Fannie Mae chairman James A. Johnson contributed $20,000 to 29 members of Congress during the current two-year election cycle.
Leland Brendsel, the head of Freddie Mac, gave just $2,000 to two candidates: Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato, R-N.Y., and Rep. Thomas M. Davis 3d, R-Va.
Both government-sponsored enterprises are lobbying heavyweights on Capitol Hill, and this year has been busier than most for the mortgage lending giants. Fannie Mae, formally the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., fended off proposals that they compensate the government for some of the benefits they receive by paying a small tax on their mortgage securities and debt.
According to Federal Election Commission data supplied by the Center for Responsive Politics, about half the money Mr. Johnson gave - $9,750 in all - went to members of the House and Senate Banking committees and the House Budget Committee. Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich had suggested imposing user fees on debt and mortgage securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Mr. Johnson's contributions ranged from $250 to the legal maximum of $1,000 per candidate per election. Most of his contributions - $15,500 in all - went to 23 Democrats. Active in Democratic politics in Minnesota, Mr. Johnson was a top aide to former Vice President Walter Mondale and chairman of his presidential campaign in 1984.
Democratic recipients included House Banking Committee members Bruce Vento, Ken Bentsen, and Charles Schumer, as well as Senate Banking Committee members Christopher Dodd, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, and Carol Moseley-Braun.
However, Mr. Johnson also gave $4,500 to six Republicans, including $1,000 to Rep. Richard H. Baker, R-La., chairman of the House Banking subcommittee that oversees Fannie Mae. Rep. Baker has criticized Fannie Mae and held hearings this summer on whether the mortgage lending giant should be privatized.
Other Republicans who received contributions included: Sens. Christopher Bond, Richard Shelby, and Pete Domenici, all Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee's housing opportunity and community development subcommittee.
Reps. William McCollum and Rick Lazio, Republican members of the House Banking Committee, each received $500.