Author Topic: Who benefits from the Bankrupcy Bill?  (Read 707 times)

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Offline Jan Robertson

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Who benefits from the Bankrupcy Bill?
« on: March 11, 2005, 07:40:29 AM »


Among the interests lobbying in support of the bankruptcy bill currently before the Senate is the credit industry, which has contributed more than $40 million to federal candidates and political parties since 1989. But the senators who have raised the most campaign money from credit card companies during that time do not include Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), the majority leader, or Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the bill's sponsor.

That distinction belongs to Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who has raised $316,700 from the credit industry over the past 16 years, tops among current senators. Virtually all of that -- $300,700 -- has come from the employees and political action committee of MBNA, the nation's top credit card issuer. Snowe is fourth on the list when all current and past members of Congress are ranked.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) ranks second among current senators -- fifth overall -- in receipts from credit card companies since 1989, with $302,800. Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) is third among current senators with $255,900, Sen. Charles Schumer is fourth with $253,700, and Sen. Arlen Specter is fifth with $231,800.

These figures and many more can now be found on the Center for Responsive Politics' award-winning Web site, In addition to its two-year fundraising profiles of House members and six-year campaign contribution portraits of senators, the Center for the first time has created unique "career profiles" of members of Congress going back 16 years.

Career profiles display each lawmaker's top campaign donors by organization, industry and sector since 1989, when the Center first started comprehensively tracking federal campaign contributions. The profiles also include totals raised and spent by each member of Congress over the same period, as well as top ZIP codes.

For example, House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-Ill.) top industry during the past 16 years is the securities and investment industry, which has contributed $684,300 to him in individual and PAC contributions. Hastert's top organization since 1989 is the American Medical Association, with $80,000 in contributions.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) has raised $557,900 since 1989 from oil and gas interests, more than he has from any other industry. His top donor during that time is the National Auto Dealers Association, with $66,600 in contributions.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has collected more from lawyers and law firms ($357,300) than from any other industry since 1989. The labor union AFSCME tops her list of organizations with $61,000 in contributions over the same period.

In the Senate, Frist's career contributor list is topped by HCA Healthcare, a hospital company founded by his father and brother. HCA's employees and PAC have sent Frist more than $83,500 since he entered the Senate in 1994. Frist has raised $1.3 million from doctors and other health professionals, his top industry, during that time.

Democratic leader and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid has raised more than $158,500 from the PAC and employees of MGM Mirage, his top contributor over the past 16 years. Casinos and gambling interests are second on his list of top industries with $1.1 million. Lawyers and law firms are No. 1 with $1.9 million.

The securities and investment industry, which has a major stake in the outcome of the Social Security debate, has topped the $1 million mark to nine current members of Congress and 10 former members. With $5.9 million in receipts, Schumer is the top recipient from the industry among current and former lawmakers.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is second on the all-time list of securities and investment industry receipts. His total, which includes money raised during his 2004 presidential campaign, is $5.5 million since 1989.

The figures are based on the Center's processing of all individual and PAC contributions reported to the Federal Election Commission. The Center has grouped more than 6 million such donations to members of Congress since 1989 by employer or affiliated organization and coded those organizations by industry. Combined with contributions to challengers, presidential candidates, the national political parties and 527 groups, the Center's data is the most comprehensive available outside the FEC.

To access the career profiles, visit the the Center's politician lookup and type in the name of a member of Congress. Then look for the career profile link on the left side of the page. Career profiles exist for members of the 108th Congress and will soon be created for the 109th Congress.

The Center's career profiles were made possible by support from the Ford Foundation.

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