The main page of Mike Thompson Watch has a link to OpenSecrets which allows you to look at Mike's campaign contribution data. There is another site you might want to look at if this connection of donations to policy votes interests you: MapLight.org, which appears to be associated with OpenSecrets.
On a trip from Point Arena to Fort Bragg earlier this month I passed a construction crew working on repairing a stretch of Highway 1. Not a bad thing, for those of us who use the highway. Driving slowly past the work I noticed at least one of the trucks was from Granite Construction. From getting invitations to Mike's fundraisers, I know the people who run Granite Construction are major contributors to Representative Thompson's 2010 campaign. And possibly some of the work they are doing is funded directly by the infrastructure portion of one of the recovery bills that Mike voted for. I am glad to see some locals have some jobs they might not have had otherwise, even if Congress is getting all we taxpayers into the national equivalent of unpayable credit card debt to do that. But you have to wonder about a system where donations to political campaigns get amplified into revenues for particular companies.
The specific link to see where Mike gets his campaign money is http://maplight.org/map/us/legislator/489. Strangely, he is incorrectly listed as C. Thompson. Here are his top five sources of funds since January 2003, as of June 2009:
|Wine and Alcohol||$704,429|
Note that corporations cannot contribute directly to campaigns for Congress, so the sums shown are a result of trying to correlate individuals and PACs (Political Action Committees) to business interests. On the whole the construction industry is a relatively minor influence. Mike's reputation as the wine industry's man in Congress sticks out like a sore thumb. You can see why Mike does not support Single Payer, Universal Health Care: together insurance and health professions would be his second highest set of contributors.
If you dig deeper at either OpenSecrets or MapLight, you will note that a lot of money for Mike comes from outside our district. He is now a senior House member in the majority party. Johnson & Johnson and Lockheed Martin may not employ anyone in our district, but they are not about to leave legislation to chance because of that.
How do you bribe, I mean donate to the campaign of, a congressman to get him to vote for peace and to reduce the military spending that is sinking the American economy? How much would we have to give?
Thanks to Tom Elias, syndicated columnist, and the Independent Coast Observer for bringing MapLight to my attention.
William P. Meyers
Thompson Watch Main Page
Mike Thompson is the current elected member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 1st Congressional District.