Carol Shea-Porter is one of the few members of Congress who doesn't take special interests money and wind up in the pockets of industries whose only goal -- only goal -- is to get more of our money into their hands. This isn't a Republican or a Democratic position. It's a clean government position and it's one of the reasons we admire Carol so much. Remember, for every corrupt, bribe taking Republican in Congress, there's a corrupt, bribe-taking Democrat. You can put Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer up against any Republican if you want to find corruption taken to ghastly extremes. If you're wondering why Democrats aren't going on a jihad against Republicans who have filled up on Big Oil bribes and then voted for policies that are making it harder and harder for regular American families to fill up their tanks... well, granted 75% of the $220,438,183 Big Oil has given federal candidates since 1990 has gone to Republicans but let's not forget that even if Democrats haven't gotten pay-offs like Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX- $2,126,025), Phil Gramm (R-TX- $1,679,314), John Cornyn (R-TX- $1,313,825), John McCain (R-AZ- $1,259,645), Joe Barton (R-TX-$1,246,411), James Inhofe (R-OK- $1,076,573), Don Young (R-AK-$954,013), Tom DeLay (R-TX-$698,840), Steve Pearce (R-NM- $596,324), Mitch McConnell (R-KY- $649,011), Democratic Big Oil shills Mary Landrieu (D-LA- $612,244), Dan Boren (D-OK- $363,210) and Nick Lampson (D-TX- $174,942) have been happy to slurp up the leftovers and vote with the Republicans to give big oil billions of dollars in tax cuts. Whose side are they on?
I think you know whose side they're on. And it isn't ours. Even virulently anti-union Wal-Mart is now giving as much money to congressional Democrats as it is to congressional Republicans making it "more difficult for the company's critics to demonize the corporate giant."
In an age where taking money is synonymous with doing someone's bidding, more and more Democrats, including party leadership, are cashing Wal-Mart's PAC checks. Apparently Wal-Mart is not the devil it once was.
Through June, Wal-Mart's PAC had contributed to 86 House Democrats this cycle, amounting to just more than one-third of the Caucus. That's more than the 77 House Democrats Wal-Mart supported in 2006 and the 62 that received PAC money in 2004.
Since 2004, Wal-Mart has given $27,500 to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.), $22,500 to House Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.), $12,000 to Chief Deputy Whip Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), and $20,500 to House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (N.Y.).
But you're not going to find Carol Shea-Porter on the lists of congressmembers who take special interests money and then vote for them instead of for her constituents. Her predecessor, Jeb Bradley, always did -- and now those same big special interests are back shoveling money into his campaign, trying to help him reclaim his old -- their old -- seat. Carol's voting record is clear as a bell; she votes in the interests of her constituents. Period. She doesn't have millions of dollars in corporate money hanging over her head as an incentive -- or a threat -- to vote for special deals for corporations.
The down side of that is that she is being targeted by Republican front organizations like Freedom's Watch, which is running tens of thousands of dollars in radio ads against her every week or so, distorting her positions and filling the airwaves with lies. As you know, I'm not the biggest DCCC cheerleader in the world but I applaud their efforts to set the record straight today for Carol by running this ad on New Hampshire radio:
If you can afford to help out, please donate to Carol's all grassroots re-election campaign on her Blue America page. We sent her to Congress to work for regular folks -- and that's what she's been doing. Let's keep her there.