November 13, 2012 | 10:30am
It's been eight years since Newport Beach Republican Congressman Christopher Cox last campaigned for office and, though his seat was never in jeopardy in the Republican-rich coastal Orange County district, he collected millions of dollars in contributions.
Cox, long an opponent of pro-consumer financial regulations, went on to become the President George W. Bush-appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission before Wall Street collapsed and trillions of dollars vanished from retirement accounts.
The toothy-GOPer is nowadays a partner at the South Coast Plaza branch of Bingham McCutchen, a law practice for the one percent, and he's still doling out money from his once plump congressional campaign account.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Cox used his old 2004 congressional campaign fund this year to donate $1,000 to Los Angeles District Attorney hopeful Alan Jackson, $2,500 to Indiana Congessman David McIntosh and a whopping $100,000 to the Orange County Register-tied Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco-based think tank designed to thwart progressive policy advances in California.
In the 2010 election cycle, Cox spent his campaign funds on Republican candidates Carly Fiorina, Steve Cooley, Mimi Walters, Allen Mansoor and Jack Kingston, according to the disclosure reports.
The campaign account now has almost $97,000 left.
In contrast, poor Robert K. Dornan, the incumbent Republican congressman defeated in 1996 by a then-unknown Loretta Sanchez, is under water.
Dornan's house campaign committee against Sanchez owes $40,000.
Worse, Dornan--who retired to the Virginia countryside long ago--this year forked over $27,000 himself to pay $26,600 to political vendors who worked on his quixotic 1996 run for the White House.
Sixteen years after his presidential campaign that Dornan committee now reports a $155,000 debt.