Election Connections: corporate elite political donations and the invisible primary of political appointees

Joshua Murray

Contact: josh.murray@vanderbilt.edu

Despite the popular conception that corporate donations swing elections and buy congressional votes, evidence of any effect of corporate money is mixed. What is the effect of campaign donations by corporate elites?  In this paper, we examine the network created by donations to candidates for Congress between 1980-2008. We find that the candidates who are disproportionately targeted for donations by the corporate inner circle are the most likely to be appointed to important cabinet positions in a future presidential administration. 

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