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How 17 people funded the Republican super PAC world — in one chart

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That the rise of super PACs has given a small number of wealthy donors an outsized level of influence in our political discourse isn’t a secret.

After all, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wouldn’t have even been in the Republican primary game if it wasn’t for a supportive super PAC funded by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. And super PACs supportive of Mitt Romney have kept him within financial shouting distance of President Obama in critical swing states like Florida and Virginia.

But, wrapping your arms around just how few people are behind these hyper-influential groups is always tough. Until now.

Check out this awesome infographic that spells it all out. The most important point? In 2011, 17 people made contributions of $1 million or more to the nine biggest conservative super PACs. That $28 million in donations accounted for half, yes HALF, of all the money these groups collected.

<div class=’visually_embed’ data-category=’Politics’ rel=’infographic’ ><img class=’visually_embed_infographic’ src=’’ rel=’’ /><div class=’visually_embed_bar’ ><span>by </span><a target=’_blank’ href=’http://’>JLMC</a>. <span class=’visually_embed_cycle’>Browse more <a href=’’>data visualizations</a>.</span></div><a id=’visually_embed_view_more’ target=’_blank’ href=’’-money-2011’></a><link rel=’stylesheet’ type=’text/css’ href=’’ /><script type=’text/javascript’ src=’’ > </script></div>

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