Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

'Super Committee' Cash

Money in politics is often predictive of outcomes; let's look at who fund the Congress' new "Super Committee."

'Super Committee' Cash

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Hey, chief, ya know that congressional "super committee" charged with saving our economy?

BE: Sure, the "dozen of doom," six Dems and six Republicans from the House & Senate (including our own Pat Toomey) getting ready to show the nation D.C. gridlock in microcosm with a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

JB: That's the one.

BE: You're gonna tell something bad about them, aren't you?

JB: No worse than what you just said. And nothing that anyone remotely familiar with the ways of Washington can't already guess.

BE: End my suspense.

JB: Well, there's a national group called MapLight that uses campaign contribution data maintained by Open Secrets at the Center for Responsive Politics. MapLight just published the principle sources of campaign cash to each of the dozen committee members.

BE: Open the secrets for me.

JB: The members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction collected more than $80 million between January 2001 and December 2010. Republican members took in nearly $10 million more than Democrats.

BE: Let me guess, almost all of it from the usual suspects.

JB: You are so right! Democrats drew from lawyers, law firms and liberal groups; Republicans from securities and investment groups, banks and insurance groups. Here's a list.

BE: And the #1 giver?

JB: The conservative Club for Growth that Toomey used to head: in for a total of nearly $1 million.

BE: I'll bet I can guess who among the 12 got the bulk of Growth's goodies.

JB: Take a stab.

BE: Toomey?

JB: How do you do it? He got $837,000 of the $990,000 the club handed out.

BE: So I guess he'll be for "growth."

JB: If money is any guide (and when isn't it?), Republicans will be for whatever benefits big business and Democrats will be for whatever benefits the trial bar, and the rest of us will get hosed.

BE: You don't seem too confident in our system of government.

JB: Call it experience.

BE: But this is serious stuff. Our whole economy depends upon the actions of these 12 public servants. Surely they'll act in the larger interests of our citizens.

JB: Oh, I'm sure we're perfectly safe now.

BE: Aren't you forgetting something.

JB: Sorry. GRRRR!

 

 

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected