Thursday, February 1

Is Dave Loebsack Really PAC Man?

From The Hill
Many Democratic freshmen raised tens of thousands of special-interest dollars toward their reelection even before they were sworn in for the 110th Congress.

The numbers show that although they said during their campaigns that they would reform the “culture of corruption” in Washington, many quickly immersed themselves in the town’s lobbyist-dominated fundraising network to fill up their coffers and retire their debt.

Rep. David Loebsack (D-Iowa), who surprised former Rep. Jim Leach (R), has already raised $71,000.

About $60,000 of that came from political committees such as the American Bankers Association PAC, which gave him $5,000 on Dec. 18, and the National Association of Realtors PAC, which also wrote him a $5,000 check the same day.

Loebsack accepted the money from these rival groups, which are well-known members of Washington’s lobbying culture, despite his calls to reform that culture only a few months ago.

“The most recent Republican ethics scandal involving Jack Abramoff only underscores the need to reform our political system to ensure that elected officials maintain the people’s trust in their government,” Loebsack wrote on his campaign website. “So long as Washington continues with politics as usual, few of the changes we as a nation need to move us forward are likely to occur.”

Gabby Adler, Loebsack’s spokeswoman, said that her boss would not let the influx of contributions affect his focus on constituents.

“Since winning in November Congressman Loebsack has received an outpouring of support from a wide range of supportive individuals and organizations in Iowa,” she said. “The congressman appreciates this support and is currently focusing his attention on serving the people of Iowa’s 2nd congressional district because their interests are his No. 1 priority.”

Setting aside contributions from fellow Democrats’ campaign accounts, Loebsack accepted less than $40,000 in PAC contributions between Oct. 1 and Election Day. His receipt of such funds has increased by about 50 percent since he won.


Burlington Blogger said...

This is very disturbing. Since his election Loebsack has been running for the 'safe center' and he is letting down the people who supported him. I don’t know if it’s the incompetence of his new staff after he ditched his old digs for conservative Boswell types or if Loebsack is just another politician among men. On the campaign trail, the first thing Loebsack said he would do was "join the progressive caucus" - that hasn't happened. At a meeting last week in my native Iowa City, he was changing his tune about the war in Iraq. When I call his office to talk about issues that matter to me, a voter that helped put him in office, I am faced with snooty DC-types. And now he is taking money from bankers and realtors. The beauty of his campaign is he won with very little money because he had a terrifically innovative campaign and he wasn’t shy about his a progressive platform. It was refreshing to us locals who watched candidate after candidate run a ‘campaign in a box’ against Leach and lost pitifully. He doesn’t need to take this sort of PAC money and he doesn’t need to run from his tough campaign talk. After taking out 'Mr. Integrity' you think he would be careful about selling out so soon, but that's the way it goes I guess.

Iowa Dem said...

The issue is not whether Rep. Dave Loebsack accepted PAC money and defeated Rep. Jim Leach did not accept it. It's ridiculous to compare legally operating PACs with the "culture of corruption" that existed in Washington during the former Republican-controlled Congress. Fortunately, Democrats including Loebsack made good on their promise when they voted to reform it.

However, to set the record straight, according to "" Jim Leach accepted nearly $14,000 from the energy industry. Subsequently, he voted against cracking down on price gouging that has kept consumer gas prices high at the pump (HR 3402). And he accepted over $4,000 from the drug industry. Leach voted in favor of Medicare Part D that bankrupts senior citizens but rewards filthy-rich pharmaceutical companies.

Moreover, the culture of corruption also included House ethics rules that Leach voted to weaken (HR 5) attempting to protect indicted former Speaker Tom DeLay from corruption charges associated with the illegal K-Street project and imprisoned lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. That's not only illegal, it's immoral.