Money politics has long dominated American politics, but the scale of the problem has gotten much worse of late. This is highlighted in an interesting story from Map Light by Hamsini Sridharan and Laura Curlin. Take a look:
As Oregon state legislators consider a package of bills to limit the influence of money in politics, a new MapLight report outlines hows megadonors and Portland’s “donor class” have an outsized impact on Oregon elections. Currently, there are no limits in Oregon on how much money an individual or organization can contribute to a candidate or ballot measure campaign.
MapLight’s analysis reveals that in the 2018 elections, 60 percent of contributions to statewide candidates from individual donors came from just 20 ZIP codes, which represent less than 15 percent of the state’s population. Twelve of the top 20 ZIP codes are in the Portland metropolitan area.
MapLight also found that there were 20 times as many small donors as large donors, but their financial impact was limited. The analysis showed:
- 421 large donors (more than $5,000) donated $10.4 million to candidates
- 6,521 medium donors donated $6.7 million to candidates
- 8,429 small donors ($250 or less) donated $1.2 million to candidates