I do love Opensecrets.org, a good government site that makes campaign finance reports not only available but truly accessible on the web. For example, IN-1 Congressman Pete Visclosky (my congressman) raised $762,537 in this 2 year cycle (2009-2010), $290,988 from individuals according to his latest campaign contribution form. In the expenses tab, you find payments to the law firm Steptoe & Johnson. This is the firm busy keeping Congressman Pete out of jail due to that little mishap with the PMA lobbying group. Their payments totaling $353,355, added to the $22,200 of disgorgement to the Treasury (which is what you do with illegal campaign contributions) is over 40% of Pete’s total campaign expenditures. It also far exceeds the individual donations the Congressman received.
So if you’re thinking about donating to Congressman Pete Visclosky or you recently have, now you know your money’s destination, direct to the lawyers. It just gives you a nice warm feeling, doesn’t it?
originally posted NW Indiana Politics