Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jobs are not at the top of the Republican agenda;campaign contributions flow from health insurers and banks

Industry giving to GOP House leadership
Washington Post
Jan. 21, 2011
The new House committee chairmen have in many cases received campaign donations from the industries their panels oversee.

72 super PACs spent $83.7 million on election, financial disclosure reports show
By T.W. Farnam
Washington Post
December 3, 2010

The newly created independent political groups known as super PACs, which raised and spent millions of dollars on last month's elections, drew much of their funding from private-equity partners and others in the financial industry, according to new financial disclosure reports.

The 72 super PACs, all formed this year, together spent $83.7 million on the election. The figures provide the best indication yet of the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions that opened the door for wealthy individuals and corporations to give unlimited contributions.

The financial disclosure reports also underscore the extent to which the flow of corporate money will be tied to political goals. Private-equity partners and hedge fund managers, for example, have a substantial stake in several issues before Congress, primarily the taxes they pay on their earnings.

"Super PACs provide a means for the super wealthy to have even more influence and an even greater voice in the political process," said Meredith McGehee, a lobbyist for the Campaign Legal Center, which advocates for tighter regulation of money in politics.

American Crossroads, a conservative super PAC that outspent its peers, pulled in six- and seven-figure donations from the financial industry. That included $500,000 from Anne Dias-Griffin, founder of the Aragon Global Management hedge fund, and her husband, Kenneth Griffin, founder of the Citadel Investment Group hedge fund.

Crossroads, which was founded with the support of Bush administration adviser Karl Rove, raised $70 million, much of it used to support 10 Republican Senate candidates and 30 Republican House candidates...

Corporate contributions have surged for new Republican leaders in House
By Dan Eggen and T.W. Farnam
Washington Post
January 22, 2011

The new Republican leaders in the House have received millions of dollars in contributions from banks, health insurers and other major business interests, which are pressing for broad reversals of Democratic policies that affect corporations, according to disclosure records and interviews.

72 super PACs spent $83.7 million on election, financial disclosure reports show
New Republican lawmakers are hiring lobbyists, despite campaign rhetoric
Incoming GOP freshmen rapidly embracing big-money fundraisers
Campaign cash: Who's spending where in 2010

Much of that money flowed to the GOP chairmen overseeing banking, energy and other key committees - leaders who will play a central role in setting the House agenda over the next two years.

The impetus behind such largess is simple: Many companies and industry groups hope House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other Republicans will succeed in rolling back Democratic policies they find objectionable, including environmental and Wall Street regulations.

GOP lawmakers took their first step in that direction Wednesday by voting to repeal President Obama's health-care overhaul law. Major health-care firms and their employees gave Republican leaders at least $5 million over the past two years, including well over $2 million to Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data...

Petty Bickering Trumps Jobs Need as Republicans Vote to Repeal Health Care Reform

by Mike Hall
Jan 19, 2011

What do Republicans do with their first big chance as the U.S. House majority? Address the economy, create jobs? Nope. They vote to repeal health care reform. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the action “signals that they won’t let go of old grudges to do the work of the people.”

The nation is in its 20th straight month with unemployment above 9 percent. The electorate in November told lawmakers to “focus less on petty partisan bickering and more on jobs, jobs, jobs,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

But in their first significant action since taking majority control of the U.S. House, Republicans chose bickering instead of jobs and threw a huge hunk of red meat to their right-wing backers today by voting (245-189) to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The action came, although repeal has no chance of succeeding—the Senate will not take the measure up and President Obama has said he would not sign it...

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