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By Seth Cline:
Follow the Money
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina GOP presidential primary, defeating Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Despite claiming to be an outsider, Gingrich has been in Washington a long time. Since he was first elected in 1979, Gingrich has heavily relied on support from his home state, as well as the health and financial sectors, to fund his campaigns.
Of the top 11 donors to Gingrich since the 1990 election cycle, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, four have headquarters in Atlanta: Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola Inc. and BellSouth and AT&T Mobility (both of which are subsidiaries of AT&T).
One Percent Tea
Their politics may differ. But both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement have laid claim to representing the interests of the middle class, whose economic frustrations helped spur the groups’ establishment and growth.
Goldman Sachs, the most notorious investment bank on Wall Street, has two things in common with the legislators with significant investments in the company: wealth and power.
According to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, 19 current members of Congress reported holdings in Goldman Sachs during 2010. Whether by coincidence or not, most of these 19 Goldman Sachs investors in Congress are more powerful or more wealthy than their peers, or both.
Nine of them sit on either the most powerful committee in their chamber or committees charged with regulating the Wall Street giant. Moreover, seven of them are among the 25 wealthiest members of their respective chambers, according to the Center’s research.
And of the six lawmakers who fall into neither category, two are the most influential Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
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