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Contributions a factor in Monday vote? Don't bank on it in Minnesota's case

Minnesota's congressional delegation bucked a national pattern Monday when its eight House members voted on the bailout bill. It appears they were not influenced by contributions from banks and securities firms.

MAPlight.org, a nonpartisan group based in Berkeley, Calif., has found that, on average, U.S. representatives who voted for the bailout bill received more donations from banks, securities and other financial firms in the past five years than those who voted against it.

According to databases searched by MAPlight.org, in the past five years, banks and financial companies gave an average of $231,877 in campaign contributions to each representative voting in favor of the bailout, compared with an average of $150,982 to each representative voting against the bailout. That's 54 percent more money given to those who voted yes.

The bailout plan failed on a 228-to-205 vote.

In Minnesota's delegation, however, the four who voted against the bill received, on average, $60,245 from banks and securities firms, while those who voted in favor of the bill accepted an average of $47,547. Two who voted in favor — 5th District Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison and 8th District Democratic Rep. James Oberstar — did not count banks or securities firms among their top 10 contributors. Nor did 1st District Democratic Rep. Tim Walz, who voted against the bailout.

To see each representative's top 10 contributions averaged over the past five years, go here.

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