Despite Denouncing Business PACs, Shea-Porter Has No Qualms Accepting Money From Labor PACs
RINSE CYCLE: Carol Shea-Porter Recently Blasts PAC Money
"I don't accept any business PAC money; I don't take any corporate PAC money; I don't have any lobbyist money -- at all, at all." (Erin McPike, “GOP: Shea-Porter Misled Constituents About Lobby Dollars,” Congress Daily, 9/09/2009)
SPIN CYCLE: Shea-Porter Lined Her Campaign Coffers With $67,000 From PACs
At a town hall meeting in Manchester last month, U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter was adamant: "I do not accept any business PAC money. I don't take any corporate PAC money. I don't take any lobbyist money at all."
When the National Journal's Congress Daily pointed out that Concord lobbyist Jim Demers contributed $1,000 over the past two years, a Shea-Porter spokeswoman told the National Journal that Demers is a friend who contributed as an individual and is not a federal lobbyist.
But perhaps more noteworthy is the distinction Shea-Porter makes between interest groups. Business and corporate PACs are out; labor PACs are in.
In the first half of 2009, her campaign committee took money from more than 30 PACs, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Several of those were PACs dedicated to electing Democrats to office. But about two-thirds represented interest groups, mostly labor. According to a rough calculation, Shea-Porter accepted more than $67,000 from labor unions through the end of June.
Among those: Shea-Porter received $10,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the International Union of Operating Engineers. She received $5,000 apiece from the American Federation of Teachers, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, the Communications Workers of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the International Association of Firefighters, the Laborer's International Union of North America, and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. Numerous other contributors gave between $1,000 and $2,000 - from the Airline Pilots Association PAC to the NEA, the national public education union.
Asked about the decision to distinguish between labor and business, Shea-Porter spokeswoman Jamie Radice responded: "The congresswoman made the personal choice to restrict campaign contributions that she will accept. She does not accept money from corporate PACs or business PACs, or since she works on a federal level, from registered lobbyists who work on a federal level."
In denying herself access to corporate money, Shea-Porter actually gave herself a higher standard to live up to than some. Donations from all PACs are legal, and money from both kinds of PACs are viewed in the same way under the law.
Grant Bosse, a former Republican U.S. House candidate who now works for the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy put it this way: "She's willing to say she's taking money from unions, she's not willing to say she's taking money from employers." (Shira Schoenberg, “Good PACs, bad PACs,” Concord Monitor, 9/13/2009)
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