A comparison between 2009 and 2013 inaugural fundraising.

Obama discloses less about inaugural donors

What a difference four years makes: President Barack Obama, who began his first term with a promise to change the way Washington works, barred corporate donations to his first inauguration, capped individual contributions at $50,000 and began disclosing his donors and bundlers more than a month before his swearing-in.

newsweek:

Newsweek by the numbers. Click to enlarge.

newsweek:

Newsweek by the numbers. Click to enlarge.

Reblogged 1 year ago from newsweek
2,589 notes

NRA’s allegiances reach deep into Congress

Just over half (51 percent) of the members of the new Congress that convenes next month have received funding from the National Rifle Association’s political action committee at some point in their political careers, an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation finds. And 47 percent received money from the NRA in the most recent race in which they ran.

The numbers give insight into the depth and breadth of support that the nation’s most powerful gun lobby commands. They also highlight the primary obstacle to quick action on gun control in response to last week’s massacre in Newton, Conn. – deep and long-lasting allegiances to the National Rifle Association.

foreignaffairsmagazine:

What the Fiscal Cliff Looks Like — The Tax Cuts, The New Taxes, and Who Pays
Click to expand

foreignaffairsmagazine:

What the Fiscal Cliff Looks Like — The Tax Cuts, The New Taxes, and Who Pays

Click to expand

Reblogged 1 year ago from foreignaffairsmagazine
36 notes
Money, Transparency and Policy Since Citizens United v. FEC


The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed modern politics. It made an unmistakeable effect on the ability for secretive and unaccountable groups and organizations to push their interests, as well as opened the floodgates for unlimited spending and helped spur the creation of super PACs. Check out below the milestones of the money and politics landscape since the Court’s ruling in January 2010.
The timeline covers four categories: Courts (major court rulings and cases), Disclose (legislation around greater disclosure of political contributions and spending), Super PACs (trend and news for independent expenditure only committees) and FEC (decisions made by the Federal Election Commission).

Money, Transparency and Policy Since Citizens United v. FEC

The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed modern politics. It made an unmistakeable effect on the ability for secretive and unaccountable groups and organizations to push their interests, as well as opened the floodgates for unlimited spending and helped spur the creation of super PACs. Check out below the milestones of the money and politics landscape since the Court’s ruling in January 2010.

The timeline covers four categories: Courts (major court rulings and cases), Disclose (legislation around greater disclosure of political contributions and spending), Super PACs (trend and news for independent expenditure only committees) and FEC (decisions made by the Federal Election Commission).

Posted 1 year ago
124 notes
When It Comes to Pay, All Feds Aren’t Created Equal


It comes as little surprise to hill watchers that House staff are underpaid compared to their Senate equivalents, let alone executive branch and private sector staff, but we decided to dig a bit deeper. Just in time for the holidays (and those non-existent public sector bonuses) here’s a comparison of key positions in the House, Senate, and executive branch. We admit that the data is a bit old, like the Ghost of the War on Christmas Past, but it’s the best we can do with what’s available.

When It Comes to Pay, All Feds Aren’t Created Equal

It comes as little surprise to hill watchers that House staff are underpaid compared to their Senate equivalents, let alone executive branch and private sector staff, but we decided to dig a bit deeper. Just in time for the holidays (and those non-existent public sector bonuses) here’s a comparison of key positions in the House, Senate, and executive branch. We admit that the data is a bit old, like the Ghost of the War on Christmas Past, but it’s the best we can do with what’s available.

Posted 1 year ago
5 notes
Money in politics drives up U.S. corruption perception index

The United States scores worse than many of its partners in the developed world on this year’s Corruption Perception Index in part because of money in politics, the group that publishes the index said Wednesday.
Transparency International’s compilation of surveys by well known civic and business groups  ranked the U.S. at 19 among 174 countries, with No. 1 being the country with the least perception of corruption (a ranking shared by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand) and No. 174 (Somalia) being the country perceived as the most corrupt. Among the nations getting a better ranking than than the U.S. were Singapore, Australia, Canada, Germany, and Japan.

Money in politics drives up U.S. corruption perception index

The United States scores worse than many of its partners in the developed world on this year’s Corruption Perception Index in part because of money in politics, the group that publishes the index said Wednesday.

Transparency International’s compilation of surveys by well known civic and business groups  ranked the U.S. at 19 among 174 countries, with No. 1 being the country with the least perception of corruption (a ranking shared by Denmark, Finland and New Zealand) and No. 174 (Somalia) being the country perceived as the most corrupt. Among the nations getting a better ranking than than the U.S. were Singapore, Australia, Canada, Germany, and Japan.

Posted 1 year ago
9 notes

Another reason for a fiscal cliff standstill: too many safe seats?

As “fiscal cliff” negotiations continue to slow to a standstill, Americans might be feeling frustrated about the inability of their representatives to reach a compromise. Wasn’t the election supposed to settle the argument?

There are many reasons to explain the intransigence. Last week, we documented the ubiquitous lobbying on tax and budget issues that will almost certainly complicate any attempt to reach a deal.

But there’s another factor to keep in mind: The majority of members of Congress have relatively homogenous constituencies. That means they’re probably hearing overwhelmingly from only one side of the argument back home, and facing limited pressure to find a compromise.

A must-see 2012 map

Regular Fix readers know that we are BIG fans of the Patchwork Nation project — an attempt to go beyond the simplistic geographic or socioeconomic categories by which we slice and dice voters and instead develop a richer (and more accurate) way to view the various subsets of our American electorate.
So, when we saw a map of the 2012 presidential election results split into the 12 Patchwork Nation voter categories on the WNYC website we had to have it. Thanks to their good will, it’s reproduced below.

A must-see 2012 map

Regular Fix readers know that we are BIG fans of the Patchwork Nation project — an attempt to go beyond the simplistic geographic or socioeconomic categories by which we slice and dice voters and instead develop a richer (and more accurate) way to view the various subsets of our American electorate.

So, when we saw a map of the 2012 presidential election results split into the 12 Patchwork Nation voter categories on the WNYC website we had to have it. Thanks to their good will, it’s reproduced below.

Posted 1 year ago
27 notes
Will lobbyists complicate “fiscal cliff” deal-making?

As the wheeling and dealing around the “fiscal cliff” continues to envelop Washington, thousands of lobbyists representing more than a billion dollars are watching, and getting ready to complicate any potential deal.
After all, any grand bargain on spending and revenue will go right at the heart of two of the most heavily-lobbied issues in Washington: budget and taxes. Pick any tax loophole or any budget line item, and there’s almost certainly a lobbyist there to pressure deal-makers to pick a different loophole or budget item. Pick that loophole or budget item, and, well, you get the idea…

Will lobbyists complicate “fiscal cliff” deal-making?

As the wheeling and dealing around the “fiscal cliff” continues to envelop Washington, thousands of lobbyists representing more than a billion dollars are watching, and getting ready to complicate any potential deal.

After all, any grand bargain on spending and revenue will go right at the heart of two of the most heavily-lobbied issues in Washington: budget and taxes. Pick any tax loophole or any budget line item, and there’s almost certainly a lobbyist there to pressure deal-makers to pick a different loophole or budget item. Pick that loophole or budget item, and, well, you get the idea…

Posted 1 year ago
10 notes
Follow the money from big Dem donors to super PACs to races

Big money won big on Election Day. That is, big money supporting Democrats.
In this year’s campaign, many wealthy individuals and groups with large campaign coffers were involved — directly with contributions to candidates or indirectly through outside spending. Sunlight decided to zero in on five mega-donors who gave the most to super PACs backing liberal candidates.

Check out the House and Presidential races.

Follow the money from big Dem donors to super PACs to races

Big money won big on Election Day. That is, big money supporting Democrats.

In this year’s campaign, many wealthy individuals and groups with large campaign coffers were involved — directly with contributions to candidates or indirectly through outside spending. Sunlight decided to zero in on five mega-donors who gave the most to super PACs backing liberal candidates.

Check out the House and Presidential races.

Posted 1 year ago
98 notes