Our latest Capital in the Capitol infographic reveals who you're really voting for this election — the funders who bankroll the candidates. Will you commit to handing this out before election day? Join our campaign below.
Remix this Graphic!
Election day is the single most important opportunity for the people to assert their rightful importance over the funders, and there's no better way to send a message to candidates than to tell them you know the facts about who's underwriting their campaigns. Help spread the word by remixing our latest infographic.
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- Use the widget below to fill it in with information on the candidates in your local districts.
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- Here's some examples.
Rootstrikers across the country will be handing these out before the election to make sure that everyone knows who they're really voting for on November 6th.
Use the widget below to find out who's bankrolling your local candidate then download the template, fill in the blanks, and send us your remix. On October 24th we'll post all remixes and information on actions planned across the country.
I am affected currently by the power outages in NJ, so I’m having a little trouble keeping up in a timely fashion. I can give this more thought when I have power and a regular schedule again. But the first idea I presented was that we could target conservative groups with the idea that federal employees give a lot of money to the party that promises them more government spending. This is fairly clear and honest in my view. It will work with conservatives. The key is to present the data as a phenomenon of equating money with speech and building a election and legislative process that feeds on large amounts of money as opposed to merely blaming big government.
I actually think that in general we should start targeting our audience on a campaign specific basis. It’s very difficult when trying to educate people to talk to all sides simultaneously (Prof Lessig does this well, but he still reaches a narrow audience). That does’t mean distorting anything for either side, but just addressing the sorts of things that are important to them. Once we have their attention, we can broaden their vision of how many other ways the money is corrupting to the whole process.
There are several excellent articles already up here which identify specific problems. We don’t need to reinvent those ideas. Just wrap the most salient point(s) into a graphic or easier bullet-ed explanation. And we have several graphics already that are excellent as well. This Re-mix campaign just doesn’t seem right to me in several ways.
âOur current graphic gives an idea of something happening that is not happening. We should not confuse people; we should educate them.â
" NOTE: The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates. "
For me this explanation was deeply disappointing. For example Microsoft is a ’big contributor" by this odd measure. I have worked for Microsoft and I can tell you that the diversity of views at this company mirrors society at large (at least to my understanding of both). Lumping its employees together is not only deceptive from this standpoint, but it flies in the face of concerns over corporate person-hood. By making Microsoft responsible for the contributing behavior of all of its employees, this campaign tends to reinforce the notion that the corporation and and its associated people are one and the same. I would greatly prefer that we were not doing that.
Szelena’s link provided a better argument for the undue influence of one group of people. Calculating group contribution effects as Open Secrets and MapLight do, the Federal Government becomes the most valid example of a real problem. I say that because federal employees have a direct vested interest in the spending habits of the government. While some other government policy matter may be of interest to Microsoft and indirectly to its employees, it is a true and direct source of corruption for government employees. Now some may find this distinction partisan (it really isn’t), but I would support a campaign directed to those concerned about the growth of government that emphasized how money in politics opens a channel for entrenched government workers to buy their own job security. Conservatives will understand this immediately and we will not be playing at the fringes of the truth.
Of course this then begs the question of who’s right about the numbers. Our own graphic shows $2-million+ and Open Secrets shows $600k+. Perhaps the graphic is not the way to express this problem to people. It hardens the data in a way that is dishonest – in my view.
I also think that we could make hay of Goldman-Sachs contributions. That’s because the Goldman-Sachs is full of rich people – i.e. members of the political donor class. The total number of Goldman-Sachs employees is dwarfed by Microsoft and other non-financial companies we might list. So the views of its employees are much more likely to reflect GS’s motives as a corporation. There are probably other companies where an alignment exists among the employees, as it does for Federal employees, for certain policy outcomes. I would support single issue articles and efforts to share such ideas that carefully articulated those cases. But I do think it’s important that we be honest about what we are saying. Our current graphic gives an idea of something happening that is not happening. We should not confuse people. We should educate them.
And I agree with Richard Murphy that when we report this info from ACTUAL campaign contributions we leave out the money flowing into social-welfare groups and SuperPACs. Conservatives are appalled that Obama has out-fund-raised Romney, but that difference is an illusion when we look outside the direct contributions. And in these outside contributions we see the greatest distortion where one wealthy person can effectively neutralize millions of ordinary citizens.
The Right is trying to buy the occupant White house. I wonder what Romney has promised these guys. What they want is denoted, somewhat.
A note at the bottom of the page states:
“All the numbers on this page are for the 2012 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data released electronically on Thursday, October 25, 2012.”
So I presume is it mostly accurate.