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US House members lobbying FCC receive double average contributions

updated 02:52 pm EDT, Sun May 18, 2014

Signers of three letters to FCC receive 1.2 to 5 times more lobbyist money from telecoms

Members of the United States House of Representatives responsible for sending letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over net neutrality concerns have received more than double the average campaign contributions from telecommunication companies over a two-year window. The contributions, tracked by Maplight, shows the funds that the politicians of both parties have received via political action committees and employees of organizations.

According to Maplight's data, the average member of the House of Representative has received more than $11,000 in contributions from January 2012 to December 2013 from the telecommunications industry. The 28 members of the House who signed letters sent to the FCC had taken in on average over $26,000 each in contributions. The contributions aren't to a single party either, but spread out to both Democrats and Republicans in different concentrations.

Further analysis of the data yields that Republicans have benefitted more from the contributions, taking in on average more than $59,000, or five times more than the average contribution. Democrats, on the other hand, have pulled in over $13,000 -- or 1.2 times more than the average. Signatures place eight Republicans and 20 Democrats on the letters sent to the FCC, with the Democrats broadly arguing in favor of maintaining or improving the previous net neutrality standards, and Republicans in some cases arguing in favor of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's "fast lane" proposal (and in particular against his threat to reclassify broadband as a public utility if corporations abuse neutrality standards subject to FCC management under Title II).

The largest contributions have gone to Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) in the last two years. Walden, who is also the chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology that holds jurisdiction over the FCC, has been a recipient to contributions totaling over $109,000 in the last two years. The vice chair of the same committee, Bob Latta (R-OH), received $51,000.

While Walden leads the pack in funding received by more than $20,000, the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) fall in the second and third place of the largest contributions from telecommunications interests. Contributions to their campaigns were marked at approximately $80,000 and $75,000, respectively. One representative, Nick Rahall (D-WV), received no contributions from telecoms prior to the issue of the letters.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Well, at least they know who pays their salaries.

    No, wait...

  1. ElectroTech

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-26-08

    Obviously, the solution to the problems facing the US and the world are not going to be solved by politics. Politics are the problems when based on these kind of corrupt practices. Are we being well served by party politics?

  1. nouser

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-29-12

    It's not a problem unless your opposed to our constitution and laws. And this surprises you why? If one candidate supports views favorable to your business or industry and another does not, you support the one that does. Which PAC's fork over donations equally to all parties? This news flash is not news nor unexpected nor illegal. It's simply the way our system operates. Google it.

  1. Grendelmon

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by nouserView Post

    It's not a problem unless your opposed to our constitution and laws. And this surprises you why? If one candidate supports views favorable to your business or industry and another does not, you support the one that does. Which PAC's fork over donations equally to all parties? This news flash is not news nor unexpected nor illegal. It's simply the way our system operates. Google it.



    It's called legalized bribery. You try to make it sound like the contributers support candidates that favor their position. The key problem though is that the contributions can INFLUENCE a candidate's position. That's bribery. It happens, everyone knows it happens, but nobody does anything about it (thank the supreme court for that). Big business ALWAYS wins in Washington.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Citizens United should have it's head displayed on a pike at the gates. Campaign finance reform is something both parties agree they will not do.

  1. chimaera

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-08-07

    Business and PACs do tend to give money to most. A little anyway, depending on their stated positions. Then give more money for favorable statements or votes. The more favorable the politician's actions, the more money is given.

    It's a form of bribery, where most of the money comes after. But the politician is Pavlovian-trained that the money will come. Ring the bell, get the response, cut the check.

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