Prove Heavy Political Campaign Contributors

Article excerpt

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Major bond firms are donating heavily to political campaigns around the country despite federal rules intended to limit such gifts and end "pay to play" practices.

In New York, a dozen of Wall Street's largest municipal bond firms -- included Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs and Paine Webber -- gave $261,000 to the committee that produced television commercials in which Gov. George Pataki spoke about environmental protection. Almost all of the firms do business with the state.

In New Jersey, bond dealers gave $4,000 to $11,000 to political parties in four counties. In each case the firm was later awarded underwriting business. In Florida, executives at St. Petersburg-based William R. Hough & Company, the state's largest bond firm, gave more than $60,000 to the two major parties and several county political committees last year. By the end of the year, the firm was handling more than 60 governmental bond contracts. "It's a big game about how you are going to avoid these restrictions," New York state Sen. …

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