Even when you factor in dark money, Super PACs and the rest of it, politicians are willing to sell out the nervous system of the 21st century to the worst companies in America for less than $100K.
But these numbers don't even paint the whole picture. Corporations can also donate to a candidate's associated leadership Political Action Committee (PAC), whose money the candidate doles out for the campaigns of political allies.
Take, for example, the case of Senator Mark Pryor, chairman of the senate subcommittee. In this election cycle, Pryor received $10,000 from Comcast itself. His PAC, called Priority PAC, actually netted another $27,500 from Comcast.
But wait—we can keep playing this game—that's not all. The Federal Election Commission also tracks the employer of individuals who contribute to campaigns. This might not seem relevant, until you see that from 2013 to 2014 Pryor received $30,750 from employees of Comcast, all of eight of whom are Comcast executives. In total, Comcast has actually spent $70,650 on Pryor, becoming his second biggest contributor. For his part, the senator has never made a strong stance on net neutrality.
If it all seems confusing, yes, that is deliberate. If it all seems like a way to obfuscate exactly how much money is going where, yes, that is deliberate, too.
How Much Money Big Cable Gave the Politicians Who Oversee the Internet [Sarah Zhang/Gizmodo]
(Image: Bribe, Eugene Pivovarov, CC-BY)