In the 2012 election 28 percent of all disclosed political contributions came from just 31,385 people. In a nation of 313.85 million, these donors represent the 1% of the 1%, an elite class that increasingly serves as the gatekeepers of public office in the United States.
Compared to other big campaign donors, lobbyists spread their money around. And because they seek access to lawmakers to push for their clients’ interests, they give more of their contributions directly to candidates as opposed to party committees and super PACs. That’s according to a new Sunlight Foundation report on the lobbyists in the “one percent of the one percent,” the rarefied group of about 31,385 well-heeled insiders that give at least $12,950 to political campaigns. So what do these lobbysits want to get done? In particular, what about ones giving the most? Of all the players in Washington’s influence business, here is a list of the 10 who gave more than anyone else in the 2012 election. Continue reading