Influence Explored: Millionaires or not, politicians rake in millions in contributions


By guest blogger Matthew Gerring, Sunlight Labs intern The Washington Post published an article on Wednesday about the personal financial disclosures filed by members of Congress, and the data isn’t surprising — the current Congress, like the last Congress, is full of millionaires.

Aside from personal wealth, top politicians in Congress, like John Boehner, raked in millions in campaign contributions during the last election cycle. Here’s a look at some of the people and companies mentioned in the article:

  • John Boehner, current Speaker of the House, received $6,001,138 in contributions in the last election cycle.
  • Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, received $5,557,405 in campaign contributions.
  • 79% of political contributions made by Domino’s Pizza employees and political action committee went to Republicans in the 2009-10 cycle.
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi received $2,500,575 in campaign contributions in the 2009-10 cycle.
  • One of Pelosi’s top contributors, E&J Gallo Winery, contributed $12,000 to Pelosi, and 75% of its employees’ and PAC’s contributions went to Democrats.
  • Paul Ryan, author of the Republican’s budget plan, received $2,836,581 in contributions in 2009-10.
  • House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy may have the smallest financial holdings according to the Post, at $114,00, but his fundraising was up there with the best of them — he received $2,013,573 in campaign contributions in 2009-10.

‘Influence Explored’ takes an article from the day’s headlines and exposes the influential ways of entities mentioned in the article. Names and corporations are run through Sunlight’s influence tracking tools such as Influence Explorer and Transparency Data to remind readers of the money that powers Washington.