Why is Charlie Bass Facing a Primary?

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


"I Am Running Against What is Happening in Washington."
- Berlin Mayor Bob Danderson, who announced yesterday he would run against Congressman Charles Bass in the GOP primary


Congressman Bass's record shows repeated ties to the Republican culture of corruption in Washington, both in his financial dealings and his voting record:

(10) TAKEN $287K FROM INDUSTRIES HE REGULATES: Since Charles Bass was appointed to the Energy and Commerce committee in 2001, he has taken $287,429 from the sectors he has responsibility for regulating (specifically, Energy/Natural Resources and Communications/ Electronics). In just five years on the committee, these industries have already given Bass almost twice the amount they gave him during the previous seven years, when he did not regulate them ($173,118), and almost twice the amount they gave Jeb Bradley, who does not sit on their committee ($173,683). [www.opensecrets.org]

(9) VOTED TO ELECT DELAY AS MAJORITY LEADER EVEN AFTER THREE ETHICS CONDEMNATIONS: Despite three previous official admonishments to DeLay from the House Ethics Committee, Congressman Bass voted to re-elect him as Majority Leader as recently as November of 2004. [www.house.gov/ethics/; Houston Chronicle, 11/17/04]

(8) GAVE CONSTITUENTS FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT HIS VOTES FOR DELAY: Criticized at a town hall meeting for voting to re-elect DeLay, Bass claimed that DeLay "had no legal issues or ethical issues prior to this term," and that "it's pretty thin to say that you somehow made a mistake when you voted for somebody because at a later date they get in trouble." [Windham Town Hall Meeting, 1/19/06]

(7) REFUSES TO RETURN $14,233 FROM DELAY PAC: Bass has taken $14,233 from Tom DeLay's political action committee, and has refused to return it even after Delay's indictment - and despite the fact fellow NH Congressman Jeb Bradley has returned similar funds. [www.tray.com]

(6) ONLY NH CONGRESSMAN TO GIVE TO DELAY LEGAL FUND: Charlie Bass is the only Congressman in New Hampshire who has contributed money to Tom DeLay's legal fund. [$1,000, www.tray.com]

(5) FORCED TO APOLOGIZE FOR MISLEADING CONSTITUENTS ABOUT DELAY MONEY: In repeated attempts to distance himself from the Delay scandal, Bass gave his constituents false information about both the money he contributed to DeLay's legal defense fund and the money DeLay gave him over the years. Shown that his statements contradicted Federal Election Commission records, Bass was forced to apologize. [Arnie Arnesen Show, WTPL, 11/22/05; Keene Sentinel, 1/18/05]

(4) VOTES WITH DELAY ON 9 OF 10 VOTES: In the last session, Congressman Bass voted with Tom DeLay on 89% of all votes in the House of Representatives. [1/1/04 - 3/30/05, www.cq.com]

(3) PUSHED DELAY PLAN TO SHIFT MTBE CLEANUP COSTS FROM GAS COMPANIES TO TAXPAYERS: Last summer, Bass championed a plan to protect gas companies from being forced to clean up groundwater contaminated with the poisonous gasoline chemical MTBE. Instead of forcing the Texas petrochemical companies in DeLay's district to pay the cleanup costs, Bass's plan would have shifted the costs to taxpayers. The move was widely cited in the media as a top priority for Delay. [Water & Waste Water International, August 2005]

(2) BENEFITTED FROM $20K IN ABRAMOFF MONEY TO NHGOP: Charlie Bass's political campaigns in 2002 and 2004 benefited from the $20,000 that the New Hampshire Republican Party received from clients of criminal GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But even after Abramoff's convictions, Bass has refused to call on his Party to return the money - even though Senators Gregg and Sununu gave away the similar funds they had received. [Union Leader, 1/5/06]

(1) "REFORM" PROPOSALS WOULD BAN HIS OWN BIGGEST SOURCE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS: Congressman Bass is currently proposing to abolish political contributions from Leadership PACs (Political Action Committees), saying they allow congressional leaders to exert too much control over other congressmen. But what he isn't mentioning is that these apparently corrupt Leadership PACs are his own single biggest source of campaign funds - more than any other interest or industry. Bass has taken $287K from these PACs [www.opensecrets.org].