Larry Bucshon: Lobbyists don't give money

Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) held a townhall meeting in his district on Monday and had some heated discussions with his constituents. When asked if Washington would ever get rid of lobbyists: “’No,’ Bucshon answered, saying that lobbyists represented regular people and were not giving money to congressional members.”

Really?

  • On June 2nd, according to FEC filings, Bucshon received a $500 campaign donation from Jeff Kimbell, the owner of Jeff Kimbell and Associates, a lobby shop that almost entirely represents pharmaceutical companies.
  • In the second quarter of the year, Bucshon got donations from the political action committees of the American Bankers Association ($1,000), Merck ($1,000), Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ($1,000), Verizon Communications ($1,000), and others—all with lobbyists hoping to turn those donations into Congressional actions.
  • In the 2010 election cycle, Bucshon received $266,046 in outside support from the National Republican Congressional Committee, a party committee that received $866,615 from lobbyists that cycle.  

Lobbyists gave $40 million to candidates for Congress in 2010. So far in 2012, they’ve given $5 million. He’s right that we won’t get rid of lobbyists, but to say they “were not giving money” is just plain wrong.

And, one more thing: Rep. Bucshon’s chief of staff, Jonathan Causey, is a former lobbyist.