Political contributions and the auto bailout bill
December 12, 2008
Over the past five years (January 2003 - October 2008), auto manufacturers, auto dealers and labor unions gave an average of $74,100 in campaign contributions to each Representative voting in favor of the auto bailout, compared with an average of $45,015 to each Representative voting against the bailout--65% more money, on average, given to those who voted "yes." The final vote: 237 Representatives voted "yes" and 170 voted "no," with 26 not voting and one voting "present." This information was supplied in a release from MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in Berkeley, CA.

House Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favor of this bill, 205 voting "yes" and 20 voting "no" (11 not voting). Democrats voting "yes" received an average of $74,846 each, about 19% more than those voting "no," who received an average of $63,140. House Republicans were somewhat more divided on this bill, 32 voting "yes" and 150 voting "no" (16 not voting). Republicans voting "yes" received an average of $69,323 each, 63% more than those voting "no," who received an average of $42,598.

MAPLight.org's analysis included contributions from auto manufacturers, auto dealers, auto-related industries and labor unions, groups that have expressed support for this bill's passage. Statistics used in their analysis may be found here.

"Big-money interest groups investing in political influence see sky-high returns, while 'we the people' foot the bill," said Daniel Newman, MAPLight.org's executive director. "Votes in Congress once again align with the river of money that flows through our broken political system."

The bill to provide a $14 billion bailout for US automakers collapsed in the Senate last night allegedly after United Auto Workers refused to accede to Republican demands for immediate wage cuts.

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Just one small scabmambo382702008-12-14 09:51:44