Coalition’s PAC is attracting new money from across the spectrum
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 23, 2009 — Whether the subject is health care reform, climate change, or pay-as-you-go budgeting rules, almost everyone, it seems, suddenly wants to talk with the Blue Dogs. The fiscally conservative Democrats have deftly turned themselves into a key voting bloc at the nexus of power. And as their clout has expanded, fundraising has grown too, not just from traditionally Democratic contributors, but from unexpected quarters as well, according to a new Center for Public Integrity investigation, “Blue Dogs Fill Their Bowls with Campaign Cash.”
So far this year, the Blue Dog Political Action Committee is on track to shatter all its fundraising records; the total for the first six months of 2009 — more than $1.1 million — is greater than what was raised in the entire 2003-04 fundraising cycle. Furthermore, according to the Center’s analysis of CQ MoneyLine data, the energy, financial services, and health care industries have accounted for nearly 54 percent of the Blue Dog PAC’s 2009 receipts.
The Center’s story also reveals that PAC fundraising has increased in every cycle since the Blue Dogs founding in 1995. Between the 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 cycles, as fundraising for the National Republican Congressional Committee declined 33 percent and fundraising for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee grew by just 26 percent, the Blue Dog PAC more than doubled its receipts. In all, 357 political action committees donated to the Blue Dog PAC in 2007-2008, up from 223 in the previous cycle.
Billy Tauzin, the president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), said that the coalition has “helped foster much-needed bipartisanship and middle ground.” Tauzin was a founding Blue Dog who left the coalition and the Democratic Party to become a Republican in 1995. PhRMA’s Better Government Committee (its PAC) has donated more than $10,000 to the Blue PAC since 2005 (and had never donated to the PAC previously).
Organizational support for the Center is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, Greenlight Capital Employees, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Institute, the Park Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and other generous institutional and individual donors.