A breakdown of political fundraisers, by category. (Yes, that is a pheasant in the upper left corner.) We’d recommend listening to Planet Money’s entire money-in-politics show on This American Life.
We imagine lobbyists stalking the halls of Congress, trying to influence lawmakers with cash. But often, it’s the other way around: Members of Congress stalk lobbyists, looking for contributions.
“Most Americans would be shocked — not surprised, shocked — if they knew how much time a U.S. Senator spends raising money,” Sen. Dick Durbin told us.
There are special call centers across the street from the Capitol where Senators and Congressmen sit, often for hours a day, calling potential donors to ask for money.
And lawmakers and their staffs are constantly trying to find lobbyists to organize fundraisers. For the most part, these are much more mundane than the fancy black-tie galas you sometimes hear about on the news.
A congressional watchdog group called the Sunlight Foundation collects these invitations to fundraisers and puts them online. We crunched some of their numbers. (Notes on the data are at the bottom of this story.) Here’s a breakdown of fundraisers, by category.
Find some more details here and here.