Every so often, check out who is donating to whom in politics. While Democrats like to brand the Republican party as the party of Wall Street, it is actually the Democrats who get most of Wall Street’s political donations. They also get a lot of money from an industry I plan to start calling “Big Mouth”: lawyers, actors, entertainers, advertisers, consultants, etc.. These Big Mouth industries far out-give Big Oil and other industries that produce tangible goods. I used OpenSecrets to find the latest data.
Only two of the top 20 corporate donors in the 2008 election cycle lean Republican . Of the top 100, only 15 lean Republican. As we go through a housing and banking crisis, note the following top donors and how much they gave to Democrats (listed by rank).
2. Goldman Sachs, 72%
3. Citigroup Inc, 61%
4. JP Morgan Chase & Co, 59%
5. Morgan Stanley, 57%
8. National Association of Realtors, 59%
12. Lehman Brothers, 64%
20. Bank of America, 56%
None of the top 15 industry sectors leans Republican . Only three of the top 20 do. We knew that Democrats draw money from Lawyers (ranked #2, 75% to Democrats), Education (ranked #9, 79%) and TV/Movies/Music (ranked #10, 75%). But did you know that Securities/Investment firms ranked #3 and gave 56% to Democrats? Business Services (advertising, public relations, consulting) ranked # 7 and gave 61% to Democrats.
Who gave to Republicans? Oil & Gas (#16, 74%), General Contractors (#17, 65%) and Miscellaneous Manufacturing and Distribution (#19, 57%).
I notice a couple of things here. One is that the industries that produce or build real things (that you could, say, weigh or bump your head on) give to Republicans. Democrats, on the other hand, receive their money from people who make money with their mouths: lawyers, actors, advertisers, etc.
The other thing to notice is the ranking. Teachers, those poor, underpaid souls, give more than the dreaded “Big Oil” industry. As does the entertainment industry. And lawyers give more than almost anyone (coming in second only to “retired”, listed as “on the fence” in political donations). Lawyers give more than seven times as much as Big Oil. Securities and Investment firms give over five times as much.
All in all, the money raised by politicians at the national level in 2008 came in as follows.
House: $377,710,329 $312,026,381
Senate: $152,830,271 $140,374,312
President: $770,624,902 $271,193,166
Total: $1.3 B $0.7 B
As you can see, Democrats have raised a lot more money than Republicans in this election cycle.
It should be obvious that the “branding” of the parties is exactly backwards. The GOP is branded as the party of Wall Street and big money. In fact, it is the Democrats who get most of Wall Street’s money and who raise more money, especially from the biggest special interest groups.
Oh, I forgot. Campaign Finance Reform got money out of politics.