Who is contributing to the candidates?By Bill McCarthy
Whether you believe contributors to political campaigns are looking for good government or influence, we are usually confined to analyzing lists of names and numbers when we think about the issue.
So when we saw that Niki Bornes at Colorado based CleanSlateNow.org created word clouds showing contributors to Colorado’s congressional candidates, we had to steal the idea for Wyoming.
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text. We took the data showing the top 100 contributors to each member of the Wyoming delegation, as well as to each presidential candidate, and distilled it to the contributor’s name and total contribution. We then ran it through Wordle’s advanced program.
Sen. John Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis are running for reelection Nov. 6. Both are Republicans.
Their Democratic opponents, Albany County Commissioner Tim Chesnut for the Senate and Casper College professor Chris Henrichsen for U.S. House, have no official publicly-available records as of yet.
The fossil fuels industry dominates the list of contributors for Barrasso and Lummis.
Sen. Mike Enzi, also a Republican, is not up for reelection this November. Still we thought it would be interesting to look at his contributors, as well.
Enzi is the ranking member on the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee and potentially the chairman if the Republicans gain a majority in the Senate.
His top contributors are in the health care and fossil fuel industries.
President Barack Obama has raised $320,327 in Wyoming while Cowboy State supporters have donated $886,315 to Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign.
John McQuillan of Jackson donated $30,000 to Romney’s presidential campaign. His name dominates the word cloud since the next highest donations are for $5,000.
Larissa Sneider of Evanston leads the Obama donors with a $5,000 contribution.
Bill McCarthy is a freelance journalist who lives in Cheyenne.
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