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Let’s put voters back on the map

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Last year, three corporate PACs donated a whopping $7.5 million directly to congressional candidates, dropping checks in virtually every race for the House of Representatives.1 That kind of politics has put our democracy at risk, pushing regular voters to the sidelines as candidates work to court big money interests. As the 2016 election heats up, we thought you should know which corporate PACs are footing the bill in your state.

*Due to the small number of congressional races in North Dakota and Vermont, several corporate donors contributed equal amounts in these states. See the State-by-State Table for details.

The Corporate PAC Map shows which corporate PACs make the most direct contributions to congressional candidates state-by-state. Keep in mind, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United made it legal for corporations to take unlimited funds directly from their treasury for political spending. Channeled through outside groups, those contributions often go undisclosed.

While we can’t get the numbers behind secret corporate money, our map analyzes direct contributions to congressional candidates to take a look at what we do know. Here’s what we found out:

1. Businesses with the largest corporate PACs also happen to be some of the worst tax dodgers in the United States.

Honeywell International, an American multinational conglomerate, provides one of the best examples. Between 2009 and 2012, the company got $1.7 billion in tax breaks, paying an effective tax rate of one percent despite earning over $5 billion in profits. Last year, they had the biggest spending corporate PAC in 10 states across the country.2

Or take FedEx, a company that made $5.7 billion in profits between 2010 and 2012 and didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes. Our analysis found that FedEx gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to congressional races, which is certainly more than they gave to the IRS.3

2. Corporations with high-dollar PACs also have high-dollar defense contracts.

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Honeywell, Boeing, and Bae Systems -- the list goes on. In more than a third of all states, the highest spending corporate PAC represented a defense contractor.

3. We can do something about it.

Let’s be honest, a company like New York Life shouldn’t be deciding who South Dakota voters elect. And when corporations like Walmart and Lockheed Martin step into a race, they aren’t there to raise the concerns of everyday Americans.

That’s not how elections are supposed to work, which is why we’re sending a petition to Congress, urging House leadership to bring the Democracy for All Amendment to the floor. That’s a constitutional amendment that would make it clear that corporations are not people, giving lawmakers an opportunity to reign in corporate political spending. More than 130 Members of Congress have cosponsored the amendment, but Speaker Boehner has yet to bring it up for a vote.

We need action now. Tell Speaker Boehner we want a vote on the Democracy for All Amendment.

To find out more about which corporation donated the most in your state, check out the State-by-State table below. You can also help to spread the word by sharing our map on Facebook and Twitter. 

State-by-State: Highest Spending Corporate PACs

State

Contributor

 

State

Contributor

AK

HOME DEPOT

 

ND*

MICROSOFT

AL

ALABAMA POWER CO

 

ND*

NORTHROP GRUMMAN

AR

WAL-MART

 

ND*

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR

AZ

PINNACLE WEST

 

ND*

NORTH AMERICAN COAL

CA

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR

 

ND*

WPX ENERGY

CO

LOCKHEED MARTIN

 

NE

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

CT

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

 

NH

BAE SYSTEMS

DE

CLEAR CHANNEL

 

NJ

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

FL

AT&T

 

NM

ERNST & YOUNG

GA

AMERICAN FAMILY & LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY

 

NV

BARRICK GOLD CORP

HI

HILTON WORLDWIDE

 

NY

NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE

IA

AT&T

 

OH

MARATHON OIL

ID

POTLATCH CORP

 

OK

CHESAPEAKE ENERGY

IL

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

 

OR

NIKE

IN

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

 

PA

COMCAST

KS

KOCH INDUSTRIES

 

RI

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

KY

MARATHON OIL

 

SC

SCANA CORP

LA

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR

 

SD

NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE

MA

RAYTHEON

 

TN

FEDERAL EXPRESS

MD

NORTHROP GRUMMAN

 

TX

LOCKHEED MARTIN

ME

UNUM GROUP

 

UT

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

MI

DTE ENERGY

 

VA

DOMINION

MN

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR

 

VT*

HOME DEPOT

MO

AMEREN CORP

 

VT*

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

MS

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR

 

VT*

UNITED TECHNOLOGIES

MT

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

 

VT*

AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR

NC

HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL

 

VT*

TW TELECOM

ND*

EXXONMOBIL

 

WA

BOEING CO

ND*

HOME DEPOT

 

WI

NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE

ND*

KOCH INDUSTRIES

 

WV

KOCH INDUSTRIES

 

 

 

WY

ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES

 

*Due to the small number of congressional races in North Dakota and Vermont, several corporate donors contributed equal amounts in these states, each making donations of the maximum legal size in all available elections.

1 National Institute on Money in State Politics. Follow the Money. http://www.followthemoney.org. Copyright 2013.

2 Americans for Tax Fairness. Corporate Tax Dodgers 2013 Report. http://www.americansfortaxfairness.org/files/Corporate-Tax-Dodgers-Repor....

3 Americans for Tax Fairness. Corporate Tax Dodgers 2013 Report. http://www.americansfortaxfairness.org/files/Corporate-Tax-Dodgers-Repor....
Source: All data used to create the Corporate PAC Map was sourced from the National Institute on Money in State Politics through the organization’s Follow the Money tool, available at www.followthemoney.org.

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