Ever since Congress shirked off deficit-cutting responsibilities to a 12-member Super Committee, it's been an open secret in Washington that the bipartisan panel tasked with slashing $1.5 trillion in federal spending would be targeted by a swarm of lobbyists and special interest groups. On Tuesday the names of the three Democratic Senators that Majority Leader Harry Reid selected to serve on the committee were revealed: Sens. John Kerry, Patty Murray and Max Baucus. Will they be beholden to special interests? Hopefully not! But we may as well see who's been lining their pockets with campaign contributions over the years:
John Kerry The top industries who have given to the Massachusetts Democrat include Lawyers/Law firms, joint candidate committees, and people in education and business, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a non-partisan government transparency group. In terms of specific companies or organizations, the contributor that stuck out to us was Goldman Sachs landing at the top
stop behind his 2004 PAC. Update: the Sunlight Foundation tells us Goldman Sachs was indeed the top contributor and sends along a new graphic:
Patty Murray The top contributors to the Washington Democrat's campaigns over the years include the pro-choice advocacy group Emily's List ($669,734), Microsoft ($384,197) and the University of Washington ($176,764), according to the Sunlight Foundation. Here's a breakdown of biggest contributors by industry:
Max Baucus Like Kerry, the Montana Democrat's biggest listed contributor is Goldman Sachs and the industry he receives the most funds from are Lawyers/Lawfirms, Securities & Investment and Insurance. In the list of contributors behind Goldman Sachs, there are well-known companies including AIG, New York Life Insurance, General Electric and JPMorgan Chase, according to the Sunlight Foundation. What separates Baucus from Murray and Kerry is his breakdown of contributors by individuals or PACs. 92 percent of Kerry's contributions came from individuals. For Murray, 72 percent came from individuals. Baucus, however has much more money coming in from PACs: a 50/50 split.
See our complete list of financial backers of the super committee members below: