Did campaign contributions help to stall SEC investigation of Stanford?

As mentioned in yesterday's story about R. Allen Stanford, someone told the SEC to "call off its dogs." A report from the Center for Responsive Politics may explain who put that pressure on the SEC. Since 2000, the Stanford Financial Group has given more than $2.4 million to federal candidates and Stanford and his wife Susan have personally contributed $931,000 between the 2000 and 2006 election cycles.

Some 78 percent of those donations when to Democrats, but big-name Republicans received their fair share, too. Former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who infamously served prison time for this role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, got $28,200 from Stanford Financial group. And former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), who reportedly few on Stanford's jet, collected $20,100 from the company since 2000. The top two recipients were Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who got $45,900 and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) who got $41,375. Stanford Financial Group played both sides of the fence in the presidential race, giving $31,750 to Barack Obama and $28,150 to John McCain.

While there is no evidence that political pressure is what did stall the investigation of Stanford, SEC investigators should definitely be looking into this connection.