BREAKING: MITCH MCCONNELL RANKED #1 FOR LOBBYISTS’ CASH
FRANKFORT – According to a new report from OpenSecrets, Mitch McConnell has received a staggering $281,301 from lobbyists in the 2014 cycle – more than any other candidate.
Mitch McConnell has never shied away from lobbyist influence, and this latest cycle’s contribution reports underscore his misplaced priorities and allegiances. In the Senate, McConnell has been an ally to lobbyists, even wasting time fighting “a bill that [would] curb free meals, trips and other gifts from lobbyists and special interests to members of Congress.”
For nearly 30 years, Mitch McConnell has protected Washington special interests rather than hardworking Kentuckians. McConnell – a proud five-time winner of DC’s “most corrupt” award – could not be more out of touch with Kentucky’s middle-class families.
According to analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, Mitch McConnell has received $281,301 from lobbyists in the 2014 cycle. As reported, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who faces a primary challenge, has received the most from lobbyists in the midterm cycle so far, more than $281,000.” [Center for Responsive Politics, 3/12/14]
From 2007-2012, McConnell Accepted Nearly $715,000 From Lobbyists. From 2007-2012, McConnell accepted a total of $714,240 from the lobbyists industry. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 3/12/14]
1994: Senate Killed McConnell’s Effort To “Gut” Bill To Curb Free Meals, Trips And Other Gifts From Lobbyists To Members Of Congress. In May 1994, the Kentucky Post reported that “The U.S. Senate defeated an effort led by Sen. Mitch McConnell to gut a bill that will curb free meals, trips and other gifts from lobbyists and special interests to members of Congress. The Senate voted 59-39 Thursday to kill the amendment the Kentucky Republican sponsored. McConnell was trying to amend a proposal approved last month by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee that would bar gifts from lobbyists – even meals. The bill would limit gifts from almost everyone else to $20 in value, tighten travel restrictions and end free rides to charity sporting events. McConnell ‘s amendment would have kept the current gift rule, but lowered the limits – $75 instead of $100 for unlimited gifts and $150 instead of $250 for the yearly aggregate.” [Kentucky Post, 5/6/94]
EXAMPLE OF LOBBYIST INFLUENCE ON McCONNELL:
2008: McConnell Received $350,635 From the Pharmaceutical Industry, More Than All But One Member Of Congress That Did Not Run For President That Cycle. [Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 3/12/14]
- According to Memo McConnell Held Meeting With PHRMA Representatives in His Senate Office, Where They Offered Donations In Return For McConnell’s Opposition To Efforts To Allow Medicare To Negotiate Drug Prices. According to a 1999 memo by a Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association lobbyist the Pharmaceutical industry, scared by Democratic efforts to enact universal prescription drug prices including Medicare negotiations of drug prices, sought a meeting with McConnell in order to pledge campaign funds in exchange for opposition to those measures. In the memo to Alan Holmer the DC PHRMA chief, the lobbyist Barry Caldwell laid out their objectives for the McConnell meeting, “Personal introduction of you to him (McConnell), Apprising him of industry’s concern with attention on pharmaceutical costs and efforts by Democrats to demagogue the issue at Republican expense,…Soliciting the senator’s views on issue. And, expressing PhRMA’s willingness to be a resource, substantially and politically, to assist in maintaining a Republican majority in 2000.” Also, attached to the memo was a list of the contributions made by PHRMA in the 1998 election cycle the memo noted, “Industry has been a solid supporter.” During the 2000 elections the NRSC received $3.3 million from Pharmaceuticals industry. [Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/14/06]
April 19, 2007: McConnell Voted To Block Measure Allowing Medicare to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices. In April 2007, McConnell voted against a bill that would have allowed – not required – Medicare to negotiate with drug companies. The proposal would have stricken language in the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act that prohibits the HHS Secretary from participating in price negotiations for the drug benefit. [Vote 132, 4/18/07; Los Angeles Times, 4/19/07; New York Times, 4/19/07]