Sunday, February 5, 2012

Private Equity Firms Shovel Millions to Congress: MapLight Analysis

Political Action Committees and individuals connected to private equity and investment firms have given more than $17 million to lawmakers that have been serving since the 109th Congress adjourned in 2006, a report released last week by the nonpartisan political research firm MapLight shows.

From Jan. 1, 2007, to June 30, 2011, Democrats have taken in $10,871,919, while their Republican counterparts received $6,553,793, the report says. Of the Democrats’ total, President Barack Obama accounts for $1,921,490 while his 2008 Republican opponent for the White House, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has accepted $1,246,575.

Mitt Romney, the current GOP presidential candidate front-runner, has been criticized by his rivals for his career in private business. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman, who left the race on Monday, laid into Romney on Jan. 9 for his years at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he ran until the mid-1990s. Both Perry and Gingrich accused Romney of having “looted” companies and firing workers for his own gain.

The accompanying chart reflects analysis conducted by MapLight, which shows contributions from private equity and investment firms to members of Congress. Contribution industry classification provided by OpenSecrets.

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