Sunday, February 18, 2007


Loebsack--King of Freshman PAC Money

The newly elected Representative from the 2nd District, Dave Loebsack managed to earn a unique distinction amongst his fellow freshman representatives in Congress: Between Election Day and his swearing in, Loebsack took in over $67,000 in political action committee (PAC) donations.

These donations come on the heels of Loebsack's calls during his campaign to unseat former Rep. Jim Leach to reform the lobbying culture in Washington D.C.. However, it would appear that these calls were a mere smokescreen, as Loebsack has taken thousands of dollars from many of the well known members of the D.C. lobby.

For example, according to online FEC records, Loebsack took in a $5,000 donation from the American Bankers Association on Dec 18th, but also took in $5,000 donation from a rival PAC, the National Realtors Association on the same day!

This is a quote from Loebsack's campaign website:

“The most recent Republican ethics scandal involving Jack Abramoff only underscores the need to reform our political system to ensure that elected officials maintain the people’s trust in their government." “So long as Washington continues with politics as usual, few of the changes we as a nation need to move us forward are likely to occur.”

Wait a second..where's the reform? Where's the leading by example? It would appear that so far, Rep. Loebsack has jumped into the DC culture with both feet.

The Press-Citizen covered the issue of Loebsack's PAC money in an article on Saturday. The Johnson County Democrats argue that its okay for Loebsack to take PAC money because Jim Leach was a "multimillionaire".

Once again, the JC Democrats are flat wrong. Jim Leach's campaigns were funded by a vast margin by individual donations. The FEC stats don't lie. Here is the amount of individual donations made to the Leach campaign going back to 1999.

1999-2000 cycle--$387,471
2001-2002 cycle--$576,539
2003-2004 cycle--$528,832
2005-2006 cycle--$487,505

The JC Dems first vice president says about the PAC money, "I guarantee you they're not making any promises to anyone because Dave will do what Dave thinks is best"

I don't know what planet they're on, but the reality is that PAC's make donations to politicians to help influence their vote on legislation to benefit their group. PAC's don't make donations to politicians out of the kindness of their hearts.

Is this the change that was promised by Rep. Loebsack? A return to the DC politics-as-usual behavior? Does the 2nd District deserve to represented by someone who's willing to be an independent, well reasoned decision maker or by someone who is quickly becoming a part of the DC "inside the Beltway" culture?

Dave Loebsack has chosen the way of being a part of the D.C. political machine, and the citizens of the 2nd District are the losers for it.

Freshman In Money Chase--The Hill

Federal Elections Comission