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Wall Street money couldn't save Eric Cantors job in historic election

Eric Cantor with Speaker of the House John Boehner
Eric Cantor with Speaker of the House John Boehner
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

On June 10, an event that metaphorically rang like the liberty bell occurred in the state of Virginia where a sitting House Majority Leader was ousted from his seat in a primary election. This loss for Representative Eric Cantor was so great, it is sending shock waves through Congress, the nation, and especially...Wall Street.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's war chest for re-election was suffused with massive donations from many of Wall Street's bankers, and financial institutions. His record of fiscal protections for Wall Street runs deep, and can be seen as recently as last February when he blocked legislation that would stop insider trading, and instead assured that corporations could continue to profit from news regarding Congressional legislation about to be passed.

Additionally, Wall Street banks and corporations have become his greatest campaign contributor, and they played a key role in his rise to the top of the GOP leadership. Between 2002 and 2010, Wall Street interests increased campaign contributions and donations to Cantor's election fund by 1326%.

Thus far in the 2012 election cycle, Rep. Cantor is the second largest recipient of financial industry donations to House members.

In the 2010 election cycle, he was the third largest recipient of Wall Street cash. In fact, ever since his election to Congress, Rep. Cantor has been in the top 16 recipients of financial industry contributions.

Up to now in the 2012 election cycle, five of Rep. Cantor’s top 10 donors to his campaign committee and leadership PAC were in the financial industry.

Rep. Cantor is currently the second largest recipient of Securities and Investment contributions (which includes hedge funds, private equity and venture capital money).

During the 2010 election cycle, six of Rep. Cantor’s top 10 donors to his campaign committee and leadership PAC were from finance related industries.

During the 2010 election cycle he was the fourth largest recipient of Securities and Investment contributions. - Open Secrets

Ironically, Cantor's opponent in the Republican primary was a professor of economics at Randolph-Macon college who ran primarily on the immigration issue, and more importantly, America's financial status. Since Representative Cantor was so tied to Wall Street and the interests of the financial sector, it was very easy to profile the House Majority Leader as a crony capitalist, and to label him a poster child for what is intrinsically wrong with Washington, and the Republican Party in general.

While David Brat's victory in the Republican primary does not assure him success in the general election come November, the aftermath of his triumph will resonate through the entire Congress, and also with a public who has been inundated with media propaganda that the Tea Party was officially dead. In the end, Representative Cantor's defeat will cause every single member of Congress to realize that no one is safe in their seats, and that in at least one area of the country, the American people are tired of their elected officials being owned and controlled by the financial elite.

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