By Josh Israel and Scott Keyes on Feb 23, 2012 at 11:30 am
Even after the Citizens United ruling, businesses cannot donate directly to federal candidates, but corporate political action committees and executives give millions to political candidates — predominantly Republicans. The political action committee for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which calls itself “the world’s largest business organization,” has given 78 percent of its donations this cycle to Republicans — down from 88 percent in 2010. And another arm of the organization is currently orchestrating a $10 million “issue ad” campaign aiding almost exclusively Republican incumbents and candidates.
According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, contributors from the financial sector have given over $182 million so far this cycle: 52.8 percent to Republicans, 32.5 percent to Democrats. Of those, the ones identified as part of the securities and investment sector — the very “Big Wall Street” donors Santorum referenced — have favored Republicans by about a two-to-one ratio. Other sectors, including health (54.8 percent GOP), energy (70.1 percent GOP), and defense (61.1 percent GOP) similarly contradicted Santorum’s premise.
And these figures do not include any of the millions of dollars big business tycoons and billionaire investors have given to Republican-allied super PACs — including two million dollar donors to the pro-Santorum Red, White & Blue Fund.
The truth is that businesses interests tend to give some money to each party and their donations tend to coincide partially with who controls the most seats in Congress (currently, the Republicans). But with Wall Street and the business community likely to spend record sums to stop President Barack Obama’s consumer protections, the Republicans may be more the party of Big Business than usual.