What are they buying?

Analysis by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

Why does the New York Mercantile Exchange care who represents the Sixth District in Virginia in the United States Congress? Or Koch Industries? Or the American Meat Institute or Alabama Farmers Federation or California Dairies Inc.?

I’m asking because I’m poring right at the moment through the list of contributors to Bob Goodlatte’s Good Fund, a leadership PAC that has raised $189,636 in the 2008 campaign cycle, with most of the money going not to Goodlatte’s own re-election effort, but to state and congressional candidates and high-dollar consultants.

And that money is in addition to the $884,031 that Goodlatte has raised directly for his re-election campaign in the 2007-2008 cycle, according to the watchdog website opensecrets.org.

All told, then, the congressman has raised just over $1.07 million for his campaign and his leadership PAC in the ’07-’08 cycle, according to opensecrets.org. And I think it’s important to point out that just under half of that amount, $530,665, has come from PACs, according to my analysis of the campaign and leadership PAC numbers.

Among those giving to Goodlatte and the Good Fund is Koch Industries, which has given the Goodlatte campaign $5,250 this election cycle, and has given Goodlatte’s leadership PAC another $5,000. And Pilgrim’s Pride, which has given Goodlatte’s campaign $6,900 this cycle, and whose chairman, Lonnie Pilgrim, of Pittsburg, Texas, has personally contributed $5,000 to Goodlatte’s Good Fund.

Throw in $12,250 from McGuire Woods here and $11,200 from Verizon there, and $10,000 each from American Crystal Sugar, the National Auto Dealers Association and National Beer Wholesalers Association for good measure, and the question begs to be asked.

What are these special-interest types expecting to get for their money?


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