Murtha and Hoyer Both Rank High in Special Interest Money

Nov. 15, 2006

Murtha and Hoyer Both Rank High in Special Interest Money

Hoyer Ranks No. 1, Murtha Is No. 18 in Dependency on Special Interest Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Both men vying to be the next House majority leader have taken large amounts of special interest money, according to a Public Citizen analysis. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) ranks No. 1 in dependency on special interest dollars; Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) ranks No. 18.

Public Citizen developed the rankings after analyzing contributions from lobbyists, out-of-state donors, political action committees (PACs) and the percentage of contributions from donors who gave $200 or less. The data include contributions from January 1999 to June 2006, except for contributions from lobbyists, which stop at Dec. 31, 2005.

According to the analysis, Hoyer took $609,836 from lobbyists (ranking fifth among House members in lobbyist contributions), $2.46 million from out-of-state donors (ranking 10th in out-of-state donor contributions) and $5.67 million in PAC money since 2000 (ranking sixth in PAC money taken).

Murtha took $684,550 from lobbyists (ranking second among House members in lobbyist contributions), $2.66 million from out-of-state donors (ranking seventh in out-of-state donor contributions) and $2.55 million from PACs (ranking 44th in PAC money taken).

Hoyer received $3.79 million from business PACs, while Murtha took $1.98 million.

“Both candidates for House leadership have taken large amounts of special interest money,” said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen.

During this congressional session, Hoyer voted against the public interest on measures to exempt Internet communications – including campaign communications and paid campaign advertisements – from campaign finance laws; subject Section 527 political organizations to the same campaign finance limits and disclosure requirements that apply to all other political action committees; increase fuel economy standards to at least 33 miles per gallon by 2015; and cut money from the Energy Department’s nuclear reprocessing fund. In addition, Hoyer voted for sweeping energy legislation that gave billions of dollars in subsidies for the oil and coal industries but contained only minimal provisions for clean energy.

During the same session, Murtha voted against the public interest on measures to make it harder for citizens to file state class action lawsuits; cap damages available to victims of medical malpractice;  prohibit lawsuits against gun makers; exempt Internet communications – including campaign communications and paid campaign advertisements – from campaign finance laws; subject Section 527 political organizations to the same campaign finance limits and disclosure requirements that apply to all other political action committees; increase fuel economy standards to at least 33 miles per gallon by 2015; open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas production; and cut money from the Energy Department’s nuclear reprocessing fund. In addition, Murtha voted for sweeping energy legislation that gave billions of dollars in subsidies for the oil and coal industries but contained only minimal provisions for clean energy. (Public Citizen’s complete vote chart is available here.

Contributions from Special Interests and Special Interest Rankings for Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and John Murtha (D-Pa.)

 

 

Rep. Hoyer

Rep. Murtha

Contributions from Lobbyists,

1999 through 2005

 

$609,836

$684,550

Contributions from Lobbyists Ranking*

 

5th

2nd

Contributions from Out-of-State Donors, 2000 cycle to present

 

$2,459,253

$2,656,923

Contributions from Out-of-State Donors Ranking*

 

10th

7th

Contributions from Small Donors, 2000 cycle to present

 

$888,577

$2,070,227

Contributions from Small Donors Ranking*

 

9th

102nd

Contributions from PACs,

2000 cycle to present

 

$5,670,680

$2,547,280

Contributions from Business PACs

 

$3,787,030

$1,976,180

Contributions from Labor PACS

 

$1,651,045

$536,850

Contributions from PACs

Ranking*

 

6th

44th

Overall Special Interest

Ranking*

 

1st

18th

Source: Public Citizen’s “Special Interest Index,” available here.

* Rankings are among all members of the 109th Congress, adjusted on a per cycle ranking. A higher ranking, e.g., 1, denotes a higher level of reliance on the particular type of contribution, with the exception of contributions from small donors. A lesser reliance on small donors results in a lower ranging, i.e., a person who received the least amount of money from small donors would have the highest ranking.

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