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What does Campaign Finance Reform have to do with Animal Rights?  


Agribusiness:Long-Term Contribution Trends

 

Election
Cycle

 

Total Contributions

 

Contributions from Individuals

 

Contributions from PACs

 

Soft Money Contributions

 

Donations to Democrats

 

Donations to Republicans

 

% to Dems

 

% to Repubs

 

2002*

 

$11,414,012

 

$2,936,692

 

$4,248,641

 

$4,228,679

 

$2,595,658

 

$8,732,464

 

23%

 

77%

 

2000

 

$58,232,942

 

$20,757,085

 

$16,695,382

 

$20,780,475

 

$15,322,231

 

$42,581,597

 

26%

 

73%

 

1998

 

$42,337,645

 

$13,372,105

 

$15,840,915

 

$13,124,625

 

$12,280,365

 

$30,015,804

 

29%

 

71%

 

1996

 

$49,424,464

 

$15,771,464

 

$17,961,238

 

$15,691,762

 

$12,798,813

 

$36,545,977

 

26%

 

74%

 

1994

 

$32,137,563

 

$10,387,329

 

$15,555,787

 

$6,194,447

 

$12,937,511

 

$19,161,205

 

40%

 

60%

 

1992

 

$35,627,707

 

$12,967,956

 

$15,457,844

 

$7,201,907

 

$14,147,517

 

$21,429,584

 

40%

 

60%

 

1990

 

$19,041,959

 

$5,656,896

 

$13,385,063

 

N/A

 

$8,334,235

 

$10,678,777

 

44%

 

56%

 

Total 1990-2002

 

$248,216,292

 

$81,849,527

 

$99,144,870

 

$67,221,895

 

$78,416,330

 

$169,145,408

 

32%

 

68%

Top Agribusiness Contributors of 2000 

 

Rank

 

Organization

 

Amount

 

Dems

 

Repubs

 

1

 

Philip Morris

 

$3,791,686

 

18%

 

82%

 

2

 

US Tobacco Co

 

$1,587,354

 

10%

 

90%

 

3

 

International Paper

 

$1,284,224

 

17%

 

83%

 

4

 

RJ Reynolds Tobacco

 

$992,427

 

17%

 

82%

 

5

 

Flo-Sun Inc

 

$986,650

 

57%

 

42%

 

6

 

Brown & Williamson Tobacco

 

$979,982

 

14%

 

85%

 

7

 

Yucaipa Companies

 

$972,750

 

100%

 

0%

 

8

 

Archer Daniels Midland

 

$936,400

 

43%

 

56%

 

9

 

PepsiCo Inc

 

$865,475

 

17%

 

83%

 

10

 

Food Marketing Institute

 

$795,233

 

7%

 

93%

Top Recipients of Agribusiness Money for 2000

 

Rank

 

Candidate

 

Office

 

Amount

 

1

 

Cochran, Thad (R-MS)

 

Senate

 

$205,190

 

2

 

Hutchinson, Tim (R-AR)

 

Senate

 

$191,541

 

3

 

Smith, Gordon (R-OR)

 

Senate

 

$134,454

 

4

 

Bonilla, Henry (R-TX)

 

House

 

$125,197

 

5

 

McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)

 

Senate

 

$116,300

 

6

 

Roberts, Pat (R-KS)

 

Senate

 

$115,250

 

7

 

Sessions, Jeff (R-AL)

 

Senate

 

$107,450

 

8

 

Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA)

 

House

 

$104,233

 

9

 

Craig, Larry E (R-ID)

 

Senate

 

$93,948

 

10

 

Combest, Larry (R-TX)

 

House

 

$92,391

Top Chemical & Related Manufacturing Contributors of 2000

 

Rank

 

Organization

 

Amount

 

Dems

 

Repubs

 

1

 

GAF Corp

 

$903,920

 

27%

 

73%

 

2

 

Contran Corp

 

$679,750

 

2%

 

98%

 

3

 

Harbour Group Ltd

 

$632,600

 

1%

 

99%

 

4

 

Dow Chemical

 

$526,155

 

13%

 

87%

 

5

 

American Chemistry Council

 

$504,982

 

14%

 

86%

 

6

 

RJF International

 

$481,000

 

0%

 

100%

 

7

 

DuPont Co

 

$305,831

 

29%

 

71%

 

8

 

Huntsman Corp

 

$289,000

 

35%

 

65%

 

9

 

Procter & Gamble

 

$275,640

 

22%

 

77%

 

10

 

WR Grace & Co

 

$265,250

 

22%

 

78%

From the Open Secrets (opensecrets.org), a website by the Center for Responsive Politics

REAP WHAT YOU SOW

    Three years ago, Congress adopted the "Freedom to Farm Act," phasing out the system of commodity price supports and acreage set-asides that has protected the nation's farmers from the vagaries of the marketplace since the Depression. It cleared the Senate by a vote of 64-32. Passage of the law was a high priority for agricultural interests, who poured nearly $30 million into congressional campaign coffers in 1995-96, through PACs and large individual contributions. The senators who voted for the bill received 66% more in campaign contributions from agribusiness, on average, than those who opposed it. Sponsors of the law promised that it would free farmers to decide what and how much to plant, save the taxpayers $13 billion in government payments to farmers, and benefit consumers through lower prices in supermarkets. Critics predicted that the bill would further undermine the precarious state of small farmers, driving many of them off the land and furthering the consolidation of farmland in the hands of a few big producers. Three years later, the results of the "Freedom to Farm Act" are becoming clear: consumers haven't benefited, family farms are being decimated, and taxpayers are paying the bill. Crop prices have fallen dramatically--corn prices nearly two-thirds, wheat by half, soybean almost a third, and hog prices by more than half. Part of this collapse is due to the Asian economic crisis, which has depressed U.S. agricultural exports. But much is due to over-production by American farmers. These price drops have not been passed on to consumers. The cost of most foodstuffs at the supermarket has stayed flat. Flush with cash, the big corporate farmers and food processors have embarked on a wave of mergers and buyouts. Four firms control nearly 90% of the U.S. cereal market. Three control over 81% of the beef slaughtering industry. This year, more than half of the nation's food will be grown on the largest 4% of farms. At the same time, thousands of family farms are going out of business, driven to desperation by falling crop prices and unbearable debt burdens. In North Dakota it was expected that nearly 2,000 of 30,000 farms would fail in 1998 after a jolting 98% drop in farm income. "Auction sales are off the charts," says Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN). Hearing the cries from the farm belt, Congress voted $6 billion in emergency aid last October; federal officials predict a similar level of help will be needed in 1999. But Congress has taken no action to investigate why lower prices haven't benefited consumers, or to explore the economic and environmental implications of the concentrations of ownership in the agricultural sector. No such action is in sight. As of October 14, 1998, agricultural interests had contributed $27.6 million to congressional candidates, on a pace to match or top their giving in 1995-96.
-From Public Campaign (publicampaign.org)

    America‚s drinking water, streams, and lakes are being contaminated by animal waste and toxic pollution. Animal factory farms are creating one of the nation‚s worst water pollution problems. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hog, chicken, and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. In addition, polluting industries are dumping millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America‚s waterways each year.

    In 1997-98 the livestock and poultry industries gave $3.5 million in political contributions. During the same period, the chemical industry gave $6 million in political contributions to fight efforts to increase public access to information about toxic chemicals.

    Although the public‚s health is at risk from water pollution, Congress has failed to strengthen the Clean Water Act to address animal waste pollution and has refused to act on legislation that would increase public information on toxics used and transported in local communities.
-From the Sierra Club

For Information on campaign finance reform and campaign contributions visit:
Public Campaign (
www.publicampaign.org): national CFR organization
Students for Campaign Finance Reform (SCFR) (
www.wesleyan.edu/wsa/scfr): the CFR group at Wesleyan 
Open Secrets (
www.opensecrets.org): find out what interests have what congresspeople in their pocket

This page was compiled by David Carhart of SCFR.