Last week’s “Top 10″ list suffers from one major flaw. It tracked the money flowing from the seven largest defense companies into the re-election accounts of each lawmaker during the first six months of 2007, but it didn’t include the additional money flowing into the “leadership PACs”.
These are the PAC funds that allow one lawmaker to donate to another lawmaker. Some of them have very odd names (Dirigo??). But, as you can see from the amended list, they are clearly a huge piece of the campaign finance system.
Please download the new and improved spreadsheet to see the new results. Download file
The idea is to make this project participatory. Feel free to crunch the numbers yourselves, and let me know what you find. I’ve added fields for party affiliation and state, so you can have a little more fun.
Now, without further delay, the Top 10 of Big D are:
1) Rep. John Murtha (D) $57,500; 2) Rep. Steny Hoyer (D) $53,500; Sen. Ted Stevens (R) $41,000; 4) Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D) $31,000; 5) Sen. Carl Levin (D) $30,500; 6) Sen. Susan Collins (R) $30,000; 7) Sen. Jack Reed (D) $26,000; 8) Rep. Joe Courtney (D) $25,000; 9) Rep. Jim Clyburn (D) and (tie) Rep. Pete Sessions (R) $24,500; 10) Sen. James Inhofe (R) and (tie) Rep. Jim Moran (D) $24,000.
– None of the presidential candidates (Clinton, Hunter, McCain, Obama) appear on the Top 10 or on the full list. I have no idea what this means. Any answers?
– Factoring in the leadership PAC funds, Rep. Reyes’s position slips from #1 to #4, but even that still surprises me. Why are the seven largest defense companies pumping so many dollars into this particular lawmaker’s campaign treasury?
– Comparing my list to the list here of earmark sponsors in the latest appropriations bill, there are relatively few correlations.