Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign and political action committee has benefited from a large amount of money from top executives of Morgan Stanley, a global financial services corporation which has been implicated in the financial and mortgage meltdown that brought about the Great Recession. A report by the Center for Public Integrity released this week scrutinized Pawlenty’s ties to top executives at the company, finding that he’s raised more than $800,000 in the last month with its help.
According to the report, Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC got $79,500 from Morgan Stanley executives last year. Only Federated Insurance gave more to Pawlenty. Pawlenty has also tapped Morgan Stanley executive Bill Strong to co-chair his presidential campaign, and under Strong’s leadership, Pawlenty raised $800,000 in two events — one in Chicago and another in Texas.
Morgan Stanley has been the target of numerous probes involving the mortgage and investment crisis. Last month, the company, along with Bank of America, settled after it was alleged that it wrongfully foreclosed on nearly 200 military personnel. In 2009, it settled with consumers who alleged Morgan Stanley misrepresented investment information. New York state launched an investigation last month into Morgan Stanley’s role — in addition to several other large financial services companies — in the mortgage-backed securities crisis that eventually led to the nationwide economic recession.
Massachusetts won a settlement in March from Morgan Stanley for its role in the mortgage crisis. Another settlement was reached with Colorado in March as well.
Morgan Stanley was also a recipient of bailout funds. When Pawlenty announced his presidential bid, he promised to end bailouts.
“Pawlenty’s aggressive pro-business stance as governor coupled with government scrutiny of Morgan Stanley could create image problems with some voters still angry about the Wall Street bailout,” wrote the Center for Public Inquiry in their reports.