The 12 members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction won't be making decisions about what spending to cut in a vacuum: They bring with them ties to particular industries and loyalties to particular political patrons. And a new section of OpenSecrets.org helps you follow the money associated with these high-profile politicos. According to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, these 12 lawmakers have collectively raised more than $592 million since the 1990 election cycle. Big chunks of this money have come from interests with much at stake during the deficit reduction talks.
Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, has pledged to "withhold any further campaign contributions to the president and all members of Congress until a fair, bipartisan deal is reached that sets our nation on stronger long-term fiscal footing." This rhetoric isn't just an empty threat. According to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, Schultz has been a prolific donor over the years. Along with his wife, he has donated $183,650 to federal candidates and political committees since the 1994 election cycle — when he made his first donation. Of that sum, 95 percent has benefited Democrats, including $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee.
The net worths of politicians sitting on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction range from just over $100,000 to more than $238 million, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. The median net worth for these dozen lawmakers is $1.2 million — nearly 13 times larger than the net worth of the average American family.
Fresh off his unsuccessful gubernatorial bid as the Constitution Party candidate in Colorado, ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo has founded his own super PAC. The group, which is known as the American Legacy Alliance, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission last week announcing its intention to "raise funds in unlimited amounts" and "make independent expenditures." During the 2008 election cycle, Tancredo unsuccessfully campaigned for the GOP presidential nomination, championing the issues of border security and tougher immigration laws. That's a message that his super PAC is continuing to herald.
The New York Mets owners may be required to pay up to $300 million to the trustee of the victims of Bernie Madoff's fraud. A federal appeals court this week ruled against Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz in a lawsuit, which claimed that they were "net winners" from their decades of investing with Madoff. They both also have decades of experience making political contributions, research by the Center for Responsive Politics shows.
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Numerous Media Outlets Citing OpenSecrets.org's Research, Reporting
Meanwhile, the Washington Post, ABC News, Fox News, CNNMoney.com and KPCC public radio in Los Angeles were among the news organizations citing the Center in stories about Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's call for a contribution boycott.
Other outlets to rely on the Center's expertise this week include:
- WWL radio in New Orleans, about campaign bundlers
August 18, 2011
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