Ernst & Young and Rudy Giuliani

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I’ve written extensively in the past about both the political biases and the campaign contributions of the US firms. All of them, as a firm, slant conservative. They are large firms so there are all kinds of people that make up their list of employees. However as service providers to big business, they tend to do and believe what the general business community believes.

In some cases their actions reflect a malleability and expediency on the issues. In others cases they are downright dogmatic. I am referring, of course, to who they do business with and whose campaigns they contribute to.

Vanity Fair and Conde Nast’s Portfolio both have interesting articles about the business dealings of Rudy Giuliani and both prominently mention his former consulting firm’s connection to E&Y.

An excerpt from Conde Nast:

Rudy Giuliani is running for president based on his track record as New York City’s mayor. But he may get tripped up by his experience in a different venue—as a consultant for big business and foreign governments. Don’t look at my personal life or my social views, Rudy Giuliani seems to be saying to Republican presidential-primary voters. Instead, look at my management record…

Even before terrorists struck New York four months before the end of his term at City Hall, Giuliani planned a move into consultancy. As the saying goes, 9/11 changed everything—including “America’s Mayor” being hailed as a hero.

Accounting giant Ernst & Young rushed at the chance to work with him. Two weeks after leaving office, the ex-mayor opened Giuliani Partners with a rumored $3 million signing bonus in the bank. The former federal prosecutor had turned into a C.E.O. in an instant.

Giuliani went on to form a series of eponymous entities. He founded the Rudolph W. Giuliani Center for Urban Leadership. He leveraged a Texas Republican connection to join the Houston law firm of Bracewell & Patterson, which was changed to Bracewell & Giuliani. Giuliani Partners and Ernst & Young jointly begat Giuliani Capital Advisors (which was sold after he entered the presidential race), and that begat Giuliani Compliance Japan. Giuliani-Kerik L.L.C. was later renamed Giuliani Security & Safety, which spawned the Rudolph W. Giuliani Advanced Security Centers and Giuliani Security & Safety Asia…

So I thought I would take a current look at who Ernst and Young as a firm are contributing to in the US Presidential race. They definitely slant towards Republican candidates, at least since 1998.

Ernst & Young is one of the world’s largest accounting firms, offering its clients everything from auditing services to tax advice. Over the years, the firm has successfully led efforts to block increased federal oversight of the accounting industry. Yet the collapse of Enron and the corporate scandals that followed have largely put the company on the defensive. In 2002, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Ernst & Young, accusing the firm of violating ethics rules when it was the chief auditor of one of its key business partners, PeopleSoft. At the same time, federal investigators launched efforts to crack down on companies that avoid taxes by incorporating in Bermuda or other offshore tax havens—a practice that has generated plenty of revenue for Ernst & Young over the years.

Dems vs. Repubs Source of Funds
Election Cycle 2008
Total Contributions $1,023,087
Dems $453,837
Repubs $569,250
% to Dems 44%
% to Repubs 56%

Election Cycle 2006
Total Contributions $1,592,550
Dems $652,135
Repubs $926,215
% to Dems 41%
% to Repubs 58%

Election Cycle 2004
Total Contributions $2,140,864
Dems $801,655
Repubs $1,330,696
% to Dems 37%
% to Repubs 62%

Election Cycle 2002
Total Contributions $2,029,928
Dems $667,345
Repubs $1,362,333
% to Dems 33%
% to Repubs 67%

As a firm, Ernst and Young ranks 35th on the list of top corporate donors to the US Presidential Race. Guess who their top contribution recipient is? (Way to hedge those bets, EY!)

Top Recipients Among Federal Candidates, 2008 Cycle
Ernst & Young
Office Total Contributions

Giuliani, Rudolph W (R)

Clinton, Hillary (D-NY)

Dodd, Christopher J (D-CT)

Romney, Mitt (R)