March 31, 2009
More on the Campaign Contributions of TARP Recipients
Posted by David Zaring

I told you last week about the herculean efforts of the Michigan group that has been studying relationships between donors and senators.  It's worth looking a bit more closely at their really interesting visual display that highlights the donations of TARP recipients - you can click to it and interact with it a bit more to find your favorite bank and senator. 

As the below jpegged excerpt from the chart suggests, Chris Dodd is at the center of a lot of things, but then, so are the TARP recipients.  A nonexclusive list of the financial institutions that give appear to move from blue to red in this order Goldman (more blue donation relationships), JPMorganChase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, BofA, Merrill Lynch (more red donation relationships), with the "bluer" three giving more than the "redder" three:

ZoomSenators110tarp

Well worth a look.  Here are some of the more general, non-TARP conclusions that the Michigan team draws:

(1) Industries locate in the center of the graph because they provide significant funding to both Democrats and Republicans.

(2) Industries which generally only fund one political party are located toward the respective red/blue boundary.  For example, it is hardly surprising to observe the location of “Oil and Gas” versus “Environmental” groups.

(3) It’s important to note that we do not impose the partisan separation or party outliers apparent in the image. Rather, the algorithm places Red Senators in Blue Territory and Blue Senators in Red Territory because they receive significant sums from industries who typically fund the opposing party. For example, consider Senator Olympia J Snowe (R-ME) who is typically characterized as a moderate Republican.  Since she receives money from more industries that typically fund Democrats than Republicans, she is placed in Blue Territory by the algorithm.

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