Newsweek by the numbers. Click to enlarge.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.