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Presenting The All-Time Top 100 Political Donors

Tyler Durden's picture


Who has thrown the most cash at the US political system - out of the goodness of their hearts of course?




Source: Center for Responsive Politics

(h/t @ZH_Crown)


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Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:42 | 3752414 Seasmoke
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Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:53 | 3752452 Yen Cross
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  I'll start this upvote extravaganza. Nice post Seasmoke.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:29 | 3752535 James_Cole
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Wow this is the most ridiculous article I've seen Tyler post yet (and that's saying something lately). 

In 2012 the main Romney superpac (the biggest spender in that election and outspending Obama's top pac almost 3-1) spent $147milllion, compared to actblue spending $88M between 1989 - 2013.

I know a lot of these articles have been tilting toward bullshit red-blue arguments lately (trying to become or something) but this is really pushing the credibility..

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:33 | 3752554 AynRandFan
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Wrong. says: $397,176,000.  If you believe their own "bullshit".

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:48 | 3752572 James_Cole
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It doesn't state on the article what these numbers come from specifically i.e. what the money was spent on - it's a highly selective use of statistics from Centre for Responsive Politics. 

I was pointing out how ridiculously misleading this list is (in many ways, including how low the numbers are). 

Here you can get all the numbers, from the SAME SOURCE.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:00 | 3752628 disabledvet
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the top 50 with a couple of exceptions reads like a list of total failures. the next fifty look like they spent their money well. they're still in business at least. i'm sorry...we need bailouts for...ah, i GET it now! "we give you 50 million so that when we need 50 billion....

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:09 | 3752662 FL_Conservative
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Its reassuring to know that our politicians and administrative bureaucrats can't be bought.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:31 | 3752951 Buckaroo Banzai
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"... in the 2012 campaign, as we know from the reports they're required to file each month with the Federal Election Commission. "

Um, yeah. I'm sure it was all "reported". It's a badly kept secret that the Chinese have been funding the democrats since the Clinton years. Gore was their boy but he was such a fuckup and tool that even with their help he couldn't get it done. And, arguably, Bush stole the election, but given that Gore wasn't just Team Blue, he was Team China, it doesn't seem so wrong now.

I'm sure there is a fucking underground river of cash running between Beijing and DNC HQ.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:06 | 3752803 ebworthen
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@ James_Cole


The point of the article is that our politicians on both sides are bought and paid for (bribed).

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:34 | 3752849 James_Cole
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As long as it's noted that the list doesn't represent the actual largest donors, the actual distribution of funds or anywhere close to the accurate $ figures then yes this article is informative.

On the other hand if you're looking for any article to get a meaningless red/ blue debate going this piece nails it.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:44 | 3752866 ebworthen
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Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:54 | 3752457 EscapeKey
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(*) Not counting PACs.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 22:59 | 3753124 Meat Hammer
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I'd love to see the chart for "donations" to Supreme Court justices

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:38 | 3752567 Dingleberry
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Notice how the big banks hedge their bets with paying off both parties? 

Now that's how it's done, son!

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:01 | 3752635 disabledvet
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i'm sorry i meant 50 trillion. "in forever money."

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:01 | 3752786 Kirk2NCC1701
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Same for the MIC.
Except that Big Oil is pro GOP.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:42 | 3752741 g'kar
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yep, a lotta asses near the top.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 23:53 | 3753218 putaipan
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no montsano? talk about gettin' away with murder ... cheap.

edit- (no microsoft either, so i'm guessin' they're grandfathered in)

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:43 | 3752416 NeedleDickTheBu...
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The ROI for each of these donors' political "contribution" is the more interesting, but missing data point.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:10 | 3752487 GernB
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Which gives a better ROI buying several congressmen or buying one senator.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:50 | 3752597 cynicalskeptic
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Depends on whether or not one is on a committee (or committe head) for a committee that directly affects you.   One congressman on Agriculture is worth far more than an ordinary Senator if you're Monsanto, same if the congresscritter is on Energy and Cmmerge or Natural Resources if you're oil or coal.....  and a SENATOR on a key committee is gold - can stop dead anything that might affect you or help make your drems a reality.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:02 | 3752641 disabledvet
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i think it's safe to call it "the whole phucking government" at this point.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:13 | 3752497 Major Major Major
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ROIs with commas, bitchez.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:27 | 3752541 EscapeKey
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Well, in that case the Koch Bros or Halliburton must be right at the top, as their return on SUPPOSEDLY no investment has been ludicriously high.

No, I'm not a Obama supproter. In fact, I think "both" political parties are equally corrupt - because they both ARE the same party, controlled by the Wall St party.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:03 | 3752795 Kirk2NCC1701
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Don't they also support Libertarians?

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:35 | 3752959 Buckaroo Banzai
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You are disqualified for uttering the "K" bogeymen word.

At least I know what the Koch brothers are about. George Soros, on the other hand, is one sick motherfucker, and you better believe that he's funneled billions into the Wrong Hands.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:44 | 3752418 alentia
alentia's picture

Looks like "Union's States of America" are ruling.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:40 | 3752732 jbvtme
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one of the reasons the fed is propping up the bond market.  pensions bitchez

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:47 | 3752430 Yen Cross
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    I always wondered why 'Donkey meat' doesn't taste like chicken.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:59 | 3752466 machineh
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Even buzzards won't touch it.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:07 | 3752483 Yen Cross
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Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:10 | 3752489 hungrydweller
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Donkey Burger is frickin' awesome!

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:16 | 3752509 Yen Cross
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  So are chocolate covered grasshoppers.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:49 | 3752437 Bollixed
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Didn't see the Ron Paul breakout in those charts. Guess that fell into a catagory only Americans gave money for.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 22:05 | 3753019 Greenie
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Top 3 Ron Paul donors

1) US Army

2) US Navy

3) US Air Force

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:50 | 3752441 linniepar
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Gotta love BA playing both sides... what a dream(liner) that must be.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:55 | 3752446 Schmuck Raker
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If I understand correctly, this data shows "reported" "donations".

Have I got that right?

So these are the known Knowns.

Left out are the known Unknowns.

They don't compile the unknown Knowns.

And reporting the unknown Unknowns will get your passport revoked.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:29 | 3752546 EscapeKey
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These are the official figures, which means about as accurate as my estimate of how many times I've scratched my balls.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:37 | 3752963 Buckaroo Banzai
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...and if my experience is any guide, that's a big fucken number.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:55 | 3752459 Seasmoke
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i never understood why a group gives 50-50 to both......couldnt they just give $1 to each and save $50 million

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:04 | 3752474 Bollixed
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Influence costs money.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:42 | 3752740 jbvtme
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admission to the theater

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:57 | 3752462 My Days Are Get...
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Chump change.  Return on investment is better than 10 to 1.  Especially to those to garner non-bid contracts.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:57 | 3752463 William.M.Tweed
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Disappointed to see GS is not in the top 5


The appearance of the law must be upheld, Especially when it's being broken

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:04 | 3752473 Motorhead
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Must have been a 'shitty deal', hehe.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 17:58 | 3752464 Royal Fleming
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have lots of freinds in the IBEW , sure they dont know that there money went to our hack govt cant wait to send them this shit.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:00 | 3752467 Seasmoke
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i see the Firemen......but i dont see the thugs with badges......those costume wearing thugs , dont like to part with their money

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:28 | 3752543 flyingcaveman
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Probably that one on top there.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:05 | 3752477 JuliaS
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"International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers"

Who comes up with these names?

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:06 | 3752480 Tsunami Wave
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Total Socialists/Communists?

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:08 | 3752484 KickIce
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I sometimes think TPTB accomplish different agendas through each party.  As a general rule the GOP is used to expand government power via the petro dollar w/wars and cold wars while the dems expand it with social programs.

To me, the most dangerous presidents in the modern era are as follows:

Wilson  (Federal Reserve)

FDR  (New Deal / Gold Confiscation)

Johnson  (Broke Society / Vietnam War / SS in General Fund)

Nixon (Gold Standard)

Reagan (Deficits Don’t Matter)

Clinton  (CRA / Repeal of Glass-Steagal / NAFTA)

Bush (Patriot Act / Bailouts / Deficit Spending)

Obama  (Health Care / NDAA / And God only knows what else is coming)

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:09 | 3752809 Kirk2NCC1701
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Ah, now you're running on premium/synthetic oil: It's like steering a bus down the road... A bit to the left, a bit to the right, slow down, speed up...

Same bus, same driver, same destination, same or slightly different dumb passengers.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:08 | 3752904 PubliusTacitus
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Obama's going to be much higher (right after LBJ), once health care collapses.


The rest looks good, though.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:12 | 3752916 beercandad
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Lets see here : Wilson =WW 1

                   :Roosevelt = WW2

                   :Truman =Korea

                   Kennedy, Johnson = Viet Nam

looks as if the Dims got war going ?

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:43 | 3752977 Buckaroo Banzai
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In fairness to Reagan, the big spending cuts he wanted got sidetracked in congress after the tax cuts went through. Then, after the attempt on his life by a close friend of the Bush family, he kinda lost interest in pursuing them, for some reason or another.

The "deficits don't matter" idea belongs to Dick Cheney.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 22:14 | 3753032 samsara
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Really I think you should count most of reagan's time as really Bush Sr.'s admin.

After the assassination attempt where brady got to the hospital before reagan did(ie In Washington, the president's ambulance got lost??) Bush,the former head of CIA, started taking control.

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 01:02 | 3753330 KickIce
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You and Banzai seem to be pretty much of the same mindset, and I agree that the build up of the MIC is certainly a Bush MO.  But you also have to look at the overall condition of the country with the loss of the gold standard, high interest rates and job security waning.  At the time the prevaling thought was high deficits needed to be countered with high interest rates, in other words, we needed a new mindset or go belly up and that's when high government debt became acceptable.

Now I will say this, I thought Reagan was an honest person that thought he had done the world a favor by bringing down the Soviet Union.  Unfortunately, Bush and his ilk saw it as an opportunity to transform this country into the beast it is today. 

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:12 | 3752494 Henry Chinaski
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So now we know who is in charge.


Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:15 | 3752502 Dadburnitpa
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What the hell is ActBlue?  First I've seen it.  Pretty much the rest are common names.  Is that name well known to most readers or have I just been in a cave too long?  

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:25 | 3752529 AynRandFan
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Act Blue claims to have raised $397 million for Dems since 2004.  Far more than shown on the ZH table.

Conclusion:  Liberty is a curious historical trend that died out.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:28 | 3752530 Dr. Engali
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It's a super PAC so that people can donate to whichever democratic candidate they wish.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:37 | 3752564 Creepy Lurker
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I had never heard of it either, till just now.

But I know this list is BS because AIPAC is nowhere on there. Its gotta be in the top ten, no one gets "elected" to anything unless they genuflect to them.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:16 | 3752507 AynRandFan
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Collective power is ascendent.  No doubt.  Some day, after I'm dead, the collectivists will be in total control and then a true authoritarian regime will take over in America.  Happens every time in history.  The victims coalesce around a utopian idea, take power, and then lose it immediately to someone like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Mussolini, and Chavez.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:20 | 3752518 Yen Cross
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  Collective power? California voted down "Gay marriage" TWICE! (majority vote)   Nothing against sexual preferrence, but fractional reseserve notes won the argument!

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:27 | 3752539 AynRandFan
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Sorry, those were individual voters.  They don't count anymore.  Justice Kennedy says they're haters, so they are nullified by the Utopian Constitution.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:37 | 3752562 Yen Cross
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     I try to stay out of racially charged discussions. I really enjoy all of the financial expertise Z/H offers.

  Justice Roberts "was blackmailed" when he twisted the taxation(violated every statute of interstate commerce) of O'DUNGA care.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:45 | 3752982 Buckaroo Banzai
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Yep. He illegally adopted two Irish kids, laundered through South America.

Obama got him good.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:22 | 3752521 involuntarilybirthed
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Financials give to both sides, win/win.  It's a sign if one gives to both.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:22 | 3752522 Uber Vandal
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It is too bad that all politicians are not required to wear racing suits, so as to clearly identify thier sponsors, or at least plaster their various modes of transport with said sponsor logos.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:26 | 3752533 Clowns on Acid
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Simple question - Is the % calculated on the number of actual individual donors (1 organization can represent many individual donors) or based on the amount of total cash $ for the organization ?

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:26 | 3752534 BlueCheeseBandit
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Man, democrats sure are for the little guy. No preponderance of big entities favoring dems here. Also, democrats are anti-finance. That's why Goldman Sachs gives the, all their money.

Both reps and dems are dirty bastards. But god damn, even after I've gone libertarian it seems the dems get away with murder.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:29 | 3752545 AynRandFan
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You may honor them peacefully without the 2nd Amendment, if you so choose.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:01 | 3752630 Yen Cross
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  I was going to use the 4th amendment argument, {in a previous thread}. I'm satisfied. You did it for me.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 18:36 | 3752560 Totentänzerlied
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Think of the ca. 16th/17th century nobility begging favors at court. It is the exact same thing. I keep fuckin' saying it, we never left the so-called "Renaissance", it was and will remain the highest civilizational mode of Europe and European-influenced nations. All of the so-called "progress" is a giant putrid lie, like polish and perfume on a dog turd. The core of the system is still, still, medieval. And the veneer is coming off.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:07 | 3752643 Motorboat
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I hope the whole US explodes so we can get on with our lives.  No room on this planet for zombified idiots that do anything terrorist Israel tells them to do.

And the more intelligent Americans can get the hell out while the getting is good, and quit funding terrorism and murder around the world at the same time.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:06 | 3752654 q99x2
q99x2's picture

They shouldn't be allowed to do that.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:08 | 3752660 Catflappo
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Amazing how many 50%/50% (or close to it) donors there are.


Anyone would think their contributions had absolutely nothing to do with expressing a political view and everything to do with 'buying something'!

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:01 | 3752892 Arthur
Arthur's picture

Access baby

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:30 | 3752712 Dollar Bill Hiccup
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NRA needs more donations and members. Seriously. It's the only organization that is semi straight forward.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:48 | 3752759 Lmo Mutton
Lmo Mutton's picture

Dang. Would think after spending all that money you'd have a better candidate.

Imported Kenyan crap fails again.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 19:55 | 3752771 Bear
Bear's picture

Public employee unions ... the oxymoron that outspends all the real morons

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:34 | 3752847 El Hosel
El Hosel's picture

Ahhhhhh,  Greasing the Wheels of the Great Gravy Train.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 20:33 | 3752844 Hail Spode
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Those big banks and unions sure are civic-minded.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:03 | 3752896 venturen
venturen's picture

why dont we look at who got paid for the most "speeches". Hillary is at $100000 a speech isn't she?

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:36 | 3752960 SouthHedge
SouthHedge's picture

Today I Learned that politicians can be bought and sold for peanuts.  

JP Morgan at 29MM over 23 years?  If they truly have the influence that many on this site think they have then good for them.  A annual expense of $1.2 million to influence policy is money well spent.



Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:48 | 3752989 Buckaroo Banzai
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Politicians are incapable of actually producing anything, therefore, their price is quite affordable. Relatively speaking.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 22:43 | 3753097 delacroix
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why buy those you can blackmail, or threaten

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 01:32 | 3753351 Canoe Driver
Canoe Driver's picture

For $100k per month, you can play with the big boys.  Local and state people cost even less.  $2k a year got me invited to a cocktail party at the Mayor's house. The Mayor at the time was Jerry Brown. 

And if you have the basic credentials, $100k will still buy you a seat on the bench, i.e., you can purchase a position as a judge, most of which are appointed, not elected. Then you can get your daughter a real job.

And for this lesson, you didn't even need a student loan. You're welcome.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 21:38 | 3752966 Gamma735
Gamma735's picture

Incestuous is the only word that describes this corrupt ruling elite. 

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 22:00 | 3753012 highwaytoserfdom
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Follow the money extorted on advertising of DNC/RNC  statism (bordering on Totalitarianism) state propaganda machine.  Will do just about anything to save the paper usury game with synthetic Class Power with a failed fiat. .   

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 22:11 | 3753028 mayhem_korner
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If anyone wonders why the political system is so corrupt, these charts spell it out.  What is the ROI for a couple million per year in donations?  Think about it, and think about what other "investment" one could make to get the same risk-adjusted return.

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 22:23 | 3753052 honestann
honestann's picture

Now.  What would happen if unions, corporations and other organizations were prohibited from funding or supporting candidates?  Oh, but the supreme court claims "organizations are people"?  Sheesh, talk about fraud.

See what happens when people accept fictions to be real?

Sun, 07/14/2013 - 23:37 | 3753197 Axenolith
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Corporations were ruled legal "persons" back around the 1870's.

The issue shouldn't be over corporations being persons, it should be over individual human beings being fraudulently duped into accepting THEY are corporations and then being regulated and fined and managed under Uniform Commercial Code...


Mon, 07/15/2013 - 00:55 | 3753321 honestann
honestann's picture

Oh, you are certainly correct.  But both aspects of this absurdity are important.

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 01:07 | 3753335 Phildo
Phildo's picture

I don't see Sheldon Adelson or George Soros on this list, so it's of dubious reliability.  And Koch Industries $17 million?  I guess they didn't include "individual" contributions, only "organizations."

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