Ellen S. Miller and Donald L. Goff
After the dramatic changes in Congress that resulted from the 1994 elections, it is appropriate to explore an old adage about the role of money in American politics: "where flows the power, there flows the money." The primary mission of the Center for Responsive Politics is to analyze the relationship of money to politics. We look at two sides of this issue: the impact of money on elections and the effect of money on the making of public policy. Our analytic starting point is the creation of databases of campaign contribution information. These databases show us in great detail where the money comes from for federal campaigns. We use these databases for our own analyses, and we make them available to others; journalists, activists, and educators are the most frequent users. We have developed a system of more than 400 interest group codes through which we filter all PAC and large individual contributions (over $200). What we find tells us the money and politics story of who gets elected and how policy gets made on Capitol Hill. The Center regularly publishes reports that explore the highways and byways of campaign cash. The Center's books and newsletter, Capital Eye, illuminate various aspects of the campaign finance issue.
In an article for the November 1995 issue of Capital Eye Larry Makinson, the Center's deputy director, pointed out that two-thirds of the PAC money in the first six months of the 1995 election cycle went to Republicans -- a flip-flop from the prior election cycle. And most surprisingly, he____________________