Iowa and national campaign finance watchdogs ask: Who does Grassley represent?
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) has raised $154,350 in campaign donations in the 3rd quarter of 2009 from health care interests, including $43,590 from health insurance interests, according to research conducted by the campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund. Grassley serves as the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which voted out a health care reform bill earlier this year.
Over his career, Grassley has raised at least $3.3 million from the health care and insurance industries during his time in Washington, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
"Sen. Grassley was showered with health industry contributions while the Finance Committee was meeting to discuss health care legislation," said David Donnelly, national programs director for Public Campaign Action Fund. "Insurance PACs and executives wanted Grassley to oppose health care reform, and that's what they got."
"More than 279,000 Iowans are living without health insurance," said Betty Ahrens, executive director of the Iowa Citizen Action Network. "When it's time to vote, Iowans want to know whether Sen. Grassley will stand with us, or with his special interest campaign contributors."
"Like our health care system, the current campaign finance system in this country is broken," said Adam Mason, state policy organizing director for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. "Iowans need better health care and we need politicians free from the influence of special interest campaign contributors."
The health care industry has spent tens of million dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying expenses to influence Congress in 2009. Congress should pass the Fair Elections Now Act (S.752, H.R.1826), legislation that would create a voluntary system of public financing that provides candidates with a limited sum of public funds once they demonstrate broad community support.
"We need to sever the ties between Congress and special interest campaign contributors," said Donnelly. "The Fair Elections Now Act would do just that."
Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing comprehensive reform of America's election laws and works to hold politicians accountable for the favors they do for special interests.
Iowa Citizen Action Network (ICAN) is a grassroots public interest organization and progressive political coalition committed to creating social change in Iowa and across the nation.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is a group of everyday people who talk, act and get things done on issues that matter most. With thousands of members from all walks of life -- urban and rural, black and white, immigrants and lifelong Iowans -- CCI has been tackling tough issues and getting things done for nearly 35 years.
SOURCE Public Campaign Action Fund