What role, if any, do campaign contributions have on how our elected representatives vote? While I have not yet had time to do a comprehensive analysis, I did crunch a few numbers this afternoon and found some very interesting results. What it all means is a topic for another time.
I did a quick analysis of donations to candidates by TROOPAC, the Delaware State Troopers PAC, from 2011-2015, to see how they correlate with votes on death penalty repeal.
The Senate voted twice on death penalty repeal — on 3/26/13 and on 4/2/15. Surprisingly 90% of the Senators who voted for repeal received campaign contributions during the time period 2011-2015, compared to 67% of no voters.
But wait, there’s more. When you look at donations given by TROOPAC after the vote — so donations for 2014-2015 — only 10% of people who voted for repeal received donations, compared to 67% of those who voted no.
On the House side, of those who voted for repeal on 1/28/16, 38% received donations from TROOPAC between 2011-2015. In contrast 77% of those who voted against repeal receive donations.
However, if you look at donations given after 2013 (so 2014-2015), only 13% of those voting for repeal received donations — and one of those people was just elected in 2015 and TROOPAC gave to both him and his opponent.
Remember that correlation is not causation, but still: food for thought.
More to come.