Bass Calls for Ban on His Own Biggest Source of $$$

CONTACT: NH Democratic Party, (603) 225-6899

"We ought to consider abolishing Leadership PACs
. . . I guess the most unpopular idea I have is
abolishing Leadership PACs. " -- Charlie Bass,
"Washington Journal," 1/17/06

According to the Center for Responsive Politics,
Congressman Bass has taken over $286,553 from
Leadership PACs - more than he has taken from
any other industry or interest.

CONCORD, NH - Congressman Bass's hypocrisy on ethics reform reached new levels yesterday, as he called for a ban on the very political contributions that make up his own largest source of campaign funds.

On C-Span's "Washington Journal" program, Bass declared that Congress "ought to consider abolishing Leadership PACs" - a proposal that he then called a potentially unpopular idea with other members of Congress. Leadership PACs (Political Action Committees) are a tool that powerful members of Congress use to raise money for rank-and-file members, who they can then exert influence over.

But Bass didn't mention that these Leadership PACs have given him almost $300,000 - more money than any other industry or interest throughout his entire career. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bass has taken $286,553 from Leadership PACs since he first ran for Congress - an amount that ranks higher than any of the other 19 industries and interests categorized.

"Sorry, Charlie - if these funds are so corrupt that they must be abolished, then why have you taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in them?" asked Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan.

"Congressman Bass likes to pretend that he is a reformer when election-year rolls around, but in reality he has taken tens of thousands of dollars from corrupt Republican leaders like Tom DeLay and hundreds of thousands from the very industries he is supposed to regulate. Maybe that's why he keeps voting for issues that his constituents strongly disagree with, like privatizing Social Security and protecting gasoline companies from MTBE cleanup costs."



C-Span Washington Journal Archive:

Center for Responsive Government, Profile of Congressman Bass:

Taken $14,233 from Tom Delay: Keene Sentinel, 1/18/06.

Taken $287K from industries he regulates:

Voted to support privatizing Social Security: HR 2590, Roll Call #273, 7/25/01.

Voted to protect MTBE makers from cleanup costs: Concord Monitor, 4/17/05.