Compare Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ Top Donors

(This article is published in Truthout.)

Watchdog NGO Open Secrets monitors donations to American politicians and money in US politics. Open Secrets has compiled a list of the 20 largest donors to Democratic US 2016 Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The following figures constitute not donations from the corporations or organizations themselves, but rather donations from their PACs; their individual owners, employees, or members; and/or the families of those individuals.

hillary clinton top donors

Hillary Clinton’s top donors (since 1999):

  1. Citigroup (bank)
  2. Goldman Sachs (bank)
  3. DLA Piper (corporate law firm)
  4. JPMorgan Chase (bank)
  5. EMILY’s List (Democrat political action committee (PAC))
  6. Morgan Stanley (bank)
  7. Time Warner (corporation)
  8. Skadden, Arps et al. (corporate law firm)
  9. Lehman Brothers (bank)
  10. Cablevision Systems (corporation)
  11. University of California (university)
  12. Kirkland & Ellis (corporate law firm)
  13. Squire Patton Boggs (corporate law firm)
  14. 21st Century Fox (corporation)
  15. National Amusement (corporation)
  16. Ernst & Young (corporate professional services firm)
  17. Merrill Lynch (bank)
  18. Credit Suisse Group (bank)
  19. Corning (corporation)
  20. Greenberg Traurig (corporate law firm)

18 of the top 20 (90%) contributors to Hillary Clinton are corporations or provide services to corporations. Over one-third (35%) of Clinton’s top 20 donors are banks. Five of Hillary’s top nine donors are banks.

In all, Clinton’s top 20 contributors have donated over $8.4 million in the last 16 years, an average of $525,000 per year.

bernie sanders top donors

Bernie Sanders’ top donors (since 1989):

  1. Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union (union)
  2. Teamsters Union (union)
  3. National Education Association (union)
  4. United Auto Workers (union)
  5. United Food & Commercial Workers Union (union)
  6. Communications Workers of America (union)
  7. Laborers Union (union)
  8. Carpenters & Joiners Union (union)
  9. National Association of Letter Carriers (union)
  10. American Association for Justice (non-profit advocacy organization)
  11. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) (union)
  12. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (union)
  13. United Transportation Union (union)
  14. Sheet Metal Workers Union (union)
  15. Operating Engineers Union (union)
  16. Service Employees International Union (union)
  17. UNITE HERE (union)
  18. United Steelworkers (union)
  19. American Postal Workers Union (union)
  20. Plumbers/Pipefitters Union (union)

19 of the top 20 (95%) contributors to Bernie Sanders are unions. Many of these are progressive grassroots organizations that push for improved working conditions, better compensation and benefits, and democratic control over workplaces.

In all, Sanders’ top 20 contributors have donated around $1.2 million in the last 26 years, an average of $46,000 per year.