Funds for Favors II: Exposing Donors’ Influence on Committee Leaders

House Committee Ledership receives donations from industry Campaign contributions follow power, and special interests aren’t subtle about currying favor with the powerful.

New research by CREW shows after control of the House flipped in 2010 Democratic committee chairmen demoted to ranking members saw campaign contributions plummet from industries their committees oversee. Conversely, Republican ranking members who assumed House committee chairmanships in the wake of the shift saw a corresponding increase in contributions.

CREW’s analysis also found 80% of the chairs and ranking members included in our study reported receiving a growing share of their campaign contributions from industries overseen by their committees. This trend raises questions about whether committee leaders are overly dependent on the campaign contributions of those over which they have regulatory authority.

In 2011, CREW released its first Funds for Favors report, which analyzed campaign contributions to the chairmen and ranking members of ten House committees. Our analysis, which included data from the 1998 through the 2010 election cycles, revealed that as members’ power and seniority increased, the industries they were responsible for regulating steered more and more money into their campaign coffers. This new edition of the report compares campaign finance data from the 2010 election cycle to the 2012 election cycle, and shows industries are continuing to shower campaign cash on lawmakers who oversee them. Both editions of the report rely on federal campaign contribution data provided by MapLight.

During the 2012 election cycle, the industries examined by CREW donated almost $8.3 million to the chairmen and ranking members of committees responsible for overseeing them, compared to almost $6.7 million to the same members during the 2010 election cycle. In all, contributions from relevant industries to committee leaders increased by 24% between 2010 and 2012, far more than the 10% growth in those lawmakers’ total contributions.

Read the press release    |    Read the full report

 

Chairman

House
Committee

Ranking Member




Rep. Frank Lucas
(R-OK)


Agriculture

Collin Peterson

Rep. Collin Peterson
(D-MN)

Buck_McKeon

Rep. Buck McKeon
(R-CA)

 

Armed Services

Adam Smith

Rep. Adam Smith
(D-WA)

 

John_Kline

Rep. John Kline
(R-MN)

 

Education
and the Workplace

George_Miller

Rep. George Miller
(D-CA)

 

Fred_Upton

Rep. Fred Upton
(R-MI)

 

Energy
and Commerce

Henry_Waxman

Rep. Henry Waxman
(D-CA)

 



Rep. Jeb Hensarling
(R-TX)

Financial Services

Rep. Maxine Waters
(D-CA)


Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Michael McCaul
(R-TX)

Homeland Security

Bennie_Thompson

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson
(D-MS)

 

Rep. Robert Goodlatte

Rep. Robert Goodlatte
(R-VA)

Judiciary

John_Conyers

Rep. John Conyers
(D-MI)

 

Doc_Hastings

Rep. Doc Hastings
(R-WA)

 

Natural Resources

Edward_Markey

Rep. Edward Markey
(D-MA)

 

Rep. Lamar Smith

Rep. Lamar Smith
(R-TX)

Science, Space and Technology

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
(D-TX)

 



Rep. Bill Shuster
(R-PA)

Transportation and Infrastructure

Nick_Rahall

Rep. Nick J. Rahall, II
(D-WV)

 

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