Newsletter December 2011

The Monthly Newsletter of CREW  //  December 2011  //  Issue No. 55

spacerSPOTLIGHT: House Committee Leaders Getting Funds for Favors from the Industries They Regulate

Our latest research shows (yet again) that it’s still a pay-to-play world in Washington. Our Funds for Favors report revealed that chairs and ranking members on many House committees are taking in contributions from the very industries they regulate.

Two examples: Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), chairman of the Financial Services Committee has seen an increase in donations from the financial services industry to the tune of 620% since 1998. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), ranking member of the Agriculture Committee, has seen a 711% increase from that industry in the same timeframe.

Congress would be a lot more transparent if it just put a “for sale” sign on the front lawn of the Capitol.

CREW to Supreme Court: Televise Health Care Oral Arguments

Supreme Courtspacer The Supreme Court recently agreed to hear arguments challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which overhauled our country’s healthcare. We immediately called on the Supreme Court to allow a live telecast of the almost unprecedented 5 1/2 hours of oral arguments that are scheduled.

Given the significance of this case to the entire nation, the Court should give all Americans a front row seat to hear this argument.

Herman Cain’s Campaign Accepting Illegal Donations

Herman Cainspacer Mr. Cain has been presenting himself as a different kind of candidate, but he still has to play by the same rules all presidential hopefuls must follow. Recently, his presidential campaign received $40,000 in illegal corporate contributions from the Wisconsin-based Prosperity USA, Inc.

While the campaign has said it will review the matter internally, we think the Federal Election Commission (FEC) needs to take a look, so we filed a complaint.

CREW Reveals Republican FEC Commissioners Working in Concert with Outside Allies

FECspacer The agency tasked with enforcing our election laws has a well-earned reputation for falling asleep at the wheel. Our research found the situation is even bleaker than imagined; three of the Republican commissioners (remaining despite expired terms, no less) have been collaborating with right-wing activists and lawyers to further their own agenda.

Things are bad enough post-Citizens United, but there is no excuse for these commissioners to continue undermining our fragile election laws.

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