Smart Politics has an analysis of individual donor giving to Minnesota's U.S. House members, based on the latest Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports. Large donor individual donations accounted for $827,881 — about half the money contributed for the most recent quarter.
We can be thankful for Eric Ostermeier's willingness to do the scut work of combing the data and presenting it, but we should be leery of concluding that his findings represent the full impact of business owner and executive giving. He states:
Not surprisingly, most large donor contributions to the Minnesota U.S. House delegation came from business owners and executive officers, tallying 35.1 percent of such donations.
However, a significant amount of large donor contributions came from retired individuals (#2, 10.6 percent) and homemakers (#4, 7.5 percent). Donations by these individuals were directed overwhelmingly towards Minnesota's Republican representatives.
Another useful bit of analysis would have been to match "homemaker" names and addresses with other donors. I have a hunch many of those large donor contributions might align with business owners and executives.
Further, I suspect that many retirees making donations, particularly in this economic environment, might also derive their discretionary income from business ownership or CEO retirement packages. Then throw in the 5.7 percent who listed "finance/investors/banking." The total for the four categories is 58.9 percent.
Certainly, based on how the FEC reports categorize donors, the data surely understates the influence of business executive interests. Ostermeier's post tells the story, but he doesn't come right out and say it.