Ever since the Watergate scandal broke in the 1970s, political reporters have taken the adage "follow the money" quite seriously. It's even more important since NPR reported that current campaign finance laws are not being enforced in an age of record political spending.
Now the guys behind Political Moneyline — a must-read new blog — are helping out by digging through campaign finance reports and coming up with dozens of interesting items.
There's nothing scandalous, but here are five nuggets that caught my attention:
1. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) reported his campaign fund earned $75,637 from investments during the first quarter of 2013. In fact, his investment income almost equaled the $80,227 he received from individuals and PACs.
2. Rep. Joe P. Kennedy III (D-Mass.), just elected last November, has jumped into the national fundraising arena with a new leadership PAC, which can take up to $5,000 per year from individuals as compared to the $2,600 limit for campaigns.
3. Major League Baseball gave over $100,000 to members of Congress in March, the biggest monthly amount the sport has ever given.
4. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) received over $1.3 million in leftover campaign funds from his failed presidential bid in 2008. Running mate Sarah Palin received nothing.
5. Political contributions from the 2012 election cycle are still being disclosed six months after the election is over.