Robin Carnahan paints Roy Blunt as a corrupt politician, pointing out that he takes more money from lobbyists than any other member of Congress:
“There are 535 members of Congress. USA Today says Congressman Blunt has taken more campaign contributions from them than anybody else.”
She follows that accusation with this one:
“So when it comes to PAC contributions, he’s the number two recipient in the entire House of Representatives.”
She didn’t even bother outlining his crooked ties to Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff or mentioning the hypocrisy of a family values man divorcing his wife to marry a tobacco lobbyist and then trying to sneak through a piece of legislation beneficial to one of his largest donors, Phillip Morris–legislation that would have benefited not only his new wife but his son Andrew, also a Phillip Morris lobbyist.
Sadly, though, we cannot assume, just because the Republican in a race whores after money, that his opponent is necessarily virginal. So let’s take a look, shall we?
The best place to get the skinny on both candidates is Open Secrets. That site offers a summary of the contributions they’ve received, lists their top contributors as well as the industries they get money from, provides bar graphs showing which sectors of the economy give them money, examines how much out of state cash they get, and of course peeks at their PAC contributions.
That last one is especially relevant, considering how Carnahan spotlights the fact that Blunt is number two in the House in PAC contributions. 27 percent of the money Blunt rakes in comes from PACs, while 14 percent of Carnahan’s contributions do. But there are PACs and then there are PACs.
Some are devoted to skewing legislation for their own profit. Think Tamko Building Products, Monsanto, Peabody Energy and Goldman Sachs, a few of the firms on Blunt’s top ten list.
But there are also labor PACs and what Open Secrets calls ideological PACs. Think NEA and Council for a Livable World, for example, or Emily’s List, which, as of the end of the first quarter, had given Carnahan $171,000. Her green bar is small–I’d estimate about 1/12th as high as Blunt’s. Still, there is money from Boeing, Anheuser Busch, and Monsanto, so she’s not entirely virginal. Blunt, on the other hand, is … what’s the male word for slutty? Wouldn’t that be the way to describe the man who “succeeded in tapping dozens of corporate chief executives around the country and also took $156,000 from hedge fund managers and other investment interests.”
Which reminds me. Open Secrets informs us that “historically, the financial sector has consistently been the biggest source of funds in U.S. elections. In 2002, financial interests gave $105 million to federal candidates.” Hmm. Does anything stand out like a sore middle finger on the bar graph below?
Tell me he wouldn’t have voted with every single Republican senator last week, if he’d had the chance, to block a bill that would have required hedge fund managers to pay taxes on a larger proportion of their income.
Compare Blunt’s middle finger with Carnahan’s:
Now that’s what a middle finger oughta look like. And the bar for “lawyers and lobbyists” consists mainly of lawyers, as you can tell by looking at the list of her top contributors.
Finally, consider that Carnahan gets twenty percent of her contributions from individuals giving less than $200. For Blunt, that figure is only five percent. So, plaid shirts and rented pickup trucks notwithstanding, Blunt is owned by big money not by the grassroots.
Robin Carnahan is just the reverse.