House committee chairs: You get what you pay for

Posted: January 6th, 2011 by Militant Libertarian

via Shelly Roche,

I find this outrageous. But again, hardly shocking:

(Via From energy to farming, the source of campaign cash matches perfectly the responsibilities of the new chairs of the US Congress’s powerful committees

Thanks to, we can today see who made the biggest campaign contributions over the last two years to the chairs of the powerful committees in the new US Congress.

What is really striking to me is how perfectly the area of responsibility of each committee matches the area of interest of the chair’s biggest donors. You get what you pay for, it seems.

I’ll start with the committees related to environment:

Committee: Energy and Commerce
Chair: Fred Upton, Michigan
Top donor, by interest group: Electric utilities ($177,100)

Committee: Natural Resources
Chair: Doc Hastings, Washington
Top donor: Oil & Gas ($75,921)

Committee: Agriculture
Chair: Frank Lucas, Oklahoma
Top donor: Crop Production & Basic Processing ($141,800)

Committee: Transportation Infrastructure
Chair: John L Mica, Florida
Top donor: Air Transport ($133,666)

See the pattern? It continues in other areas too:

Committee: Science and Technology
Chair: Ralph Hall, Texas
Top donor: Health Professionals ($56,800)

Committee: Financial Services
Chair: Spencer Bachus, Alabama
Top donor: Insurance ($182,000)

Committee: Armed Services
Chair: Howard “Buck” McKeon, California
Top donor: Defense Aerospace ($152,400)

Committee: Foreign Affairs
Chair: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida
Top donor: Pro-Israel ($148,607)

You can read all the details at From here in London, UK, such brazen links are extraordinary. I had the same feeling reading Ryan Lizza’s New Yorker piece on “how the Senate and the White House missed their best chance to deal with climate change”.

But perhaps my surprise at this intimate connection between campaign cash and events just shows me up as a naive limey, and is not surprising at all to those of you in the US.


* * * * * *

One anomaly? You guessed it, Ron Paul, new chair of the Monetary Policy committee:

The following are the top ten contributors to Paul’s campaign by interest group:

Interest Contributions
Real Estate $12,450
Health Professionals $9,700
Misc Business $9,010
Banks and Credit $7,300
Securities & Investment $7,300
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $6,680
Waste Management $4,000
Home Builders $3,800
Livestock $3,460
Construction Services $3,400

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) will replace Melvin L. Watt (D-N.C.) as chairman of the House Financial Services Domestic Monetary Policy & Technology Subcommittee. The following are the top ten contributors to Watt’s campaign by interest group:

Interest Contributions
Banks and Credit $41,750
Lawyers/Law Firms $40,700
Securities & Investment $34,000
Insurance $33,000
Industrial Unions $28,500
Misc Finance $27,100
TV/Movies/Music $26,500
General Labor Unions $21,000
Railroads $21,000
Public Sector Unions $18,000



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