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Who in Washington Is Getting Your Money on Black Friday?

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LOBBY MOB
DailyFeed

On November 15, less than a week before the paradoxically-named Super Committee failed to do the very thing it was hand-picked to accomplish, Real Clear Politics had the congressional job approval rating at an abysmal 12.3%. For some citizens, an ‘insouciance is bliss’ state of mind is the less ulcer-inducing one in thinking about our country’s current political climate. But those with some angst left in them have an opportunity to fight back -- not next year in the voting booth, but in stores on Black Friday.

Thanks to a tool from the non-partisan non-profit Sunlight Foundation called Checking Influence, consumers looking for deals on the biggest shopping day of the year can first see what kinds of deals their retailers of choice have brokered in Washington that led to America’s debt burden and yesterday’s inability to square it.

To find out whose lobbying efforts and campaign donations put these bozos in office, you can either search companies by name on the Checking Influence website or install a bookmarklet in your browser toolbar. This bookmarklet, which claims to be secure and privacy protected, will flag company names in your list of banking transactions and list their specific “influence data.”

So where is your money really going this Black Friday? Check the top ten retailers below to see the contributions from their employees, family members, and political action committees.

WALMART

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1989 – 2012: $29,184,897

Republicans (67%) Democrats (21%) Other (12%)
Top Individual Recipient: Rick Perry (R-TX) $363,410
Top PAC Recipient: Republican Party of California $2,430,459
Total Lobbying Dollars, 1997 – 2012: $33,250,000
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues:
Taxes, Health Issues, Labor, Antitrust & Workplace, Trade, Finance, Energy & Nuclear Power, Environment & Superfund, Food Industry, Pharmacy, Homeland Security

TARGET

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1989 – 2012: $6,335,759

Republicans (57%) Democrats (24%) Other (18%)
Top Individual Recipient: Norm Coleman (R-MN) $254,305
Top PAC Recipient: Republican Party of Minnesota $465,760
Total Lobbying Dollars, 1997 – 2012: $9,570,000
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues:

Trade, Law Enforcement & Crime, Consumer Product Safety, Taxes, Finance, Labor, Antitrust & Workplace, Banking, Education, Health Issues, Transportation


KOHL’S

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1997 – 2012: $20,400

Republicans (73%) Democrats (27%)
Top Individual Recipient: Mitt Romney (R) $2,850
Top PAC Recipient: RNC/Republican National State Elections Committee $10,000
Total Lobbying Dollars, 2011 – 2012: $6,000
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues: N/A

MACY’S

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 2007 – 2012: $318,850

Republicans (52%) Democrats (44%) Other (3%)
Top Individual Recipient: Barack Obama (D) $34,032
Top PAC Recipient: Citizens for Clean Ohio $10,000
Total Lobbying Dollars, Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues: N/A

SEARS

(under Sears, Roebuck & Co)

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1989 – 2012: $2,471,736

Republicans (75%) Democrats (25%)
Top Individual Recipient: George W Bush (R) $30,700
Top PAC Recipient: NRCC/Non-Federal $198,675
Total Lobbying Dollars, 1997 – 2006: $3,565,375
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues:

Taxes, Labor, Antitrust & Workplace, Bankruptcy, Finance, Torts, Trade, Health Issues, Postal, Retirement, Civil Right & Civil Liberties


BEST BUY

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1989 – 2012: $1,838,315

Republicans (65%) Democrats (23%) Other (12%)
Top Individual Recipient: Norm Coleman (R-MN) $51,950
Top PAC Recipient: Republican Party of Minnesota $459,490
Total Lobbying Dollars, 2001 – 2012: $5,145,400
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues:

Environment & Superfund, Banking, Labor, Antitrust & Workplace, Radio & TV Broadcasting, Taxes,

Trade, Energy & Nuclear Power, Health Issues, Transportation, Telecommunications


AMAZON

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1997 – 2012: $1,365,564

Republicans (30%) Democrats (61%) Other (9%)
Top Individual Recipient: Barack Obama (D) $106,032
Top PAC Recipient: Approval Referendum 55 $100,000
Total Lobbying Dollars, 1999 – 2012: $21,656,000
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues:

Taxes, Telecommunications, Copyright, Patent & Trademark, Consumer Product Safety, Advertising, Labor, Antitrust & Workplace, Law Enforcement & Crime, Transportation, Computers & Information Tech, Radio & TV Broadcasting


BARNES & NOBLE

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1989 – 2012: $1,517,768

Republicans (4%) Democrats (93%) Other (3%)
Top Individual Recipient: David A Paterson (D-NY) $100,000
Top PAC Recipient: DNC Services Corp $131,130
Total Lobbying Dollars, 1999 – 2012: $300,000
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues:

Education, Consumer Product Safety
 

HOME DEPOT

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1989 – 2012: $10,560,828

Republicans (71%) Democrats (27%) Other (1%)
Top Individual Recipient: Johnny Isakson (R-GA) $84,150
Top PAC Recipient: RNC/Repub National State Elections Committee $1,066,770
Total Lobbying Dollars, 1999 – 2012: $6,268,800
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues:

Taxes, Banking, Trade, Law Enforcement & Crime, Labor, Antitrust & Workplace, Consumer Product Safety, Energy & Nuclear Power, Health Issues, Environment & Superfund, Immigration


LOWE'S

Total Campaign Finance Dollars, 1989 – 2012: $561,667

Republicans (71%) Democrats (28%) Other (1%)

Top Individual Recipient: Richard Burr (R-NC) $61,389
Top PAC Recipient: Retail Industry Leaders Assn $18,000
Total Lobbying Dollars, 2007 – 2012: $2,021,500
Most Frequently Disclosed Lobbying Issues:

Finance, Law Enforcement & Crime, Energy & Nuclear Power, Trade, Labor, Antitrust & Workplace,

Natural Resources, Tariffs, Consumer Product Safety, Health Issues, Taxes
 

(See also: Black Friday Showdowns: How 10 Top Retailers Plan to Compete)

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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