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Brinkerhoff reports: "American elections these days are funded to a significant degree by a relatively small group of wealthy individuals, according to the Sunlight Foundation. Their research found a total of 26,783 people who, during the 2010 elections, contributed more than $10,000 each to federal political campaigns. Collectively, this cohort contributed $774 million, which made up nearly 25% of all monies raised by politicians, political parties, PACs, and independent expenditure groups."

Karl Rove's American Crossroads receives big donations from big donors like Bob Perry, CEO of Perry Homes, who contributed more than $7 million to Rove's venture. (photo: Dennis Brack/Newscom)
Karl Rove's American Crossroads receives big donations from big donors like Bob Perry, CEO of Perry Homes, who contributed more than $7 million to Rove's venture. (photo: Dennis Brack/Newscom)



Big Campaign Donors Are an Extremely Elite Breed

By Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov

17 December 11

 

here's the "One Percent," and then there's the "One Percent of the One Percent" when talking about campaign fundraising.

American elections these days are funded to a significant degree by a relatively small group of wealthy individuals, according to the Sunlight Foundation. Their research found a total of 26,783 people who, during the 2010 elections, contributed more than $10,000 each to federal political campaigns.

Collectively, this cohort contributed $774 million, which made up nearly 25% of all monies raised by politicians, political parties, PACs, and independent expenditure groups.

"The One Percent of the One Percent are not average Americans," wrote Lee Drutman and Ethan Phelps-Goodman for the Sunlight Foundation. "Overwhelmingly, they are corporate executives, investors, lobbyists, and lawyers. A good number appear to be highly ideological. They give to multiple candidates and to parties and independent issue groups. They tend to cluster in a limited number of metropolitan zip codes, especially in New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles."

"The average One Percent of One Percenter spent $28,913, more than the median individual income of $26,364," they added.

Who are some of the "one percenters?" There are nine individuals who gave more than a million dollars.

There's Bob Perry, CEO of Perry Homes, who contributed more than $7 million to Karl Rove's American Crossroads and $4.4 million to Swift Vets and POWs for Truth in 2004.

Public Storage magnate Wayne Hughes gave $3.25 million to American Crossroads in 2010, while Fred Eshelman, the CEO of Pharmaceutical Product Development, contributed $3 million to his own group, RightChange.

A major Democratic donor is Donald Sussman, chairman of the holding company Paloma Partners. The husband of U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) gave $1.26 million in 2010 to Democratic candidates. He has also funded United Republic, whose mission is to fight "the corrupting influence of well-financed special interests over American politics and government," and he's supported the Super PAC Women Vote! and its parent organization, the pro-choice group Emily's List.

In 2010, 92 of the super donors were associated with Goldman Sachs, 32 with Citigroup, 29 with Microsoft and 22 with the lobbying legal firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld.

 

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+18 # cvm79 2011-12-17 16:23
Is there a stronger arguement for campaign finance reform?
 
 
+2 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-18 02:18
And for pay equity for ALL?
 
 
+3 # RMDC 2011-12-18 07:20
Clearly we have the best government that money can buy. An objective look at what sort of government the 1% has bought would reveal it to be totally corrupt, criminal, and fascist to the core. Is the 1% really getting what is wants for its money. I think so. Nazism was brought into Germany in the 20s by corporate money in elections. After WW II, Germany banned corporate money from elections. Corporate money buys fascism. That's what it really wants for its money.
 
 
+2 # John Locke 2011-12-18 08:15
Lets not forget who helped finance Hitler, Prescott Bush the father of George HW Bush, and many nazi't were very helpful in George HW's bid for the white house...and the Brown Brothers Herriman, a still active investment bank...Yes the 1% want fascism to replace our democracy, JP Morgan and Dupont attempted a coup in the 1930's to over through our democracy but they were outed and NO ONE WAS ever PROSECUTED!
 
 
+2 # Averett 2011-12-18 08:50
It is doubtful those already in Congress (and the White House) will suddenly decide to enact campaign finance reform. I think we need to start with demanding corporations stop funding campaigns and lobbying. Join the movement at ImaginePolitik. net.
 
 
+3 # LessSaid 2011-12-18 12:11
Well, it's about time that voters stop letting paid advertisement tell them how to vote. I agree that we need to stop campaign finance reform and to stop corporations from funding campaigns and lobbying. But, at some point voters need to wise-up as well.
 

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