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WHO'S PAYING FOR
THE 1998 ELECTIONS

CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS
Vol. 4, #36 tel: 202-857-0044October 30, 1998 fax: 202-857-7809 Prepared 
WHO'S PAYING FOR THE 1998 ELECTIONS
Center for Responsive Politics
by Jennifer Shecter [http://www.crp.org/whospaying/index.htm]

All campaign finance data includes PAC, soft money, and individual 
contributions to federal candidates and the national parties and was 
downloaded from the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 1, 1998 
(Includes data primarily from Jan. 1, 1997 through June 30, 1998).
 
WALL STREET. Uniform standards for securities class action lawsuits, and 
a delay until March 30, 1999 on Commodity Futures Trading Commission 
rules covering swaps and derivatives. Campaign Contributions: $23.2 million 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS (Telephone utilities and Television Companies). 
No regulations on either cable or phone companies to put a lid on rates. 
Broadcasters got between $12 billion and $70 billion worth of free fre-
quencies on the broadcast spectrum and may be able to hold on to the 
additional airwaves indefinitely. Campaign Contributions: $14.4 million 

OIL & GAS. Eight-month delay on Interior Department rules changing the 
benchmarks for calculating the prices oil companies must pay the govern-
ment for drilling on federal land. The industry continues to push for 
legislation that would allow oil and gas companies to pay the government 
in-kind, rather than in cash.  Campaign Contributions: $14.3 million 

BANKS. A billion dollars in government subsidies to remain in the student 
loan business. Congress passed no laws requiring banks to stop double-
charging consumers at ATMs. Campaign Contributions: $11.5 million 

PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. Passage of legislation allowing drug 
and medical device manufacturers to bring their products to the market 
faster. The industry staved off advertising regulations for manufacturers 
that own pharmacy benefit management companies. Campaign 
Contributions: $8.3 million 

ACCOUNTANTS. Retreat by the Treasury Department on rules that would 
have closed a legal tax loophole that allows some multinational companies 
to reduce tax payments to foreign governments and avoid payments to 
the U.S. government on some of their overseas operations. Accountants 
were responsible for setting up multinational companies in this profitable 
tax arrangement. Campaign Contributions: $6.9 million 

HOLLYWOOD. Ratification of two World Intellectual Property Organization 
treaties strengthening international copyright laws and preventing piracy, 
and 20-year extension on copyrighted works. Campaign Contributions: 
$6.5 million 

TOBACCO. Defeat of a $368 billion settlement ending state lawsuits, 
regulating nicotine as a drug, and limiting tobacco advertising. Campaign 
Contributions: $6.1 million 

COMPUTERS. Expansion of a foreign high-tech worker visa program, 
uniform standards for securities class action lawsuits, a moratorium on 
Internet taxes, extension of the research and development tax credit, 
and a tax break for software exports. Campaign Contributions: $5 million. 

ALCOHOL. Rejection of proposal to lower the blood-alcohol content level 
from .1 to .08 in determining drunk-driving violations. The industry avoided 
new broadcast advertising rules. Wineries are poised to get government 
permission to promote the benefits of moderate wine consumption. 
Campaign Contributions: $4.9 million 

GAMBLING/CASINOS. Withdrawal of proposal to kill the gambling tax 
deduction for net losses. Indian tribes staved off attacks on their 
sovereign status and taxes on their commercial activities at a rate of 
34 percent. Industry is awaiting the results of a national commission 
created to study the effects of gambling due in June 1999. 
Campaign Contributions: $4.1 million 

DEFENSE CONTRATORS. Expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty 
Organization to include Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic -- 
more customers for U.S. weapons, and the biggest Pentagon budget 
increase since the Reagan Administration. Campaign Contributions: 
$4 million 

AIRLINES. Effective delay until next summer of Transportation Dept 
regulations sought by discount airlines on anti-competitive practices 
within the industry. Congress made little or no progress on expanding 
access to the nation's most crowded airports. Major airlines won a 
gradual decrease in the ticket tax and an increase in fees for every 
takeoff and landing -- which hikes up the price of discount carrier fares. 
Campaign Contributions: $3 million 

HEALTH CARE. No new federal regulations on managed care plans. 
Patients still cannot sue their health plans. Campaign Contributions: 
$2.1 million 

GUN RIGHTS. Ban on imposing taxes or user fees on gun dealers to 
run a computerized system that does background checks of prospective 
buyers. Also, $2 million in compensation for gun importers affected by 
Clinton administration import restrictions on certain semi-automatic 
weapons. Campaign Contributions: $1.4 million 

AUTOMAKERS. Two tax breaks for alternative-fuel vehicles -- electric 
cars and cars that run on ethanol -- and a continuing freeze on standards 
that dictate how many miles a car must go on a gallon of gas. Campaign 
Contributions: $1.2 million 

CREDIT UNIONS. Legislation negating a Supreme Court decision 
restricting credit union membership. Campaign Contributions: $1.1 million 

MEAT PACKERS/PROCESSORS. Defeat of both a proposed one-year 
pilot program requiring meatpackers to make public the prices they pay 
livestock producers and a Clinton Administration plan to charge the 
industry $570 million in user fees to fund inspections. Campaign 
Contributions: $850,000 

INDUSTRY TITANS. Several industry heavyweights got breaks this 
Congress that very specifically benefit their companies. 

RICHARD DE VOS, FOUNDER OF AMWAY. Tax break in 1997 budget 
bill easing tax burden on two of Amway's Asian affiliates. Campaign 
Contributions: Richard and his wife Helen De Vos are number one 
on this year's top individual contributors list with $1,018,800 in 
political donations. 

CARL LINDNER, CEO OF CHIQUITA BRANDS INTERNATIONAL. 
Favorable ruling from the World Trade Organization (WTO) calling the 
European Union's preferential treatment of Caribbean banana exports 
discriminatory. The WTO took up the case after Lindner persuaded
former United States Trade Representative Mickey Kantor to file a 
formal complaint. Campaign Contributions: Carl and his wife Edyth are 
number four on this year's top individual contributor list with $536,000 
in political donations. 

DWAYNE ANDREAS, CEO of ARCHER-DANIELS-MIDLAND. No 
reductions in the subsidy for ethanol, a corn-based alcohol. Ethanol is 
partially exempt from the motor fuels excise tax. ADM owns 50 percent 
of the ethanol-producing power in the United States. Campaign 
Contributions: ADM is one of the top 40 soft money contributors so far 
in the 1997-98 election cycle with $373,000 in donations to the parties. 

J. PATRICK ROONEY, CEO EMERITUS OF GOLDEN RULE FINANCIAL 
CORP. Establishment of an experimental Medical Savings Account (MSA) 
program for Medicare recipients. MSAs serve as a type of medical IRA, 
giving people a tax break for saving their own money for medical expenses. 
Golden Rule was the major proponent of the MSA program, originally 
established in the 1996 health bill passed by Congress. Campaign 
Contributions: Golden Rule is one of the top 30 GOP soft money 
contributors so far in the 1997-98 election cycle with $289,350 in 
donations to Republicans. 

ISSUES TO COME. While many special interests succeeded in getting 
many legislative priorities through, there is some unfinished business for 
the 106th Congress. These include: 

ELECTRIC UTILITIES. Deregulation of the industry by allow utilities to 
get into each other's markets. Campaign Contributions: $7.8 million 
FINANCE/CREDIT COMPANIES. Personal bankruptcy laws making it 
harder for consumers to wipe away their debts. Campaign Contributions: 
$3.1 million 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mother Jones 400. The November/December issue of Mother Jones will 
hit the stands on Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 3, with its third annual list 
of the 400 top individual campaign contributors. The data used to compile 
this list was provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.   
URL:  http://motherjones.com

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