In the last two decades, finance, insurance, and real estate have made many individuals quite rich, propelling them to stratospheric levels of wealth.
It’s also propelled these individuals into stratospheric levels of political giving. More than any other industry, individuals from the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector, particularly those in securities and investments, are the key drivers of the overall growth of elite donors, or The Political One Percent of the One Percent.
An analysis of campaign contribution records by the Sunlight Foundation reveals that the number of donors in the FIRE sector giving at least $10,000 (in 2010 dollars) per cycle to political candidates, parties, and independent expenditure groups has increased from 1,091 in 1990 to 5,510 in 2010 (a 405% increase). These elite FIRE sector donors’ combined contributions have increased even more dramatically, growing by $162.8 million (a 700% increase, controlling for inflation) to $178.2 million in 2010.
As we detailed last month, individuals spending more than $10,000 on elections now contribute one quarter of all individual campaign contributions – even though they are less than one percent of one percent of the U.S. population. We dubbed these elite donors Political One Percent of the One Percent.
- Lee Drutman << Sunlight Foundation
Via Mother Jones