End of Summer Recap: The Chronicles of Money, Politics, and the Summer of Special Interest Money "Well" Spent

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It's been a whirlwind end of the summer. Here's a recap of Public Campaign and Public Campaign Action Fund's (PCAF) work from August 19-September 16, 2011.


  • Public Campaign President & CEO Nick Nyhart yesterday in The Olympian on the supercommittee: "For most Americans, it is very distressing. I worry that Americans have given up on the ability of government to make decisions in the interests of the public, and not in the interests of the big-lobby crowd and the big-money crowd."
  • When one of your "things" is receiving huge taxpayer subsidies, this makes perfect sense. Big Oil urges supercommittee to let them "do their thing."
  • Business as usual for Toomey. PCAF offers this take on Sen. Toomey's plans to continue fundraising during the supercommittee work.
  • Rick Perry probably has some more "splainin'" to do. PCAF on Perry's close ties to pharmaceutical giant unearthed.
  • Health Subcommittee GOP members receive "healthy" dose of health and insurance industry cash, and return the favor with hearing set to repeal "red tape."
  • Good call, Michele...now do something about it. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann calls out fellow candidate Rick Perry for doing favors for donors, but doesn't really have a leg to stand on.
  • So how much does it take, Gov. Perry? Rick Perry claimed in the most recent Republican presidential debate that he can't be bought for a mere $5,000, which makes you wonder: what amount would do the trick?
  • Supercommittee member, Sen. John Kerry gives up fundraising during duration of work. Well, sort of. He's attending a DSCC fundraiser on Monday, but it's not "personal" fundraising, so according to his office, that doesn't count.
  • You have to give Rep. Spencer Bachus credit. When he said last year that it was Congress' job to "serve the banks," he meant it.
  • A clear theme has emerged with presidential candidate Rick Perry. You guessed it. Favors for donors.
  • Banks or consumers? Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking committee, makes it pretty clear.
  • Thanks, Sen. Toomey! Supercommittee member provides us with the perfect example why these members should stop fundraising.
  • When even Sen. Max Baucus does it, it's time for the other supercommittee members take notice and follow suit.
  • You just can't make this stuff up. A new report from Institute for Policy Studies showed that 25 out of 100 of the top earning CEO's were actually paid more in compensation than their company's paid in federal taxes. How'd they do it? The Washington, D.C. way, of course.
  • Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), and now Senate candidate, called for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. Given his fundraising track record as a congressman, it's pretty obvious why.
  • Had to see this coming. House Republicans will push to roll back any number of government regulations in the fall. Hmmm...I wonder why?
  • Wouldn't want to step on any toes. A Wall Street lobbyist to provide "lesson" on reviewing Wall Street regulations.
  • That's a lot of lawn signs. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) released the congressional fundraising numbers for the first half of this year, and not surprisingly, they are huge.
  • Maybe the "Boy Wonder" has the "superpower" of being able to actually speak out of both sides of his mouth. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) often espouses the virtues of closing loopholes to reign in the debt. Meanwhile, Ryan has also spent his career fighting for them for his biggest campaign donors.
  • Candid Camera redux? Bank of America executive caught on tape telling presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry that "we will help you out."


  • Now, this is just blatant. Supercommittee member, Rep. Dave Camp, raised money from the very people who would have their tax loopholes discussed just hours before committee meeting.


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