Blue Dog Democrats’ fundraising soars

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.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by William Pappas on 07/24/2009 - 03:00 am.

    We are witnessing the pure and simple purchasing of votes to block any attempts at creating a national health insurance plan containing a government option. When Colin Peterson secures favors for agriculture in the climate change bill he is really doing the bidding of agribusiness and not the people of Minnesota. Similarily, the blue dogs and Republicans are bought and packaged by big pharma and the health insurance industry. If this is not a call for a complete overhaul of campaign finance then we’ll never hear it. Millions of Americans suffer so these Senators and Represenatatives can feed at the campaign trough of big corporations and perpetuate a health care system that does not work here or any where else in the world.

  2. Submitted by John Roach on 07/24/2009 - 11:25 am.

    Considering that the Health Industry spent $490 million last year and $180 million through May 1 of this year to block any reform efforts, this isn’t surprising.

    This massively powerful lobby has a huge amount of money looking for someplace to go.

  3. Submitted by Robert Langford on 07/24/2009 - 12:15 pm.

    Pappas has it right! The present Supreme Court will be activist in expanding the influence of Corporations and big money by extending the free speech interpretation to protect all corporate advertising and contribution, despite congressional reform actions. The most immediate result is putting the vitally needed health care reform at peril. The long term result will be an evermore rapid headlong push to protect the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class in every area of American life. Woe unto the United States of America.

  4. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 07/24/2009 - 04:23 pm.

    I doubt very much it’s as simple as the waves of corporate special interest cash. Ideologically, they just aren’t comfortable with a government role in reform. They may not be so opposed as Republicans, but they don’t have the comfort level of most Democratic congresmen or, unfortuantely, the Democratic grassroots.

    In terms of their own experience, they haven’t had to grapple with our dysfunctional medical system. That’s probably true of most single-payer advocates too, but the blue dogs aren’t looking outside their own experience to see the misery our system inflicts. Statistics apparently aren’t doing it for them.

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