Interesting move by Goldman
When companies are strongly in support of a political candidate, they may pop off some tweets about it, maybe even donate to their campaign, but they don’t typically restrict employees from donating for the candidate they support.
Unless those employees are at Goldman Sachs, the investment bank where partners were told yesterday that they are forbidden from contributing money to specific campaigns like Donald Trump’s, according to an email uncovered by Politico.
The email outlined all of the company’s rules on political activities, a standard practice for the highly regulated finance sector. Effective September 1st, partners could no longer make “contributions to candidates running for state and local offices, as well as sitting state and local officials running for federal office.”
Damage control and pointing money to Hillary
Analysts believe the policy shift is designed to insure employees don’t violate pay-for-play rules to sway candidates to award them high-paying public contracts, and manage their reputation going forward. When companies violate this rule, they can be fined, but more importantly, their business with governmental clients can be stripped and a lot of money lost.
So how does any of this spell out “don’t donate to Trump?” It all sounds pretty boilerplate. Not so fast – Fortune actually got their hands on a copy of a Goldman memo specifically restricting donations to the Trump-Pence, intimating that donating to Mike Pence (the current Governor of Indiana) is restricted under the new rule against donating to current state officials.
Fortune points out that the rules ban donations to politicians running for state or local office, or state officials seeking federal office. Clinton doesn’t hold public office at this time, and Tim Kaine is a U.S. senator, therefore not subject to the new rules.
The Goldman rules appear to be very specifically crafted to limit partners and employees from donating to specific types of politicians, and some believe, very specific politicians.