Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Top to Bottom Ranking of "Heavy Hitter" Political Contributors in Washington

An interesting list, the top donors (from 1989 through 2012) disproportionately represented by labor unions and Democratic party activists organizations, with  9 of the top 14 being labor unions. The other four are, 1) trial lawyers; 2) AT&T; 3) Goldman Sachs; 4) the National Association of Retailers, a trade group of retailers; and 5) Act Blue, a Democratic party advocacy group.  Not the typical reflection of widely perceived powerful lobbies like the "NRA" (which ranked a comparatively weak 44th on this list) or the "Israel lobby" or "Big Oil", neither of which appeared meaningfully visible, at least as reflected by this list.

In addition, a few assumptions to consider:

Assumption #1: These donors contribute with the expectation of influencing decision-makers and even obtaining favorable treatment.

Assumption #2: These donors are recidivist dispensers of money.

Assumption #3: These donors continue to give because the flow of money provides ongoing influence and favors for the donors.

Assumption #4: There is a concept in tort law known as "Res Ipsa Loquitur, meaning "the thing speaks for itself". One can invoke Res Ipsa here in the sense that this list of contributors "speaks for itself".   More specifically after looking at this list, it is no small wonder why things are so screwed up in Washington.


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