Lincoln says she won't return Goldman contributions

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) said Tuesday she won't return contributions she's received from Goldman Sachs employees.

Lincoln, who's authoring a section of the Wall Street reform bill that regulates derivatives markets, said she'd hold onto contributions from employees of the company, which was charged last week with fraud.

"No," Lincoln said when asked at a press conference if she'd be returning the contributions.

Lincoln said that while she had refused to accept funds from companies on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), since Goldman was receiving no government support, she would accept the contributions.

She also reasoned that her contributions from Goldman employees were in no way above and beyond the contributions she might have received from any other company's employees.

"I don't think I've accepted contributions disproportionately from any group," she said.

At least one Senate candidate, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), has said he'll return monies from Goldman.

The Wall Street titan was hit with fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week, which alleged the firm had failed to disclose to clients that a financial instrument it had offered was crafted by a hedge funder who had bet on its failure.

Lincoln's section of the financial reform bill would address derivatives, which were used in part of the instrument Goldman had constructed in its alleged fraud.