Political_Contributions_1989_2010

Throwing a Party some Cash

Not long ago, I was approached by a petition signature worker, who exhorted me to help stop corporations from contributing money to politics. “Unions, too?” I asked. That stopped him cold, and he sputtered to come up with how this was different. I left him sputtering.

But how heavily to corporations actually favor Republicans? It depends upon the corporation, it seems.

This list is interesting; it represents the top 140 donors of political money over the past two decades. Each of these gave over a million, with the top ones in the $50 million range.

Obviously, the top donors are not Republican in their contribution favoritism; you have to go down to #17 to get to the first one giving 60% or more to Republicans. (It’s the National Auto Dealers Assn. at 67%.)

But this list of 140 is a lot of numbers. I took a quick shot at organizing it, grouping them into Corporations, Unions, and Associations. Here’s what I came up with:

Corporations in the top 140 donors gave more cash than unions or associations, but it was much closer to balanced, with 42% of the money going to Democrats. Associations were similar, but went the other way with 55% going to Democrats.

Ah, but unions: 96% Democrat dollars. More than half a billion compared to 23 million for Republicans, a ratio of more than 21 to 1.

No wonder the fellow sputtered when I asked if unions, too, should be prevented from contributing money.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • http://en.gravatar.com/pascvaks Pascvaks

    I’ve seen the Unions in their Prime. I’ve seen them wax and wane, and dissipate over time to a thin shadow of their former selves. I’ve seen them go from the private sector to the government sector crawling on all fours like a mad starving dog for food and drink. Over the past century, Unionism (the Movement) has died away. It’s now a 19th Century relic. The objectives workers fought for over a century and a half have all been achieved and incorporated into the laws of the land. I guess the question is “What’s Next?” Certainly, the mafia-styled system that we have today will not survive, people who pay taxes are getting fed up with “protection” blackmail and outright extortion. What’s next? The “Costco”/”Publics/Etc.” method of employee (assiciate?) corporate profit shareing? Don’t have a good feel for where we’re going next, but I don’t think the Teamsters or the AFL/CIO or the NEA or any of the other BIG/GUYS are going to last much longer. This is another of those BIG 21st Century Changes that’s coming.