With the election out of the way we now have time for all of the various political parlor games which pop up during the holiday doldrums. One of the perennially popular ones is counting up the donations received by each candidate from various groups. This week the Daily Caller looks at federal agencies and sees where the split came in terms of money going to Clinton and Trump. At one agency in particular there was literally no contest because every single person who made a donation gave to either Clinton or Bernie Sanders (during the primary.) Not a dollar went to any of the GOP candidates or to Trump in the general election. And the winner is… the CFPB.
And the award for most partisan federal government agency with the most donations to Democrats goes to … the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
According to campaign finance data released Thursday, employees of the bureau — created under the watchful eye of liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — gave 100 percent of its donations to Democratic candidates in 2016, with $50,000 of political aid money divided between Hillary Clinton and independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who battled it out for the Democratic presidential nomination.
More than 300 political donations came from the federal government agency, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
In a moment I’ll get to the question of how this could be so lopsided, but we can’t ignore the identity of the agencies and the question of whether or not that leads to some sort of office identity politics. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not only one of the latest to be formed but it was the subject of one of the most partisan battles on record in terms of even supporting its existence. Democrats pretty much all wanted it and Republicans saw it as the birth of some federally sanctioned partisan hackery. I suppose that could lead to a situation where managers were staffing their ranks only with loyalists.
With that in mind, while the completely lopsided disparity at the CFPB probably shouldn’t have come as much of a shock, personally I would have guessed the EPA would have been in first place. But as the Daily Caller reported back in August, they weren’t too far behind.
Data compiled by OpenSecrets.org shows that in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, contributors who listed EPA as their employer gave 90 percent, or $331,174, of their total federal campaign donations to Democrats, and just nine percent, or $32,891, to Republicans.
Those numbers may actually understate the number of EPA employees making political contributions because the analysis doesn’t include those who did not report the agency as their employer to the Federal Election Commission.
Here’s a question for you to ponder during the holiday season. How is it that the federal employees working at these agencies are so overwhelmingly Democratic when it comes to political contributions? I mean, in most workplaces where I’ve ever spent time outside of the political publishing sphere you run into folks of all stripes. Arguments about politics in the office, while unseemly, are fairly common. Why would federal employment be any different? Is it just a question of the natural bent of social justice warriors to seek work in government agencies which they perceive as being in line with their core beliefs or is there perhaps some selection bias in the hiring process?
If we were talking about only the home offices in Washington, D.C. then this would be understandable. The District runs better than 80% Democratic (if not more) and the people who choose to live there (and subsequently seek work) probably come from a fairly homogeneous pool. But these agencies have offices all over the country. You’d think that the ones in flyover states would make up the difference. But perhaps it’s a combination of both factors. Conservatives may simply be more comfortable in the free market and not be so inclined to seek out work with the government. And at the same time, the interviewing process might reveal hints about what an applicant’s leanings are and managers may be more prone to redirect applications from conservatives to the circular file.
Food for thought while you digest your leftover turkey.