…or is it that you pay for what you want?
The AP has done a study correlating congressional voting records with congressional donors. The results are online here and include:
_Supporters of doctor-backed legislation limiting noneconomic damages for patients injured by medical malpractice averaged $1.41 in campaign contributions from physicians and other health professionals for every $1 given to lawmakers against the measure. Opponents of the bill received $1.85 from lawyers, who objected to curbs on awards, for every $1 given to those who voted yes.
Lawyers gave $21.3 million to House members during the 2002 campaign while health professionals gave $16.7 million.
_House members who sided with trial lawyers and voted against shifting class action lawsuits from state courts to more restrictive federal courts averaged of $1.63 from attorneys for every $1 given to legislation supporters. Businesses contributed $276.7 million to House members, compared with $21.3 million for lawyers.
_Backers of legislation making it harder for consumers to erase their debts in bankruptcy court received, on average, $2.13 from the credit card and finance industries for every $1 given to bill opponents. Those industries gave $2 million; consumer groups gave $1,298.
_Lawmakers voting for an energy bill that would open to drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska averaged $4.64 from the oil and gas industry for every $1 given to those who voted no. Opponents averaged $12.99 from environmental groups for every $1 contributed to bill supporters. The oil industry gave $5.8 million; environmentalists, $751,079.
_House members who voted to overturn Bush administration efforts to rewrite rules governing overtime, which unions said would take the premium pay away from as many as 8 million workers, received $10.40 from labor for every $1 given to lawmakers who opposed the motion. Unions gave $33.7 million in 2002 to business' $276.7 million.
A while back, Reason interviewed maverick Federal Elections Commission member Bradley Smith. Read his contrarian take on gutting the First Amendment (a.k.a. campaign finance reform) here.