Who Bought Your Politician? Essay

Submitted By awillard12
Words: 2102
Pages: 9

Who Bought Your Politician?

Middle Tennessee State University

At first thought, the words “Campaign Finance” seemed pretty straightforward simply illuminating the focus on money. However, I was only partially correct. Money is the central focus of campaign finance but it is in no way straightforward or simple. Money, in regards to campaign finance, is extremely complex and ambiguous in terms of where and from whom it came from. The objective of this essay is to address the role that money plays in a campaign and how it can affect the actions and decisions of the candidate. To do so, I chose to research U.S. Senator Robert (Bob) Corker.

Bob Corker graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1974 with a BS in Industrial Management. From 1994 to 1996, he served as the Tennessee State Commissioner of Finance and Administration. He was the mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee from 2001-2005. Bob Corker is a member of the Republican Party. In 2004, he was a candidate for the United States Senate. In 2006, he was first elected junior United States Senator from Tennessee and again in November of 2012 (votesmart.org). According to the website On the Issues, he votes with his party 89.2% of the time out of 324 votes.

The Federal Election Commission is like the American Government of campaign finance. Just as the American government administers and imposes the laws of the land, the FEC governs and enforces the laws of campaign finance. Their website is a good starting point and helped me better understand what I was looking for as I began to delve into the world of Corker’s finances.

According to Open Secrets.org, Corkers campaign committee raised a total of $14,412,168.00 during the 2012 cycle. The top contributing sectors/interest groups to his campaign were Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate. In fact, out of the nine industries that make up this interest group, eight of them made some sort of contribution. Furthermore, securities and investments, real estate, insurance, miscellaneous finance, and commercial banks represent five of these industries which also ranked among the top ten overall industries contributing to his campaign. The table below lists the top ten contributing industries in order by the amount contributed.
Securities & Investments
Real Estate
Misc. Finance
Health Professionals
Commercial Banks
General Contractors

Senator Corker’s campaign greatly benefits from the commercial banking industry. In fact, he was the top recipient from this industry accumulating more than any other senator. As displayed by the table below, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Regions Financial were two of his biggest contributors. To add, some of his other major contributors also come from this industry such as First Horizon National, US Bancorp, and Citigroup Inc. The general contractors industry is another area where Corker’s campaign benefits. He was also the top senator recipient from this industry. Powell Construction, representing this industry, was the overall number one contributor to his campaign.
Powell Construction
Welsh, Carson et al
FedEx Corp
JPMorgan Chase & Co
Hercules Holding
Pilot Corp
Eastman Chemical
Miller & Martin
Regions Financial
Goldman Sachs

According to The Wall Street Journal, Corker has experience in both the construction and real estate industries prior to him being elected U.S Senator. He is a former construction superintendent and at one time he owned his own construction company. In 1999 he was the largest private landowner in Hamilton County. In addition, Corker is the founder of Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (Vote Smart). Considering that he has directly worked in both of those industries