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Open Secrets – Follow The Money

Politicians would like us to that in our so-called democracy they represent the interests of the people, but the reality is that money rules – a fact that is obvious in the duplicity between the rhetoric and the actions of Congress.

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C., that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy. It maintains a public online database of its information and publishes information on OpenSecrets.org.

Here are the top 10 things CRP says every voter should know about money-in-politics:

  1. Money Follows Power
  2. Incumbents Nearly Always Win
  3. Most Races For Congress Are Not Even Competitive
  4. Small Donors Make Good Press, Big Donors Get You Reelected
  5. Interests Behind The Money Are Predictable
  6. Donors Seek a Long Term Relationship
  7. The Fundraising Never Stops
  8. Enforcement of Campaign Laws is Weak
  9. All Hell Broke Loose in the 2010 Elections due to Citizens United
  10. They don’t Have to be Crooks, Just Human

Find out more about “senior Advisors,” bundles, dark money, personal financial statements, campaign money, lobbyists, shell games, foreign money, victory funds, and campaign coordination by clicking here.

Dollarocracy

Money in politics flows to where the power is. Individuals and interest groups will give campaign contributions to politicians in the best position to deliver what they’re looking for. That means incumbents get vastly more than challengers, committee chairmen and legislative leaders get more than rank-and-file members, and parties in power get more than parties in the minority.”

Pay-for-Play Politics

No surprise CRP found that companies that funded Trump’s inauguration came up big in 2017.

“Federal law forbids government contractors from making contributions to candidates and political action committees. However, there is no such rule against contributions to post-election activities like the presidential inauguration, a loophole that allows contractors to dole out unlimited donations in hopes of bolstering their chances of landing contracts with the new administration.”

CRP created this page to track the awards received since January 21st, 2017 by the (so far) 63 government contractors who collectively contributed $16.3 million to the inauguration efforts of President Trump.

Here’s a partial list of some “winners” and their percentage increase in contracts awarded in 2017 over 2016:

For-profit Correctional Services:
  • CoreCivic – received +935%
  • Union Supply Group – received +18%
Oil & Gas Producers:
  • Chevron Products – received +81%
  • Continental Resources – received +277%
Telecommunications:
  • Qualcomm – telecommunications devices – received +1529%
  • AT&T – telephone utility, which contributed $2,082,483 – received +99%
  • Verizon – telephone utility – received +4%
  • Charter Communications – Cable distributors – received +16%
Electronics:
  • Samsung Group – received +70%
  • Intel – received +70%

But percentage increases are only part of the story. In the defense aerospace sector, Lockheed Martin received $46.4 billion in contracts in 2017 (up 14%); Boeing received $24.5 billion (down 21%); and Northrop Grumman received $9.3 billion (down 19%).

Progressive leaning Google Inc., which contributed $285,000 to Trump’s inauguration received -74% less in 2017, compared with 2016, and has not recovered their “investment.”

OpenSecrets Blog:

OpenSecrets Blog features news-breaking original reporting about money-in-politics, including the sort of investigative work that won the Society of Professional Journalists‘ 2013 award for Public Service in Online Journalism.

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