In the News
Original journalism from the Center's OpenSecrets Blog
- Congressional Freshmen Saddled With Debt Turn to PACsApril 14, 2011 12:00 PM
Many of the 87 House GOP freshmen who ran as Washington outsiders are now turning to K Street lobbyists and other special interest groups to help pay off their sizable campaign debts and prepare for their re-election campaigns.
- Candidates in Hotly Contested Races Collect Big Money from Wall Street InterestsSeptember 27, 2010 3:32 PM
Ahead of the November election, top 20 House beneficiaries of the people and political action committees associated with the finance, insurance and real estate sector have together collected more than $16.2 million from Wall Street interests since January 2009. Meanwhile, the Senate candidates and sitting senators to receive the most from Wall Street interests raked in more than $41.3 million since January 2005 -- the beginning of their six-year election cycle.
- Blue Dogs and New Democrats Find Friends on Wall StreetNovember 17, 2009 9:45 AM
Like the health care reform debate, financial regulation legislation has divided members of the same party, opening a rift between liberal and moderate Democrats. But unlike the health care reform debate, where the moderate Blue Dog Democrats have been rabid in their opposition to a public insurance option, a different group has emerged to voice moderates' concerns over financial regulation -- but both are magnets for cash from the financial sector.
- Commercial Banks Hope for Return on Investment in CongressNovember 16, 2009 11:44 AM
Congress often acts as a type of bank for bankers themselves -- a place executives can direct their cash, perhaps hoping to collect interest in the form of a legislative favor. The interest rate on that premium appears to be low these days, however, as commercial banks could face a sweeping regulatory overhaul in the coming months.
- Congressional Opponents of Consumer Financial Protection Bill Got Big Money from Wall Street InterestsOctober 26, 2009 6:50 PM
On Thursday, the House Financial Services Committee approved H.R. 3126, which would create a new executive branch agency to oversee consumer financial protections, on a 39-29 vote. CRP has found that $527,500 is the average amount a committee member who voted "no" received from financial groups' PACs and employees between January 2007 and June. The average amount a member who voted "yes" received was $438,900.
- Capital Eye Opener: Wednesday, October 21October 21, 2009 10:00 AM
MCCAIN-FEINGOLD? ZZZZZZZ. We've been waiting for weeks for an outcome to Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which could very well change the nature of federal campaign finance laws as we know them. Nothing yet. But it's given us time to ponder why federal legislation always has such b-o-r-i-n-g names. (Shays-Meehan? Sounds like some sort of chronic thyroid condition.) Congress, let's get creative.
- Third Quarter Campaign Finance Reports Show Money Race Is OnOctober 16, 2009 5:50 PM
An initial Center for Responsive Politics analysis has found that sitting members of the U.S. House of Representatives raised $48.2 million from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2009, based on the 336 reports we have in. The mean amount these lawmakers raised was $143,640, and the median amount was $126,680.
- Support for Charles Rangel Wanes In Midst of Alleged Ethics ScandalsOctober 15, 2009 2:46 PM
Republican members of the House last week attempted to oust Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) from his powerful chairmanship of the House Ways & Means Committee for the duration of a House Ethics Committee investigation into alleged ethical misconduct surrounding his real estate investments and dubious personal financial disclosure reports. And although the effort failed and Rangel can sit tight for now, signs that he's sustained political damage are emerging.
- House Financial Services Committee Considers Regulating Industries That Heavily Fund Members' CampaignsOctober 14, 2009 12:07 PM
The House Financial Services Committee today begins marking up a bill that would create a new consumer protection agency and increase regulation of a number of financial products. Even as members of the committee consider how to prevent another economic collapse, they may have another financial issue in mind -- the industries opposing the measure have contributed $77.6 million to the 71 members of the committee since 1989.
- Blue Dog Bark Backed by InsurersJune 25, 2009 5:28 PM
There's a particular breed of lawmaker on Capitol Hill that is pushing hard against a public health care plan, much to the delight of two seriously moneyed special interest groups-insurers and pharmaceuticals. They're the Blue Dogs: moderate, vocal and funded in part by the industries trying to protect their bottom line.
- Amid Push for Regulation, Hedge Funds Spend Big on Lobbying June 22, 2009 6:25 PM
As the White House and Congress propose new financial regulations in the wake of the recession, the hedge fund industry is stepping up its lobbying efforts. This morning's Wall Street Journal (subscription only) cites CRP data detailing hedge funds' political spending this year--$1.6 million in the 1st Quarter of 2009 on lobbying--as pro-regulation Democrats have assumed control over both Congress and the White House.
- Wall Street's Greenbacks Fill Democrats' CoffersJune 10, 2009 5:31 PM
Although the economy didn't show many signs of improvement in the first few months of 2009, Democrats were benefiting more from Wall Street than they had in any previous cycle, pulling in 58 percent of all contributions that the finance, insurance and real estate sector gave between January and March.
- WSJ: Banks Aim to Change Accounting Rules Through Politicking June 3, 2009 2:50 PM
According to a new WSJ analysis that uses CRP data, during the first three months of 2009, 31 financial groups spent a combined $27.6 million on lobbying and gave $286,000 in campaign contributions to lawmakers tasked with the oversight of the accounting rules they are hoping to amend.
- Embattled Lobbying Firm PMA Targeted Members of Defense CommitteesFebruary 12, 2009 1:55 PM
The close ties between Rep. John Murtha and a Washington lobbying firm raided by the FBI have put the powerful Pennsylvania Democrat under greater scrutiny. The lobbyists at PMA Group have been Murtha's fifth most generous campaign donor over time, but he is just one of 284 members of the 111th Congress who have collected money from the firm, which specializes in securing federal earmarks for its clients. In total, PMA Group's employees and its political action committee have given current members of Congress $3.4 million since 1989.
- Congressmen Hear from TARP Recipients Who Funded Their CampaignsFebruary 10, 2009 9:18 PM
The eight CEOs testifying Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee about how their companies are using billions of dollars in bailout funds may find that the hot seat is merely lukewarm. Nearly every member of the committee received contributions associated with these financial institutions during the 2008 election cycle, for a total of $1.8 million.
- Blagojevich Fundraiser Added to Obama, Biden, Jackson War ChestsJanuary 26, 2009 5:54 PM
Although it's unclear to what extent businessman Raghuveer Nayak was involved in Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged scheme to sell President Obama's Senate seat, what is clear is Nayak's commitment to funding the campaigns of the governor, the new president, the new vice president and others in Congress and the administration.
- Money and Votes Aligned in Congress's Last Debate Over Bank RegulationSeptember 23, 2008 11:43 AM
The last time Congress seriously debated how to regulate the financial industry, the result was legislation that allowed the nation's largest banks to get even larger and take risks that had been prohibited since the Great Depression. A look back at that debate, which was over the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act, reveals that campaign contributions may have influenced the votes of politicians who, a decade later, are now grappling with the implosion of the giant banks they helped to foster.
- Superdelegate UpdateFebruary 28, 2008 12:30 PM
In an update to Capital Eye's Feb. 14 report, campaign contributions from Obama and Clinton now total nearly $950,000 and have predicted endorsements about 80 percent of the time.
- 2006 Election Analysis: Incumbents Linked to Corruption Lose, but Money Still WinsNovember 8, 2006 2:37 PM
While voters in some states are still waiting to see who will represent them in Congress, one thing is certain: Money was a clear winner in the 2006 elections. Equally clear was voters' concern about corruption in Washington; officeholders tied to scandal lost in disproportionate numbers.
- The House Horse RaceFebruary 3, 2006 4:42 PM
- 2004 Election Outcome: Money WinsNovember 3, 2004 4:58 PM
Almost as soon as Election Day concluded, one thing was certain: Money won big in the 2004 elections. In 95 percent of House races and 91 percent of Senate races that had been decided by mid-day today, the candidate who spent the most money won, according to a post-election analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The findings are based on figures reported Oct. 13 to the Federal Election Commission.
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