Following the Chamber money trail, part 2

Now for some eye candy:  visualizations of the tabular data I shared in my last post on the US Chamber of Commerce board’s political networks and giving patterns.

I’m going to start with the strongest ties — the edges on the below graph mean that the donors they link have 14 or more recipients in common.*  The shorter the edge, the more ties in common.  The nodes are colored red for donors who give more than 80% of their contributions to Republicans, and pink for donors who give 60-80% of their contributions to Republicans.

Click through to see the full-size graphs for each of the following:


George Argyros, Red Cavaney, and Fredrick Palmer form a tight donor triumvirate at the center of the graph.  Cavaney and Palmer are oil and coal lobbyists, respectively.

Next I expand the graph by allowing in edges that represent ten or more recipients in common between nodes.  Red and pink still means the same, but a white node has appeared — a neutral donor, giving 40-60% to Republicans.  This one is James Rogers, chairman of Duke Energy.


Next I expand the graph so that edges represent more than five common recipients, and blue nodes appear.  Light blue represents donors that lean Democratic, donating only 20-40% of their funds to Republicans, and dark blue represents consistently Democratic donors (0-20% to Republicans).


The light blue node is Christopher Womack, the dark blue one Thomas Gottschalk, and the new white node is Rajendra Singh.  Note that both Gottschalk and Singh are linked through Chamber CEO Donohue on this graph.  James Rogers remains in the center, close to more consistently Republican donors.

And finally, the graph expanded to show edges that represent three shared recipients or more.  Again, click through to see the full-size image.


Many of the blue outliers are not major Democratic donors, but when they have made contributions, have chosen to give to Democrats.

My hunch is that future research will complicate this image of a solid red core, and reveal other divisions and clusters.

Anything look askew?  Drop a line or join up to help improve the data.  Or, use our API to visualize whatever you please.  I used NodeBox to make these visualizations.  Thanks to Kerry Mitchell of Sunlight Foundation for pointing me in the direction of NodeBox, which was used to create some of these graphics.

* So: an edge (line) connects two donors if they’ve given to fourteen or more of the same politicians/PACs.