WASHINGTON, D.C. — It pays to be powerful, particularly when you happen to be an elected official. And during this session of Congress, the Blue Dog Democrats are proving to be an influential force on all kinds of legislation — from climate change to financial regulations to health care reform.
“And as their clout has expanded, fundraising has grown accordingly, not just from traditionally Democratic contributors, but from unexpected quarters as well,” according to a new report from the Center for Public Integrity.
The center reports that the Blue Dog Political Action Committee is “on track to shatter all its fundraising records.”
Given the current legislative agenda, it’s not surprising that the energy, financial services and health care industries have accounted for a little over half of the contributions.
Although the Blue Dogs didn’t start as a formidable group, they are now 52 lawmakers strong with Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, as one of their alpha members.
Peterson’s efforts, for instance, were key to making this year’s climate change bill more agriculture-friendly. Peterson threatened congressional leaders that he and his Blue Dog colleagues would vote against the bill if they didn’t acknowledge agriculture interests.