My buddy Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post is up today with a comparison of big business campaign contributions in 2010 and 2012 against the Republican members of Congress who voted for and against the bill that ended the shutdown/debt limit mess of last week.
A key finding:
“The American Bankers Association, in fact, gave more money over the past two election cycles to GOP lawmakers who in effect voted to allow the United States to default on its debt than those who voted against that scenario.”
Mainstream business groups, like the ABA strongly supported an “aye” vote on the deal that — only temporarily, of course — ended the government shutdown and raised the debt ceiling. The Chamber, in fact, announced in advance of the vote that it would “score” the vote, meaning those who voted against the deal would lose points in the rating of voting records that the Chamber maintains.
In theory, that should reduce the chance that the mainstream business groups will continue their usual contributions to the members who voted “no.” But, according to the quotes in Hamburger’s story, the donors were not of a mind to issue any guarantees that anyone who voted that way would be off the list of future recipients.
As the business community’s blood pressure settles back down, and political analysts try to learn the lessons of the incident, there’s a simple-minded version in which mainstream business type and the more moderate Republicans will form one clique and the Tea Party Republicans will continue to receive support from other elements like the Koch brothers and Heritage Action.
It’s complicated because it’s unlikely that the ABA and the Chamber and other big cigars would really want to see the Democrats take over the House.
Something I didn’t mention from the Minneapolis talk last week by political scientist Norm Ornstein: Ornstein said the key would who financed whom in some of the Republican primaries that will put Tea Party challengers against more mainstream conservatives and even the few remaining Republican moderates.