Many believe politics touches the lives of everyone in Alabama. So it come as little surprise that some big money is being spent in the state to put and keep political candidates in office.
During this federal election year, plenty of eyes are watching the political fund raising efforts and spending behaviors of candidates for President, Congress and the Senate. The Center for Responsive Politics is among those tracking the numbers and reports as of Tuesday, $1,384,674,088 has been raised nationwide for political candidates running for federal office.
Alabama ranks 29th in the total contributions raised for candidates, with a total just short of $8.6-million. Democrats have raised more than $1.8-million, while Republicans raised almost $5.8-million. That means more than 67% of the Alabama political contributions have been given to Republicans, 21% to Democrats and almost 12% went to other candidates.
According to the non-partisan agency, Republican Mitt Romney has raised $488,614 in Alabama, while President Barack Obama has raised $372,861. Those numbers come from the Federal Election Commission reports released on May 21, 2012.
Alabama’s congressional candidates have been raising lots of money too. The seven current congressmen are credited with raising more than $6.6-million for the 2012 election cycle.
The big money candidate in the state appears to be District 6 Congressman Spencer Bachus from Vestavia. His fact sheet says he has raised more than $2.3-million.
His top three contributors include Credit Suisse Group, an international investment firm, giving him more than $22,700. ACA International is second on his list with $20,000 in contributions, while Vulcan Materials is third contributing $15,200.
One company that appears as a large contributor to most Alabama congressmen from both parties is Southern Company. The parent company of Alabama Power is Bachus’ 15th largest contributor giving him $10,000.
In District 1, five term Republican Congressman Jo Bonner of Mobile has raised $873,097. His three largest contributors are Northrop Grumman at $15,000, University of South Alabama at $12,300, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield with $10,750 in contributions.
Southern Company was his 4th largest contributor giving Brooks $10,000.
In District 2, freshman Republican Martha Roby from Montgomery raised $763,914. The number crunchers say Roby’s biggest supporters are Aronov Realty Management at $11,000, and the Alabama Peanut Producers Association and Blue Cross/Blue Shield providing $10,000 each.
Southern Company ranked 18th on Roby’s list giving her $6,250.
Republican Mike Rogers, representing District 3 from Calhoun County has collected $604,106 for his 2012 totals.
Southern Company was his largest contributor, giving him $19,000. NorPAC and the agricultural cooperative American Crystal Sugar tied for second place providing him contributions of $10,000 each.
In District 4, eight term Republican Congressman Bob Aderholt of Haleyville raised $742,201 for the 2012 election cycle. His largest contributor is Parker Towing giving him $24,000. Second on the list is Bollinger Shipyards giving him $22,500 and third is Southern Company providing $13,696.
Congressman Mo Brooks in District 5 has collected $593,298 for the 2012 effort. The freshman Republican from Huntsville collected $11,750 from Dynetics Inc., making them his top contributor. Lockheed Martin was number two providing $11,250. Meantime, the next five contributors on his list gave Brooks $10,000 each, including the Defend America PAC, the Every Republican is Crucial PAC, Honeywell International, Leo & Brooks, and Southern Company.
The lone Democrat in the Alabama Congressional delegation, Terri Sewell has raised $791,292 according to the report. The largest supporters of the freshman Congresswoman from Birmingham are Davis, Polk & Wardwell providing $25,900, Maynard, Cooper & Gale giving $21,500, and Southern Company $14,250.
Looking collectively at the congressional races, Southern Company provided more than $83,000 to the congressional races in Alabama.
Neither of Alabama’s senators face re-election this year, but Senator Jeff Sessions, faces re-election in 2014and has already collected more than $80,000 from the utility, making Southern Company number one on the Mobile Republican’s contributor list.
The company does not even show up on the list for Tuscaloosa Republican Senator Richard Shelby. However, he has four years to collect any money from the company. His top 20 contribution list ranges from the Travelers Companies giving $108,250 to Future Research Corp donating $28,500.