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All charts in the Who Owns Congress? package are based on federal election data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. 

The Congressional seating chart is based on which industry has given the most to each member of Congress over his or her career. This means that members are seated according to the industry that has given a plurality of donations. For example, a member who received 20% of her donations from financial firms and 19% from unions would be seated in the finance, insurance, and real estate bloc.

Corporate donations include money given by companies’ employees and political action committees, unless noted otherwise. Counting employees as corporate donors isn’t perfect: You may not give to a candidate with your employer’s interests in mind. Yet excluding individual contributions would overlook “bundled” gifts from a company’s employees as well as gifts from executives and their families.

All data was current at the time it was compiled.

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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