Who Owns Your Congressman?

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Politics is big business, with millions spent each year trying to sway the electoral process. Which industries, businesses and outside interests have donated the most to which candidates?

How Much Money Are We Talking About?

In short, lots. Here’s a look at what candidates in 2013-2014 have raised for this election cycle:
House
Total $289,091,174*
Democrats $125,189,570
Republicans $163,856,570

Senate
Total $152,410,147*
Democrats $81,976,934
Republicans $70,387,430
* Independents not included in party breakdowns
Their combined fundraising is $441,501,321. That’s enough to …
… pay the average heating bills of every resident of the District of Columbia
… pay the average co-pays for 22 million doctor visits
… pay the average grocery bill for 400,000 four-person families

Following the Money

Where does all this cash come from? Here’s a look at which industries have given the most to which parties:
Industry Amount D R
Retired $38,883,345 47% 46%
Securities & investment $32,988,928 31% 55%
Lawyers& law firms $24,522,332 68% 28%
Real estate $18,005,439 41% 53%
Health professionals $16,335,505 39% 55%
Candidate committees $16,214,155 45% 55%
Insurance $11,989,733 38% 62%
Leadership PACs $11,491,828 43% 57%
Oil & gas $9,895,507 12% 86%
Business services $8,482,996 48% 44%
TV/movies/music $8,374,264 63% 34%
Lobbyists $8,016,021 49% 50%
Pharmaceutical/health $7,875,015 40% 60%
Public sector unions $7,647,169 52% 5%
Manufacturing/distribution $7,298,056 30% 68%
Building trade unions $6,976,125 57% 11%
Commercial banks $6,887,181 30% 70%
Computers/Internet $6,821,386 53% 36%
Electric utilities $6,631,879 36% 64%

Here’s a look at the 20 businesses and organizations that contributed the most for lobbying efforts in 2013:
Business/organization Lobbying total
U.S. Chamber of Commerce $51,955,000
National Assn. of Realtors $25,943,435
Blue Cross/Blue Shield $17,076,780
American Hospital Assn. $14,106,478
Comcast Corp. $13,950,000
General Electric $13,840,000
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $13,802,500
American Medical Assn. $13,775,000
National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. $13,270,000
Northrop Grumman $13,200,000
AT&T Inc. $12,300,000
Boeing Co. $11,460,000
Google Inc. $11,460,000
Lockheed Martin $11,117,466
National Assn. of Broadcasters $10,650,000
Exxon Mobil $10,630,000
Verizon Communications $10,143,000
United Technologies $9,980,373
American Chemistry Council $9,490,000
Grocery Manufacturers Assn. $9,350,000

Where It Goes

Here’s a look at some of the Congressional candidates who’ve raised the most money:

House
John Boehner, R-Ohio
Total: $9,074,336

Top contributing industries (donations to campaign committee, 2013-2014)
Industry Total Individuals PACs
Retired $496,367 $496,367 $0
Securities & investment $441,355 $381,355 $60,000
Oil & gas $249,189 $164,189 $85,000
Real estate $200,600 $188,600 $12,000
Electric utilities $164,000 $75,500 $88,500

Frank Pallone, D-N.J.
Total: $3,831,722
Top contributing industries (donations to campaign committee, 2013-2014)
Industry Total Individuals PACs
Health professionals $249,550 $35,050 $214,500
Pharmaceuticals & health products $84,000 $6,500 $77,500
Lawyers & law firms $66,750 $45,250 $21,500
Lobbyists $42,550 $40,550 $2,000
TV/movies/music $40,800 $15,450 $25,350

Senate
Cory Booker, D-N.J.
Total: $12,867,688

Top contributing industries (donations to campaign committee, 2009-2014)
Industry Total Individuals PACs
Securities & investment $1,197,642 $1,197,642 $0
Lawyers & law firms $1,027,702 $976,207 $51,495
Real estate $476,450 $471,450 $5,000
TV/movies/music $366,780 $359,180 $7,600
Miscellaneous finance $260,250 $260,250 $0

Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Total: $17,246,609

Top contributing industries (donations to campaign committee, 2009-2014)
Industry Total Individuals PACs
Securities & investment $1,129,038 $883,538 $245,500
Insurance $760,525 $311,025 $449,500
Health professionals $649,025 $413,525 $235,500
Retired $644,157 $644,157 $0
Oil & gas $621,258 $367,259 $253,999

Worth the Money?

With more than $400 million spent in this election cycle on Congressional races, is this a wise investment? Maybe not, when you consider the lack of action lately in Congress.
Substantive public laws passed
2013 44
2007 120
Average 1999-2012 70

CongressInfluence_FB

SOURCES:
http://www.opensecrets.org/
http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/
http://crp.org

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