Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Put another way, who exactly is Dutch Ruppersberger representing for the $174,000 per year, plus benefits, that we’re paying him? We know who he works for, who pays his salary, but who does he really represent?
The National Beer Wholesalers Association PAC (Political Action Committee), based in Alexandria, Virginia, represents beer distributors around the country. To my knowledge, they have no facilities in Maryland’s Second Congressional District, and they have never benefited from earmarks (“pork”) that Congressman Ruppersberger has sponsored for other corporate PAC contributors.
So why has the NBWA contributed a total of $35,000 to Congressman Ruppersberger’s campaign – beginning with $2,500 on March 17, 2003 through $5,000 contributed on April 18 of this year? Maybe it’s just their way of thanking the Congressman for all beer his supporters have had to drink at “Ruppersberger for Congress”-sponsored bull roasts over the years? No.
It’s simple. The NBWA PAC is a lobby. According to the FEC, the NBWA gives money to all sorts of Congressmen/women and Senators. That way, when they need support for legislation, they can pick up the phone and call the Congressman who will take that call and/or the meeting and listen to what they have to say. Not only will he listen, but he’s inclined to support their point of view because, if he doesn’t, the NBWA is going to stop contributing to his campaign, and it takes serious money to get re-elected.
In 2011 and 2012 to date, according to FEC data, Congressman Ruppersberger’s campaign has received 363 contributions from 231 political action committees that have given his campaign a total of $522,950. That’s a lot of money.
Some would say that it’s only human nature, listening to PACs that give you money. Human nature maybe, for old school politicians perhaps, but it’s not a good idea. So are you wondering what it would take to get Congressman Ruppersberger to kick the habit? The simple answer is that he’s not. To change the way business he does business, the people of Maryland’s Second Congressional District are going to have to retire Dutch Ruppersberger by voting for Nancy Jacobs to represent them, and only them, in Washington.
Dollars to donuts, I’ll bet Ms. Jacobs will agree not to accept PAC campaign money, and to work as hard has she can in Washington for meaningful campaign financing reform. That way, they’ll be no question but that she’s representing the people of Maryland’s Second Congressional District.