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Your campaign donation might not end up where you think

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If you live District 52 in southern California near the Mexican border, your representative in Congress is the Hon. Duncan Hunter, first elected in 1980. The El Cajon Republican is seeking re-election in the fall mid-term elections. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he’s raised $689,221 as of May 17 in the 2006 election cycle to keep his job.

Of that, says Political Money Line, $385,268 came from 440 individual donations — from people like Donald H. Cox, a Brawley farmer who gave $250; George Grant, the Cucamonga owner of Funco Buggy Manufacturing who gave $1,250; and Fernando Villa, a San Pedro physician who gave $2,900. These and 400-plus others, presumably, gave money to Rep. Hunter’s campaign committee because they wanted to support his re-election effort.

So why did Rep. Hunter’s campaign committee donate $1,000 to the congressional campaign committee of my representative in Congress, the Hon. John R. “Randy” Kuhl?
In this election cycle, Rep. Hunter’s campaign has sent $1,000 each to 21 other congressional candidates and $1,000 to the South Dakota Republican Party.

My representative got some campaign cash from donors who thought they were supporting Rep. Hunter. And Rep. Kuhl got money from other congressional campaigns, too — $34,000 in all.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in the 2006 election cycle, 33 of the 35 following campaigns gave $1,000 each to Rep. Kuhl (the others gave $500):

Barrett for Congress; Bob Beauprez for Congress; Bob Goodlatte for Congress Committee; Boozman for Congress; Cathy McMorris for Congress; Committee to Re-Elect Duncan Hunter; Committee to Re-elect Bobby Jindal; Culberson for Congress; Devin Nunes for Congress 2002; Donald A Manzullo for Congress; Ehlers for Congress Committee; Frank Lucas for Congress; Frelinghuysen for Congress; Friends of Jeb Hensarling; Friends of Jim Saxton; Friends of Roger Wicker 2002; Friends of Zach Wamp; Geoff Davis for Congress; Hulshof for Congress; Judge John Carter for Congress; Kenny Marchant for Congress; Lungren for Congress; McHenry for Congress; Michael Burgess for Congress; Mike Conaway for Congress; Nathan Deal for Congress; Oxley for Congress; People with Hart; Price for Congress Committee; Robert Aderholt for Congress; Sam Graves for Congress; Steve Cabot for Congress; Tom Feeney for Congress; Virginia Foxx for Congress; and Walden for Congress.

Take Rep. Cathy McMorris of District 5 in Washington state, whose campaign sent $1,000 to Rep. Kuhl. She’s raised $542,627 from 644 individual donations as of June 30. She sent $6,000 from her campaign to the National Republican Congressional Committee and $1,000 each to 16 other congressional campaigns beside that of Rep. Kuhl.

When Rep. McMorris hosts the “Second Annual Pink Flamingo BBQ” on July 31 at the Spokane home of Mike and Pam Senske, will she tell the guests (who’ll pay $35 per person or $250 per table of eight) that some of their donations will be shipped off to other congressional campaigns?

If you research the other campaigns that gave money to Rep. Kuhl, you’ll find he wasn’t the only recipient of largesse from these campaigns.

Donald A. Manzullo (Wisconsin District 5) shipped off $85,500 to 33 other candidates including $50,000 to the NRCC.

Robert Aderholt (Alabama District 4) sent $1,000 each to the campaigns of 10 incumbents or challengers.

Zack Wamp (Tennessee District 3) sent $42,500 to 31 campaigns and $1,000 to the PAC of the Holland America Line (a cruise ship company).

Bob Goodlatte (Virginia District 6) sent $61,400 to 21 campaigns including $25,000 to the NRCC and $15,000 to the Republican Party of Virginia.

Rep. Kuhl also transships donations. On May 17, 2005, he sent $6,000 to the NRCC in a transaction listed as “transfer of surplus funds.” The Political Money Line lists it as “Contributions To Others By This Candidate.”

As you can see, political donations are interchangeable. This is the brave new political world run by Karl Rove. Donations are shipped at the direction of GOP party Big Thinkers to shore up incumbents in tough races or to support challengers to Democrats in trouble.

But are campaign donors told that? When Rep. Kuhl — and other politicians — stick out their hands for the check, do they tell the donor that some of that money will support other candidates? Hardly.

And don’t think the Democrats are innocent. They practice the same deceit.

Before you hand over that check, get it in writing that the dough will support your candidate and yours only.


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

July 12, 2006 at 5:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. You mean Randy “I’m so vulnerable this midterm election that the entire GOP is concerned about my survival” Kuhl?


    July 13, 2006 at 1:59 am

  2. On a similar front…
    As I recall, a major charity got into trouble for that same kind of thing. We’ll all recall that the Red Cross got hammered for collecting money “for 9/11” and using it for other projects. Perhaps the political types weren’t paying attention just that minute?


    July 13, 2006 at 2:39 am

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