Global Politics

By the numbers: a 2017 money-in-politics index

Attendees partake in the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the US Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2017.

Attendees partake in the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the US Capitol in Washington, Jan. 20, 2017. 

Credit:

Lucas Jackson/Reuters 

We crunched a lot of numbers this year. Here are a few that stand out.

$36,469,896: Amount President Donald Trump has already raised for his 2020 presidential reelection campaign.

$4,228,162: Total payments to Trump-owned properties by candidates and political committees during the 2016 election cycle.

96: Percentage that came from Trump-related political committees.

$237,472: Amount candidates and committees spent at Trump properties during the 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 election cycles combined.

12: Minimum number of registered lobbyists that donated money to Trump’s transition team, even as he ordered all lobbyists to leave the team.

$400,000+: How much former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price spent in taxpayer funds on private flights.

151: Number of state legislators who went on trips to Turkey subsidized by groups affiliated with a controversial Turkish cleric.

90: Percent of proceeds from the Trump Victory Committee that state political parties transferred to the Republican National Committee during the 2016 election cycle.

18: Minimum number of states that considered legislation to change how much money they can give to politicians.

7: Number of states that conducted special congressional elections in 2017.

$26.2 million: Approximate amount outside political groups spent to sway voters in Georgia’s 6th congressional district special election.

5:42: Ratio of the non-candidate groups actually based in Georgia to those based elsewhere. Together, Georgia-based groups spent less than $100,000.

$5.2 million: Amount super PAC Highway 31 spent to boost Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate special election. The group has not disclosed its donors, but Politico reported the group is backed by national Democratic groups Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA.

$55,000: How much the National Rifle Association spent on anti-Jones mailers in the Alabama race.  

$2 million: Amount of mortgage debt former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon failed to properly disclose — until more than three months after Trump fired him.

45: The number of transoceanic tankers listed on the website of Diamond S Shipping. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross divested his interest in the company after an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity.

$923,100: Amount the host committee for the Republican convention received from an LLC secretly funded with corporate dollars that paid for a posh hideaway for Republican lawmakers to use during the 2016 convention.

$5,000: Contribution made in November by the political action committee of NBC Universal and Comcast to the re-election campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Cruz in 2015 declared “war” on NBC News and the “liberal media,” writ large.

6: Minimum number of Supreme Court justices that are millionaires. Justices report their wealth in ranges, so potentially all nine justices could be worth one million or more.

$81,837: Charges for police services billed to Trump’s presidential campaign by Tucson, Arizona’s city government in early 2016 following a large campaign rally.

$81,837: Amount Trump’s campaign owed Tucson as of Dec. 20, Tucson city manager’s office spokeswoman Lane Mandle confirmed.

100: Percent Trump has the back of police officers, Trump himself said during a speech to law enforcement officials on Dec. 15. Trump added that he is a “true friend and loyal champion” of police — “more loyal than anyone else can be.”

$6.5 million: Amount raised in private contributions for Trump’s transition.

$34,000: Amount the Federal Election Commission fined Boston-based Suffolk Construction Co. for illegally contributing money to a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC.

$1,699,073: Amount the FEC assessed in fines, overall, during the 2017 fiscal year, as of late December.

$1.3 million: What more than 160 political committees collectively owe the FEC in fines they’ve never paid.

29: Percent of Americans who say they are at least “somewhat familiar” with the FEC.

30: Percent of Americans who say they’ve never heard of the agency.

3,000: Number of different advertisements Russian operatives sponsored and promoted via Facebook to influence US politics during the 2016 campaign and beyond, according to Congress.

$8.7 million: Amount Facebook spent on lobbying the federal government in 2016.

$1.4 million: Amount Facebook spent on lobbying in 2011.

$4.2 million: Total amount the financial industry interests have given Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and one of the leaders working to roll back banking regulations in the Dodd-Frank law.

$162,000: The average amount the financial industry has given active House members.

$106 million: Amount telemarketing company Outreach Calling kept of the $118 million it raised for its client charities from 2011 to 2015.

$1.3 million: Amount Outreach Calling has kept of the $1.5 million raised by the Put Vets First! Political Action Committee.

10: Median number of hours each week most people think members of Congress spend “dialing for dollars.” It’s more like 30 to 40 hours.

48: Percent of people who said they oppose the controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

57: Percent of people who say limits should be placed on how much money super PACs can raise and spend.

0: “Chance in hell” of congressional Democrats’ efforts to overturn Citizens United will succeed, according to a government accountability watchdog.

Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, Federal Election Commission, OpenSecrets.org, Politico, Washington Post, Ballotpedia, Ipsos

This story is from the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative media organization in Washington, D.C. Read more of its investigations on the influence of money in politics or follow it on Twitter.
 

Related Stories