In what passes for common wisdom among the Left, the big money donors to politicians are those “evil” corporations that “not-so-secretly run America” and the Republican party is their well-paid tool. This is axiomatic among Liberals. It’s a mantra they chant and was one of the major planks of President Obama’s 2008 campaign.
As is not too surprising given their track record in such matters, the Liberals are either wrong or mendacious on both the source of campaign contributions and the breakdown of the recipients thereof. Thankfully for those interested in the truth, OpenSecrets.org has compiled a summary of the 100 all-time top donors from 1989 – 2008 based upon the data released by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on May 12, 2009. I’ve tabulated the top 25 donors below:
|Organization||Total||Dem %||Rep %|
|American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees||$40,965,173||98%||01%|
|National Assn of Realtors||$35,179,013||48%||51%|
|Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers||$30,920,696||97%||02%|
|American Assn for Justice||$30,734,429||90%||09%|
|National Education Assn||$29,908,625||92%||06%|
|Service Employees International Union||$27,510,257||95%||03%|
|Carpenters & Joiners Union||$27,368,258||89%||10%|
|Communications Workers of America||$26,748,746||99%||00%|
|American Medical Assn||$26,213,449||39%||60%|
|American Federation of Teachers||$25,996,071||98%||00%|
|United Auto Workers||$25,767,002||98%||00%|
|Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union||$24,793,477||98%||00%|
|National Auto Dealers Assn||$24,048,808||31%||68%|
|United Food & Commercial Workers Union||$23,742,074||98%||01%|
|United Parcel Service||$23,649,476||36%||63%|
|American Bankers Assn||$21,945,966||41%||58%|
|National Assn of Home Builders||$21,401,355||35%||64%|
|National Beer Wholesalers Assn||$20,300,845||31%||68%|
|Note: percentages of Dem: Rep donations total up to 99% each due to unlisted minor party and independent recipients of campaign donations|
In the past 19 years the top 25 donors to political campaigns have given a total of $688,899,706 to politicians’ war chests. $497,435,208 (72.21%) was given to Democrats and $182,961,723 (26.56%) was given to Republicans. So Democrats received almost three times as much in campaign donations from the top 25 donors as the Republicans did during the same 19 years. So much for the Liberals’ dogma that the GOP is the party who’s “bought and paid for.”
In fact, and despite the Left’s cant, only five (5) of the top 25 donors were corporations in the first place, two of which, At&T and Citigroup, were fairly non- or bipartisan in their donations, two of which, Atria Group and UPS, favored Republicans, and one, Goldman Sachs, favored Democrats for its donations:
- AT&T (D44% : R55%)
- Goldman Sachs (D64% : R35%)
- Citigroup (D50% : R49%)
- Altria Group (D28% : R71%)
- UPS (D36% : R63%)
In total these corporations donated $148,946,091 to political candidates, approximately 21.62% of the $688,899,706 donated by the top 25 en total. 55% of which was donated to Republicans and 45% to Democrats. That’s a fairly even split – only a 10% margin – between the two parties. So even what few corporations made the top 25 list of donors did not, as a whole, tend to support Republican candidates.
On the other hand, while corporations were not heavily represented in the top 25 all-time top donors from 1989 – 2008, labor unions were. Twelve of the top 25 donor over the last 19 years were labor unions; that’s just under 50% of those top 25. Together they donated $339,324,283, approximately 49% of the $688,899,706 donated by the top 25 en total. Of that $339,324,283 in campaign contributions these labor unions donated 95.51% ($324,076,875) to Democrats.
Eight of the top 25 donor were political action committees (PACs) representing various groups of professionals from various key sectors of the American economy.
- National Assn of Realtors (D48% : R51%)
- American Assn for Justice (D90% : R09%)
- American Medical Assn (D39% : R60%)
- National Auto Dealers Assn (D31% : R68%)
- American Bankers Assn (D41% : R58%)
- National Assn of Home Builders (D35% : R64%)
- National Beer Wholesalers Assn (D31% : R68%)
Together these PACs donated $179,823,865, approximately 26.10% of the $688,899,706 donated by the top 25 en total. 57% of which was donated to Republicans and 42% to Democrats. That’s a 15% margin in favor of Republicans. Realtors and Bankers were fairly evenly split in their support, doctors, car & truck dealers, home builders, and beer distributors favored Republican candidates, and attorneys specializing civil litigation very strongly preferred Democratic candidates.
It’s very, telling that “ambulance chasers,” dead set against any sort of tort reform, prefer Democrats over Republicans by a 9-to-1 margin. This is important to note during the healthcare debate.
Finally there is the lone statistical outlier in the top 25 all-time top donors from 1989 – 2008, EMILY’s List. EMILY’s List (Early Money is Like Yeast) is a Feminist PAC who’s sole aim is to support elect pro-choice female Democrats. Obviously all, or nearly all, of their donations go to said Democrats.
The FEC lists them as having donated $20,984,384 to Democratic candidates over the last 19 years, but a great deal of their donations are come in comes in donations below the $200 threshold for reporting. This means that their actual donations far exceed what the FEC reports.
So who’s “bought and paid for” and by whom were they purchased? Republicans over the last 19 years have received $182,961,723 in donations; Democrats have received $497,435,208. Republicans have received donations from a broad spectrum of sources, though few segments thereof have shown a very strong preference for them. Democrats have received donations primarily from labor unions, trial attorneys specializing in lawsuits, and Feminists whose agenda is protecting abortion.
I think that, after looking at the facts, it’s crystal clear to anyone willing to look who’s been purchased and it’s not the Republicans.