As of Dec. 14, the Democratic Party had raised $710 million in the
2003-04 election cycle. The GOP had raised $863 million.
Source: Center for Responsive Politics, "Political Parties,"
The parties themselves must compile records of contributions and send
them to the Federal Elections Commission.
Source: FEC, "The FEC and the Federal Campaign Finance Law," Feb.
Reports must include the names and addresses of contributors. See, for
example, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's latest
filing at (http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/dcdev/forms/C00000935/155728/sa/ALL).
Contributions from corporations themselves are illegal. People can
only donate to federal candidates as individuals or through
political-action committees. Therefore, your friend cannot be exactly
Companies used to be able to contribute "soft money" to political
parties. If we look at the top soft-money contributors in the 2002
election cycle, we see that the biggest companies on the list
contributed more to Republicans than to Democrats. Freddie Mac, AT&T,
Philip Morris, Microsoft, Fannie Mae, Anheuser-Busch, Archer Daniels
Midland, Verizon, Citigroup, SBC Communications, Pfizer, Blue
Cross/Blue Shield, Bristol-Myers Squibb and AFLAC all favored the GOP.
Only Goldman Sachs and Viacom preferred the Democrats. The Democrats
did, however, get a lot of money from law firms, labor unions and
smaller media companies.
Source: CRP, "Top Soft Money Donors: 2002 Election Cycle,"
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