The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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Who Bankrolls Congress?

Series Reveals 8 out of 10 Nancy Pelosi Top Backers Are Labor Union Political Action Committees


A prominent trial lawyer,
his graphic-designer wife, an IBM heiress turned healing-touch
practitioner, a land developer, and a savings and loan magnate are the
top five individual donors to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while eight labor
unions, the National Association of Realtors, and JPMorgan Chase &
Co. lead all political action committee contributors to the California

These are among the findings in the fourth
installment of the Center for Public Integrity's Who Bankrolls
investigation, a comprehensive look at the top
donors to Washington's most powerful lawmakers and their interests -
not just recently, but over the entire course of these politicians'
careers. Through analysis of CQ
MoneyLine records on contributions to Pelosi's campaign committee and
leadership PACs, the Center calculated the ten top PAC donors and five
top individual contributors to Pelosi.

Today's report on Pelosi notes that her top individual donor is John
W. Keker, a San Francisco-based trial lawyer. Keker was chief
prosecutor of Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North for his role in the
Iran-Contra scandal, and has represented clients ranging from Enron
Corp.'s disgraced chief financial officer Andrew Fastow to Google Inc.
His graphic designer wife, Christina Day Keker, ranked second.

Pelosi's top PAC supporters include the Brotherhood of
Maintenance of Way Employees - IBT, the American Federation of State,
County and Municipal Employees, the National Association of Realtors
the National Education Association, and United Auto Workers.

The eight labor unions
among Pelosi's top ten have benefited from her presence in Congress.
The AFL-CIO's scorecards indicate 100 percent support from Pelosi for
their legislative priorities in 2008 and 2009, and a 95 percent
lifetime score for the speaker. Those labor ties have not endeared her
to the business community. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce gives Pelosi
just a 26 percent lifetime score.

The first three stories of the four-part series looked
at the ten top PAC contributors and five top individual donors to Sen.
Harry Reid, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader John
Boehner and were released earlier this week.

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