|BERKELEY, CA, July 22, 2010–An analysis by MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization, found that interest groups supporting HR 4213, the unemployment benefits bill, gave, on average, $42,687 to members of the House voting ‘Yes’ compared to $13,586 to members voting ‘No,’ or three times more. Interest groups opposing the bill gave, on average, $26,239 to ‘No’ votes and $20,549 to ‘Yes’ votes.
Labor unions in support of the measure gave House members voting ‘Yes,’ on average, $22,720, or 12 times more, compared to members voting ‘No,’ who received $1,837.
Votes and Money on Unemployment Benefits Bill for each House Member
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Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org). Legislative data is fromGovTrack.us.
MAPLight.org’s research department reveals how contributions correlate with legislation so that citizens have key information needed to draw their own conclusions about how campaign contributions affect policy. Campaign contributions are only one factor affecting legislator behavior. The correlations we highlight between industry and union giving and legislative outcomes do not show that one caused the other, and we do not make this claim. We do make the claim, however, that campaign contributions bias our legislative system. Simply put, candidates who take positions contrary to industry interests are unlikely to receive industry funds and thus have fewer resources for their election campaigns than those whose votes favor industry interests.
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MAPLight.org has received numerous awards including a Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism; a James Madison Freedom of Information Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter and a Webby nomination for best Politics website. To learn more, please visit: MAPLight.org.
MAPLIGHT.ORG: Votes and Money on the Unemployment Bill