Thursday, March 05, 2009

Who Owns Virginia?

While we’re talking money, it would be nice to know who supplies all that cash that our state politicians survive on. The best place to find that information is the Virginia Public Action Project . When you get to the main site, go to "donors" and click on contributions by industry. Here’s what you’ll find.

The largest “industry” in terms of contributions is designated “political.” If you click on the dollar amount to see the details, you will notice that these are not really contributions. They are transfers of money among party committees, candidate committees, party PACs and candidate PACs. With respect to real contributions, the top industries (and the amounts they contributed to Commonwealth politicians in 2008-09) are:

Real Estate and Construction…………………. $5,235,066
Finance and Insurance……………………………$3,302,106
Law…………………………………….………………..$3,171,167
Energy and Natural Resources…….…………..$2,660,267
Business (retail and service)……………………$2,620,600
Health Care……………………………………………$2,212,229
Technology and Communication………………$1,930,515
Organized Labor……………………………………..$1,319,936
Transportation………………………………………..$1,258,921


So, now you know the rest of the story.

It has always been my belief that whoever pays the piper has at least a major say in what tune is played. When I see a legislator vote a certain way on an issue I go to VPAP to see if part of the motivation was based on who provided the big bucks. Of course, if you care to believe that all these contributions were made out of an altruistic desire for good government, be my guest. If it makes you feel good to think that your own senator or delegate, or supervisor, or council member always votes in the best interest of all the citizens and is never influenced by those that give the money, go right ahead.

By the way, how would you like to buy this bridge I own up in New York?

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

How can Real Estate and Finance afford to spend on anything?