Lobbyists Using Fundraising to Influence Supercommittee

Monday, 19 Sep 2011 11:28 AM

By Dan Weil

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Lobbyists and companies are using their fundraising clout to try and influence supercommittee decisions on deficit reduction, Politico reports.
The companies and lobbyists are bundling donations to supercommittee members and House and Senate campaign groups — to the tune of $1.6 million so far, according to government data. The bundling allows these groups to put more money toward their interests.
Longtime Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta — founder of the Podesta Group — bundled $96,500 for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and his firm sent $257,250 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the first half of the year.
Podesta’s clients include defense contractors — such as BAE Systems and General Dynamics — and major oil and gas companies — such as Duke Energy and BP America. Those companies stand to incur major losses if the supercommittee cuts defense programs, and oil and gas subsidies.
On the Republican side, Harry Sporidis of Polsinelli Shughart — whose clients include private healthcare companies and the American Society of Clinical Oncology — has this year bundled more than $32,000 for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich.
The oncology group has been lobbying the supercommittee to deal with Medicare physician payments, especially the sustainable-growth rate formula, which it sees as threatening the access of seniors to quality oncology care.

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