Companies, associations and the lobbyists employed by them contributed almost $19 million to charities in honor of federal officials last year, the vast majority of it for members of Congress. You can read the full report on 2011's honorary giving here.
To find out which lawmakers and cabinet members were honored most, or to see which interests paid the most in honorary expenses last year, search the interactive graphic below. You can even filter the graphic for lawmakers from your home state.
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Related Stories from 2012's reporting:
- Special interests honor Congress, executive branch with nearly $19 million in 2011
- Tight rules preclude reporting donations to Speaker Boehner's pet charity
Related Stories from 2011's reporting:
- Interactive Graphic
- Lobbyists pay millions to honor Congress, executive branch
- Some lobbyists’ gifts to lawmaker’s pet causes remain in the dark
- Companies honor Super Committee members at charity events
- At Rep. Clyburn's golf tournament, dozens of industry lobbyists
Notes on the data:
- The data comes from 2011 disclosures filed with the Senate Office of Public Records on form LD-203.
- This analysis lumped together so-called honorary and meeting expenses because both kinds of donations involve being rewarded with access to officials. For the record, honorary expenses essentially means giving to a nonprofit where a lawmaker serves on the board of directors, or sponsoring an event where a charity awards a lawmaker. Meeting expenses are paying for a conference or meeting–such as a Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus Foundation retreat–put on by officials or in their name.
- Sunlight’s analysis covered about 1,550 payments. Where multiple officials were listed for the same payment, the amount was divided equally among each honoree. When non-legislative or executive branch officials were listed as honorees, they were deleted. Dozens of payments were deleted because they were obviously not honorary or meetings expenses—and should have been categorized as something else (such as campaign contributions) or not reported at all.
- To see more details on the lobbyist filings, you can download the entire spreadsheet used to compile the interactive graphic above, as well as a data dictionary to help explain it.