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:
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:
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:
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
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
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:
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.
CONNECT THE DOTS
Dot Bibee (DotHB@aol.com)
Knoxville, TN Ph/FAX (423) 577-7011
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