The 1978 Ethics in Government Act requires the disclosure of certain financial information by some members of all three branches of the federal government, including a listing of investment holdings and their approximate value. This graphic shows the total amount owned (in millions of U.S. dollars) by U.S. senators and representatives in the top 50 most widely held companies as of 2007. The proportion of holdings in each company by party is shown with color (blue for Democrat and red for Republican, with brightness varying by degree of party ownership) and through offsets from a vertical center line. Very few companies evince an even partisan divide, and there appears to be a trend: Overall volume of investment in any given firm relates positively to the magnitude of Republican holdings in that company. The nature of companies with a strong partisan lean is also noteworthy (viz the tech firms Apple and Cisco for Democrats and energy behemoth Exxon Mobil for Republicans), as is the presence of organizations involved in recent federal bailouts, including major banks and the insurance giant American International Group.
What Political Parties Talk About When They Talk About Groups
Republicans talk about ideology and Democrats talk about groups—but they may be talking about the same thing.