How special, special interest money?

Oil change international put together a great tool to visualize the flow of money from oil companies to presidential candidates and congressional representatives. The graph view of the presidential race is sort of what you expect, with republicans soaking up more oil money than democrats.

What interests me about the data though, is what makes a donation from someone who works at an oil company “oil money”? Where do we draw that line? It would seem that a matched pair of max $4600 donations from the CEO and (homemaker) spouse are on one end of the special-interested donation spectrum, but what of a $500 donation from someone who owns a gas station, or a pair of $500 donations from a research scientist?

For me, I think the inclusion of some of the donations as oil-money are disingenuous, but its hard to say which donations are or are not to be included.

Maybe one day we’ll see public campaign finance and no one will have to figure that out?

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