Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bought And Paid For

One of the best discoveries I've made this year is Open Secrets, a site which follows the money when it comes to our elected officials. I make regular visits and during my latest one I found this brief article posted on the Supercommittee and the lobbyists who are undoubtedly swarming all over the members of that august body.

After the short introduction, a gallery of photos of the members follows. I knew there was only one woman and only one African American on the committee, but I was still shocked by the reminder. I guess only white guys know how to deal with deficits.

What follows is just as shocking, and very, very illuminating. Two interactive charts are provided. The first one breaks down campaign contributions to the members, listing the contributors and how much each gave by party from 1989 to 2011. It starts with the top 25, but can show the top 100. It will also show just one party, or both. The reader can make the adjustment.

The second chart shows donation by sector to each of the committee members for the same period. One can select the sector and scope out who got how much, and how that ranked in the candidates total donations. That one is a shocker as will. For example, the money given by Agribusinesses pretty much assures that farm subsidies are not going to be cut by the committee. Same-same for the financial industry and the insurance industry. Click on over and play around with the charts.

Is it any wonder that the Supercommittee is working in secret?

I am not optimistic.

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