The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Steve Carpinelli (202) 481-1225

Blue Dog Democrats Cashing in Their Clout

Coalition’s PAC is attracting new money from across the spectrum


the subject is health care reform, climate change, or pay-as-you-go
budgeting rules, almost everyone, it seems, suddenly wants to talk with
the Blue Dogs. The fiscally conservative Democrats have deftly turned
themselves into a key voting bloc at the nexus of power. And as their
clout has expanded, fundraising has grown too, not just from
traditionally Democratic contributors, but from unexpected quarters as
well, according to a new Center for Public Integrity investigation, "Blue Dogs Fill Their Bowls with Campaign Cash."

far this year, the Blue Dog Political Action Committee is on track to
shatter all its fundraising records; the total for the first six months
of 2009 - more than $1.1 million - is greater than what was raised in
the entire 2003-04 fundraising cycle. Furthermore, according to the
Center's analysis of CQ MoneyLine data, the energy, financial services,
and health care industries have accounted for nearly 54 percent of the
Blue Dog PAC's 2009 receipts.

Center's story also reveals that PAC fundraising has increased in every
cycle since the Blue Dogs founding in 1995. Between the 2005-2006 and
2007-2008 cycles, as fundraising for the National Republican
Congressional Committee declined 33 percent and fundraising for the
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee grew by just 26 percent,
the Blue Dog PAC more than doubled its receipts. In all, 357 political
action committees donated to the Blue Dog PAC in 2007-2008, up from 223
in the previous cycle.

Tauzin, the president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), said that the coalition has "helped
foster much-needed bipartisanship and middle ground." Tauzin was a
founding Blue Dog who left the coalition and the Democratic Party to
become a Republican in 1995. PhRMA's Better Government Committee (its
PAC) has donated more than $10,000 to the Blue PAC since 2005 (and had
never donated to the PAC previously).

Organizational support for the Center is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, Greenlight Capital Employees, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Open Society Institute, the Park Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and other generous institutional and individual donors.

The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.