Published on CREW's Most Corrupt Members of Congress (http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org)
14 health care groups and their lobbyists gave more than$500,000 to McConnell
By James R. Carroll, The Courier-Journal
October 7, 2009
WASHINGTON — Since 2007, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has received more thanhalf a million dollars from 14 health-care organizations and their 127 outside lobbyists — morethan any other member of Congress except former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.That kind of concentrated bundling of donations is part of an unseen web of campaign giving,according to a new study by the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation and the Center for ResponsivePolitics.The two organizations said the grouping of contributions suggests that the impact of specialinterests’ donations to lawmakers is amplified by the Washington lobbyists those interests employ.“The bundles point to the people with the most juice,” said Larry Makinson, senior fellow atSunlight and a veteran analyst of campaign finance. McConnell is “a good example of one of theoldest precepts in politics, which is: money follows power.”McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who won his fifth term in the Senate last year, received$276,050 in campaign contributions from 14 health care companies and organizations, either fromtheir political action committees or employees, according to the study. Their 127 outside lobbyistsdonated an additional $237,722, it found.McCain, R-Ariz., was his party’s nominee for president last year, losing to Democrat Barack Obama. He ranked first among recipients with $427,530 in contributions from 22 health-careorganizations and an additional $473,400 from their 184 outside lobbyists.Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and one of the authors of aDemocratic health care proposal, ranked third in donations both from health-care interests and their lobbyists, with $252,750 from 11 organizations and $200,899 from their 109 outside lobbyists.The study examined contributions to senators and House members involving companies andorganizations that had at least 10 outside lobbyists representing them in Washington who gave tothe same lawmakers as their clients did. Not included in the study were the many companies andorganizations with fewer than 10 outside lobbyists or firms with only in-house lobbyists.The analysis covered the period starting Jan. 1, 2007 — the start of the 2008 election cycle — through June 30, 2009.
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