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14 health care groups and their lobbyists gave more than $500,000 to McConnell

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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 than half a million dollars from 14 health-care organizations and their 127 outside lobbyists — more
14 health care groups and their lobbyists gave more than $500,000 to McConnell

Page 1 of 3

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 than half a million dollars from 14 health-care organizations and their 127 outside lobbyists — more

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Published by: T on Mar 23, 2010
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03/22/2010

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 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.
 
Page 1 of 314 health care groups and their lobbyists gave more than $500,000 to McConnell3/22/2010http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/node/2347/print
 
 No other Kentucky or Indiana lawmakers were among the 61 lawmakers in the month-longanalysis, which Makinson said is the first to examine the contribution links among health careinterests and their lobbyists.“It’s a one-two punch — that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing,” Makinson said. “You might saythis was a coincidence that all these lobbyists gave to these people. But the best definition of acoincidence I have heard is, you weren’t watching the other half of what was going on.”Makinson said Sunlight and the Center for Responsive Politics are assembling a larger databasethat will show contribution links between all companies and lobbyists, regardless of the number of outside lobbyists, and the amounts given to all lawmakers.A study last month by the center found that McConnell received nearly $3.2 million from healthcare interests between 1989 and 2008 — the largest amount for any area congressman or senator.Responding to the latest study, McConnell spokesman Robert Steurer said in a statement that while people may back the senator’s candidacy “it does not necessarily mean that he adopts their  positions.”“Most organizations listed not only disapprove of Senator McConnell’s stance on the issue, butthey’re also running ads against his position,” Steurer said.The Senate GOP leader has been a leading critic of the Obama administration and congressionalDemocratic proposals for health care reform.The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Federation of American Hospitals are two of the 14 organizations and companies and their lobbyists that gave toMcConnell. But those groups also are part of a coalition that is sponsoring a television ad in favor of Obama’s health care plan.PhRMA, the umbrella group for the pharmaceutical industry, contributed $19,200 to McConnell,while the group’s 39 outside lobbyists gave $71,350, according to the Sunlight-CRP study.“There’s no organized giving” involving lobbyists and the pharmaceutical group, President andCEO Billy Tauzin, a former Republican House member from Louisiana, said in an interview.“That’s not permitted, and we certainly don’t do that. We make our own private decisions.”PhRMA has been supporting McConnell for a long time, Tauzin said of his former GOP colleague,“because Mitch shares many of the principles that guide our work.”“Our work is about maintaining a place in this world where we can continue to do our greatresearch and create some medicines that are great for patients in this country and around theworld,” Tauzin said.The Federation of American Hospitals gave McConnell $11,500 and its 13 outside lobbyists gave$22,850.“It’s not about supporting a particular issue,” said Jeff Cohen, executive vice president of thehospital group.The federation has 23 hospitals in Kentucky, and that is a factor in donations to McConnell, hesaid.Page 2 of 314 health care groups and their lobbyists gave more than $500,000 to McConnell3/22/2010http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/node/2347/print

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