WHAT IF members of Congress were seated not by party but according to their major business sponsors? We gave it a try—and then kept crunching the numbers to find the top 75 corporate spenders of all time, this year's most loaded candidates, Capitol Hill's BP caucus, and much more.
All charts are based on federal election data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Corporate donations include money given by companies' employees and political action committees, unless noted otherwise. Counting employees as corporate donors isn't perfect: You may not give to a candidate with your employer's interests in mind. Yet excluding individual contributions would overlook "bundled" gifts from a company's employees as well as gifts from executives and their families.
Illustration: Steve Brodner
- Who Owns Congress? A Campaign Cash Seating Chart What if members of Congress were seated not by party but according to their major business sponsors? We gave it a try.
- Capitol Hill's Top 75 Corporate Sponsors How industry donations rule the political money game.
- The Gentleman From Victoria's Secret Yields to the Lady From Amway Lawmakers' most generous donors of all time, from the predictable to the absurd.
- Hope and Spare Change: Obama vs. McCain in Campaign Cash What do AT&T, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch have in common? The presidential candidate they backed.
- The Price of Admission to the House and Senate The 2010 elections at a glance: Yes, incumbents have the financial advantage.
- The 2010 Election, Brought to You By... This election's most generous individual donors.
- Fat Cats United: 10 Biggest 527 Groups How much money has the College Republican National Committee raised so far this year? How about the SEIU?
- 2010's Self-Financed Candidates It's their election and they'll buy if they want to.
- 2010's Most Expensive Races How expensive can these House and Senate races get?