Of all the ways that Congress finds to make Americans cringe, the creation of leadership political action committees (PACs) -- campaign finance vehicles that provide yet another avenue for special interest influence and test the furthest limits of the English language with unwieldy acronyms -- may induce the strongest grimaces.Interesting article. It inspired me to do a little research on the FEC's website.
The House Financial Services Committee, a well-known feeding ground for money-hungry lawmakers, is the most represented committee among GOP freshmen with PACs and includes Reps. Robert Hurt (Va.), Dave Schweikert (Ariz.), Jim Renacci (Ohio), and Michael Grimm (N.Y.). The campaign committees of these four lawmakers have all received an inordinate amount of contributions from financial PACs. Now those financial PACs, some of the biggest donors to Congress, have another avenue to contribute to new committee members overseeing their industry. Republicans, as well as Democrats, place vulnerable members on the committee so they can raise funds from the industry the panel oversees.
A "leadership" PAC to benefit freshman GOPers Schweikert, Hurt, Steve Stivers and Francisco Canseco named "Freshman Majority" was formed late April/early May and hasn't filed any reports yet. However, Schweikert's latest campaign filing shows that he has been the recipient of a lot of
He reported $166K in contributions during the three month period ending March 31; more than 25% $43,000 came directly from insurance, banking, and real estate PACs (or, in a couple of cases, lawyer/lobbying firm PACs where they firm self-identifies as working primarily for interests in those areas; other lobbyist firm contributions were not added into this total).
Another 15%, or $26K, came from individual donors who self-identified as working in the same businesses.
Think it's a coincidence that Schweikert opposes regulation of financial industry activities and supports destroying Medicare and replacing it with a corporate Vouchercare program?