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It’s Earnings Season for Tracking Money in Politics, and the Winners Are…

Daily Ticker

It’s a big reporting season right now, not just for corporate earnings, but also for disclosure of political contributions.

“It’s almost like an earnings report but they all come in on the same day,” says Kent Cooper, editor of Roll Call’s new Political Moneyline blog which tracks Federal Election Commission disclosures. “Most of your candidates, PACs of companies, and trade associations report on a quarterly basis where they are raising money and how they’re spending it, [and] who is contributing it.”

Related: There’s No Money for the President’s Economic Proposals: Fmr. CBO Dir. Douglas Holtz-Eakin

Cooper has been combing through FEC documents to follow the money. He talked to The Daily Ticker about some of his most interesting and salacious recent findings in the accompanying video.

Here are a few:

  • Defense Contractors like Lockheed Martin (LMT) and Honeywell (HON) have stepped up spending (note: these companies also conduct non-defense business with the government). The Lockheed Martin Corporation Employees PAC reported it gave $405,500 in March to federal candidates and committees, $108,500 it February and none in January--its largest quarterly contribution since March 2011. Honeywell International reported it increased first quarter 2013 lobbying expenditures by a million dollars over the previous quarter. “This is a big jump over a three-month period,” says Cooper “They’re dealing with the Department of Defense on the sequester of certain moneys and contracts...with the White House on budget activity...and with Congress on spending the remainder of this fiscal year.

Related: The Sequester Is Awful And Obama Didn’t Even Try To Stop It: Prof. Bill Black

  • Thirteen Wall Street financiers and spouses contributed $122,500 to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor during the first quarter of 2013. These include $10,000 or $20,000 donations from individuals at places like KKR (KKR) and The Blackstone Group (BX)

Major League Baseball gave over $100,000 to members of Congress in March, the biggest monthly amount the sport has ever given. Why? MLB “has issues – from performance-enhancing drugs to immigration issues,” says Cooper.

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