Corporate donors favor Dems in midterms despite party's stance against 'dark money' in politics

Donations from corporations and big business across many sectors of the economy have favored the Democratic Party in the 2022 election cycle.

Published: November 4, 2022 3:58pm

Updated: November 7, 2022 10:05am

Donations from corporations and big business across many sectors of the economy have favored the Democratic Party in the 2022 election cycle, even as the party positions itself in opposition to the influence of "dark money" in politics.

According to Open Secrets, the securities and investment industry favored Democrats, giving $141,282,772 to Democratic candidates and liberal groups compared to $106,254,713 to Republican candidates and conservative groups.

Lawyers and law firms contributed more than three times as much to Democrats and liberal groups ($97,083,049) as they did to Republicans and conservative groups ($28,194,689).

Democrats also dominated in contributions from health professionals, with $55,887,636 compared to just $32,750,396 for Republicans. 

Nonprofit organizations contributed $36,460,458 to Democrats and liberal groups, almost triple the $12,584,065 they gave to Republicans and conservative groups.

In contrast, the oil industry heavily favored Republicans and GOP-allied groups, with $32,557,888 compared to $6,691,732 for the Democrats, who support rapid transition away from fossil fuels.

Leadership Political Action Committee contributions also favored Republicans over Democrats, $41,462,476 to $30,329,333.

Donations from individuals affiliated with Big Tech companies, including Facebook parent Meta and Google parent Alphabet Inc., favored Democrats.

Public sector union donations to Democrats and liberal groups ($15,306,481) dwarfed those to Republicans and conservative groups ($1,838,752). Labor unions also contributed more to President Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. During his time in office, Biden has touted how his $2 trillion infrastructure bill and $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act will benefit unions. His $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act also continued a bailout for struggling union pensions. 

The Democrats' For the People Act, a federal election reform bill, would "match small donations (up to $200) to participating congressional candidates at a 6-1 ratio." It would require super PACs to make their donors public. The bill also includes automatic voter registration and making Election Day a federal holiday.

"The Republicans are the handmaidens of the special interest," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, responding to a question about how Wall Street donors favored Biden over former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. "We are not, but the public doesn't necessarily see it that way. Sometimes they paint us all with the same brush, and we have to make sure that they know who has their interest at heart. By interest, I mean, who is here to serve them. And as was said earlier, there's a reason that the Republicans put this big dark money there. It's the price of doing business for them."

During campaign events for Democratic candidates, Biden has touted the 15% corporate minimum tax, which was part of the Inflation Reduction Act, as a policy achievement that makes corporations pay their fair share.

"For the first time in a long time, we’re going to make sure the biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share or at least close to their fair share in federal taxes," he said in October.

Corporations across many industries still favored Democrats in contributions for the 2022 midterm election despite the new corporate minimum tax.

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