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Some will call it corruption, but it seems more like a systemic problem, and it's not clear which came first -- support for certain types of bills... or donations. But once the process starts, it's hard to get out of that cycle. Those who have received big donations from certain industries want that to continue. And, of course, as Lessig is fond of pointing out these days, part of the game is to be a politician "on the fence" so you can raise money from both sides on a controversial issue.
Among the 25 SOPA cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, here's a breakdown of which legislators have brought in donations from big media in TV, music and movies during their careers in Congress. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., $1,727,156. His southern district border is Hollywood Blvd. and he was the beneficiary at a fundraiser earlier this month hosted by two lobbyists at a firm that represents the National Broadcasting Association. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., $516,400 Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., $488,731 Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., $488,636 Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., $392,995 (sponsor) Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-VA, $316,686 Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., $261,700 Rep. Lee Terry, R-Nev., $248,168 Rep. John Barrow, D-GA, $210,900 Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., $204,199 Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., $133,023 Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., $130,100 Rep. John Carter, R-Tex., $75,850 Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., $64,648 Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA, $54,000 Rep. William Owens, D-N.Y., $42,850 Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., $30,000 Rep. Thomas Marino, R-Penn., $21,300 The nearly 40 cosponsors of the Protect IP Act, SOPA's partner legislation in the Senate, have received more than $13.5 million from the TV, music and movies industry since entering Congress. Here's a rundown:Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., $1,996,470 Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., $1,465,160 Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., $1,295,718 Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., $899,366 (sponsor) Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., $890,668 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., $747,491 Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mont., $503,291 Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., $493,069 Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, $492,407 Sen. Robert Menéndez, D-N.J., $445,575 Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., $430,500 Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., $368,733 Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., $365,589 Sen. Robert Casey, D-Penn., $343,225 Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., $312,320 Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., $297,771 Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, $291,621 Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, $284,225 Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., $254,162 Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., $237,084 Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., $230,569 Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., $218,539 Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., - $217,847 Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., - $171,790 Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., $158,066 Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., $94,450