Holding Politicians Accountable

Posts tagged Congress

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Mitch McConnell’s “Sandbag Dinners”

Want to know how Washington works? Here’s an example from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (via CNN):

His team built a fundraising strategy around that strength in the run-up to the last two elections. They invited Republican lobbyists to dinner with McConnell in a private room at Carmine’s, a family-style Italian restaurant in downtown Washington, with no apparent price of admission. But after spaghetti and meatballs, McConnell thanked everyone for coming, told them he needed them to contribute the maximum allowable in personal money ($30,800 in 2012) to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and then sat back and waited. What followed was a long, pained silence, one of McConnell’s preferred negotiating tools. Then, one after another, attendees acquiesced. Organizers called these “the sandbag dinners.”

Filed under Mitch McConnell kysen fundraising Congress

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It’s cold in DC, but the chase for campaign cash is always hot:

"It’s the height of season, and not just for snowbirds enjoying Florida while it’s still cold up north. In the political world, it’s the season for raising money."
…
"Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are attractive for raising political cash because they’re home to so many deep-pocketed Democratic and Republican donors. But this time of year brings even more part-time, deep-pocketed contributors, and candidates are hoping to persuade them to open their checkbooks.”

It’s cold in DC, but the chase for campaign cash is always hot:

"It’s the height of season, and not just for snowbirds enjoying Florida while it’s still cold up north. In the political world, it’s the season for raising money."

"Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are attractive for raising political cash because they’re home to so many deep-pocketed Democratic and Republican donors. But this time of year brings even more part-time, deep-pocketed contributors, and candidates are hoping to persuade them to open their checkbooks.”

Filed under Florida fundraising congress

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Ready for a surprise? Money DOES equal access in Washington
Interesting new experiment that tested emails to members of Congress— one saying donors wanted meetings, another saying constituents want meetings:

"The results: Only 2.4 percent of the offices made the member of Congress or chief of staff available when they believed those attending were just constituents, but 12.5 percent did when they were told the attendees were political donors.
"Also, nearly one in five of the donor groups got access to a senior staffer, while just 5.5 percent of the constituent groups did. That means the donors had more than three times the access to top staffers than the constituents.”

Ready for a surprise? Money DOES equal access in Washington

Interesting new experiment that tested emails to members of Congress— one saying donors wanted meetings, another saying constituents want meetings:

"The results: Only 2.4 percent of the offices made the member of Congress or chief of staff available when they believed those attending were just constituents, but 12.5 percent did when they were told the attendees were political donors.

"Also, nearly one in five of the donor groups got access to a senior staffer, while just 5.5 percent of the constituent groups did. That means the donors had more than three times the access to top staffers than the constituents.”

Filed under politics campaign finance congress

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If regular people knew how much time members of Congress spent fundraising and where they were raising money, they would be shocked. They elect these people because they expect their lawmakers to do their job, and when they get here, they’re having fancy dinners and flying off to resort towns with people who are definitely not their constituents.
Public Campaign’s Adam Smith on the fancy restaurants and resorts where members of Congress raise money. (AlJazeera America)

Filed under fancy fundraising Congress

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So why are Rep. Dave Camp’s colleagues upset about his tax reform plan being released this week?

Well:

Top Republicans tell us that a huge part of the anger about the plan’s release is that some of the industries that may be hit  – financial services, real estate, oil and gas, include big donors who could curb their support for the party in midterms.”

This doesn’t really seem like the best way to decide public policy.

Filed under taxes tax reform Congress big money