(Bloomberg Politics) — If you’re a company with business before Congress, it’s never too soon to get into the good graces of the newly elected lawmakers.
No sooner had the 2014 election ended than some of the nation’s biggest trade organizations and businesses moved to give campaign contributions to incoming members of Congress through their political action committees (PACs).
These fast-acting groups include the National Association of Realtors, which sent more money ($3.6 million) to candidates in the 2014 election than any other PAC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The realtors’ group has substantial policy interests, lobbying Congress and federal agencies on issues including disaster relief, housing finance, immigration and tax policy.
The realtors’ PAC sent $5,000 on Nov. 17 to Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton, who defeated Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, according to Federal Election Commission reports. The realtors’ PAC sent $9,000 to Pryor in four increments during the 2014 campaign, including $5,000 on August 25.
The same day as the Cotton donation, the realtors’ PAC sent $5,000 to the leadership PAC of Colorado Republican Cory Gardner, who beat Democratic incumbent Mark Udall. A leadership PAC is a political fund that a member of Congress uses to make political donations to other candidates. The realtors’ PAC sent $6,000 to Udall’s campaign before the election.