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[Washington Babylon]

AIG and Congress: Washington on $53,000 a Day

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A few highlights on AIG’s Washington influence buying scheme, from Open Secrets:

In the last 20 years American International Group (AIG) has contributed more than $9 million to federal candidates and parties through PAC and individual contributions. That’s enough to rank AIG on OpenSecrets.org’s Heavy Hitters list, which profiles the top 100 contributors of all time.

Over time, AIG hasn’t shown an especially partisan streak, splitting evenly the $9.3 million it has contributed since 1989. In the last election cycle, though, 68 percent of contributions associated with the company went to Democrats. Two senators who chair committees charged with overseeing AIG and the insurance industry, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), are among the top recipients of AIG contributions…President Obama and his rival in last year’s election, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), are also high on the list of top recipients.

AIG has been a personal investment for lawmakers, too. Twenty-eight current members of Congress reported owning stock in AIG last year, worth between $2.5 million and $3.3 million. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), one of the richest members of Congress, was by far the biggest investor in AIG, with stock valued around $2 million.

Last year AIG and its subsidiaries spent about $9.7 million on federal lobbying, or about $53,000 for every day Congress was in session in 2008.

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