Outside Influences

   As we come closer and closer to the upcoming 2012 election, it behooves the citizens to examine the candidates. Here in Delaware we will be selecting a U.S Senator. The current holder of that seat is Tom Carper.

  Mr. Carper has been in political service in Delaware for thirty-five years (1976-2011). His first elected office for the state of Delaware was as State Treasurer. He has also served as U.S Representative, Governor, and currently as the senior senator from the state of Delaware.

  In the future I will also be laying out some of the more important legislation that the Senator has voted for and against. We will be taking a look at Mr. Carper’s political history since his beginning. From his time as Treasurer up until the present.

  What I hope to lay out in this post, is what influences the Senator’s positions. I think we are all savvy enough to understand that in most cases, the largest influence in a politician’s political life, is money. The life blood of a political campaign is donations. No one gets elected without being funded. The question becomes, who is funding the campaign? And what influence they hope it will buy them.

  So I took the time to  look at who is currently funding Mr. Carper. For the purpose of this post, and since we are discussing the upcoming election, I examined donations for the 2011-2012 election cycle. My source was the F E C web site. I will be giving a link at the end of the post.

   For now I am looking at the contributions in the most general form. In the future as time provides, I will be breaking the contributions down to a more individual level and relating them to specific legislation that the  Senator has supported and opposed.

  What I was looking for in this case, was where the influential money is coming from. How much of the influence was actually coming from the state of Delaware. You know, the state that Mr. Carper has sworn to represent.

  What I found was, that Sen. Carper has received donations totalling $1,101,418 . That total is broken down as being $431,200 from individual donations and $668,231 from Political Action Committees. He has also received from other sources $1,987, this seems to be interest income from accounts from banks in Delaware.

  Now the interesting part is not so much the total amount of the donations. Though having over a million dollars to run for elected office of such a small state as Delaware is nothing to take for granted.

  The really interesting thing for me, is how the origins of those donations break down.

  First let us look at the P A C money.  Out of  three hundred and forty-three P A C donations, only one is listed as a Delaware P A C .  That would be Zeneca Employee   P A C which donated $5,000 on 1/25/2011.   Now of course it is possible that the other P A C’s received donations from people from right here in Delaware. But one has to wonder how many average citizens in the state of Delaware are contributing to P A C’s as far away as Hawaii and California. But I guess anything is possible.

  Now of course Mr. Carper, as a ranking member of the Senate, sits on many committees. And as such it is not surprising that groups  from around the country would seek to influence Mr. Carper. We will seek in the future to determine just how much influence they have bought, when we take a closer look at the legislation that Mr. Carper has been involved with. As I said earlier, money is the life blood of any campaign. It is also the life blood of political influence.

  It is also very telling when we look to the individual donations to Mr. Carper. There again seems to be a large gap between the money that came from Delaware and from around the nation. Out of the total receipts of $1,101,418 only $431,200 came from individual donations. Of that $431,200 only $114,084 came from Delaware.

  It is not unusual for citizens of a state to donate to a candidate that they believe is the best choice. But one does have to wonder what motivates people from around the nation to fund the campaign of a senator from Delaware. Again Mr. Carper seems to have quite a few fans from around the nation .  It is surprising that only one-third of Mr. Carper’s donations from individuals is from outside the state.

  When we look at where the bulk of money is coming from to fund Mr. Carper’s campaign, one has to wonder where Mr. Carper’s loyalties lie. Do they lie with the people of Delaware, or do they lie with the outside influences, which have contributed the bulk of his funds?





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