I’ve got an article up containing statements from Bay Area House members on why they voted for or against the $700 billion financial-market bailout bill today, but here’s a fascinating factoid.
The data-digging geniuses at Berkeley-based MAPLight.org — illuminating the connections between Money And Politics — found that over the past five years banks and securities firms gave an average of $231,877 in campaign contributions to each Representative voting in favor of the bailout today, compared with an average of $150,982 to each Representative voting against the bailout. That’s 54 percent more money given to those who voted for this legislation.
MAPLight found the 140 House Democrats voting “yes” received an average of $212,700 each, about twice as much as the average $107,993 for the 95 House Democrats who voted “no.” On the other side of the aisle, the 65 House Republicans voting “yes” received an average of $273,181 each, about 50 percent more than the average $181,688 for the 133 House Republicans voting “no.”
“Profit-driven companies wouldn’t be making campaign contributions if it didn’t buy them influence or access,” MAPLight executive director Daniel Newman said in a news release. “Votes in Congress align with the river of money that flows through our political system.”
UPDATE @ 6:06 P.M.: The Center for Responsive Politics has a similar analysis going back even further, to 1989.