Facing South

The political money elite

Number of individuals who contributed more than $10,000 to federal political campaigns in the 2010 election cycle: 26,783

Portion of the U.S. population those elite donors represent: 1/100th of 1%

Total amount of their contributions in 2010: $774,000,000

Percent of the total contributed by individuals to politicians, parties, PACs and independent expenditure groups that represents: 24.3

Average amount those donors spent in the 2010 election cycle: $28,913

Amount by which that average donation exceeds the U.S. median individual income: $2,549

Amount that Bob Perry, CEO of Texas-based Perry Homes and the top donor, contributed to Karl Rove's American Crossroads in 2010: $7,300,000

Of the almost 27,000 people who spent more than $10,000 during the 2010 cycle, amount spent by the top 10 donors alone: $23,000,000

Of those top 10 donors, number that contributed exclusively to Republican groups and candidates: 8

Rank of American Crossroads among the biggest recipients of the 10 mega-donors' contributions: 1

Amount that Wayne Hughes, owner and chair of California-based Public Storage Inc. and the second-biggest donor, gave to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.): $4,800

Amount that Fred Eshelman, CEO of North Carolina-based Pharmaceutical Product Development and third-biggest donor, spent in 2010 funding his own conservative political group, RightChange.com: $3,000,000

Percent of party committee money that comes from the top donors: 80

Percent of the 1% of the political 1% who are affiliated with corporations: 56.5

Of the 10 companies with the greatest representation in the 1% of the 1%, number that are financial firms: 6

Rank of investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs among the companies with which the greatest number of the political money elite are affiliated: 1

Of the 10 House members most dependent on the political money elites' campaign contributions in the 2010 cycle, number that represent the South: 2*

Of the 10 Senators most dependent on contributions from the political money elite, number that represent the South: 2**

Of the 10 metro areas where most of the political money elite live, number in the South: 2***

* Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)

** Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

*** Miami and Dallas

(Click on figure to go to source. The numbers in this index and the map above are from an analysis released this week by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes government transparency.)

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Facing South
Facing South
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