Who Bought Your Politician?

Who do your politicians represent? Wired's embeddable widget made it easy to find out that my senators are Rob Casey (Comcast-PA) and David Christian (National Identity Solutions-PA).


  1. Interesting, I didn’t know Time Warner had enough of a presence in my home state to co-finance my senator with Stanford and Northrop Grumman.   On the other hand, apparently the representative for my congressional district didn’t receive any major political contributions from corporations.

      1. Even more exciting is that he is Ted Cruz, who won the Republican primary in Texas by screaming “I’m the most conservative” louder than anyone else.  The Tea Party also likes him.

        I need to move somewhere else.

        1.  I feel your pain….I still can’t believe he won.  Don’t bail out, though — I’m still convinced we can make it better if the good folks don’t all leave.

          (To say that he’s owned by Goldman Sachs is a bit of a stretch, though — they were less that half a percent of his total.  That’s scarier, though — it means that he’s just like that on his own.)

  2. Rob, another way of looking at it is that if Casey tells Comcast to go fuck themselves he loses a whopping 0.6% of his campaign contributions.

    1. Excellent point.  After playing around with this for a while, I have to say I’m pretty surprised at how _little_ these folks (generally speaking) seem to be taking from the various individual corporations, especially as the raw dollar count gets higher.

      Unscientifically clicking about with no regards to state, office, or party affiliation, it looks like the top contributor is regularly below one percent, although normal sample size and selection warnings apply here.

      Not all of them are in the same ballpark, of course — of Rob’s two examples, Casey’s (D-PA) top contributor is 0.6% and the top 5 add up to 1.8% (of $9.5million), while Christian’s (R-PA) top contributor is over 16% and the top five are almost 46% (of $61k).

      What’s more interesting to me is the industry-collected data over at Wired’s reference data provider, MapLight ( http://maplight.org/us-congress/interest ).  Even in the case where each individual politician doesn’t take a whole lot from a particular corporation, it’s pretty impressive to see how much each industry pours into the process.

      No matter what the data says, or what conclusions you draw, a big thank you to MapLight and Wired for putting this out there…

      1. They’re grouped together under corporation names, but it’s important to note that these donations are not from corporations, but from individuals who have to declare who their employer is. Of course, they may all be working in unison to further a corporate agenda, but it’s certainly not a given.

        Indirect contributions, however, which aren’t included in the widget, can and frequently do come through a corporate entity. In Casey’s case, for example, the AFL-CIO paid for over $170k in TV advertising in the past year and a survey of 10,000 voters in the state to help their 5,000 canvassers best target which areas got the 600,000 doorstep visits, which got the 1,000,000 phone calls, and which just got the 1,500,000 flyers.

        Somehow, even if the CEO of Comcast had personally delivered Casey $61k in a muffin basket, I don’t think he’s the first person Casey would roll over and start wagging his tail for.

  3. Can’t find one of my senators, Richard Blumenthal (CT) on this list or the 2010 one. (I read more carefully – the 2010 one only had incumbents)

  4. Hmmm, actually I don’t particularly mind my newest senator being the candidate of Harvard University, University of California and MIT.

    I’m glad she beat the Fidelity, Raytheon and Goldman Sachs guy.

  5. My local Rep is apparently owned by a costume and hosiery business. After that the State of California. 

    1. Nancy Pelosi got about $2m total; her highest donor was 20k (Occidental Petroleum — probably accidentally wrote an extra zero), the rest of the top ten under 11k.  Can’t rightly call that “ownership”.

Comments are closed.