Public Campaign Action Fund sent letters to 20 members of Congress yesterday requesting full disclosure of any benefits they’ve received from Delta Air Lines as Congress considers the long-term Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation. Delta has been the only airline lobbying on the anti-union National Mediation Board Provision and has been pouring campaign contributions into members’ campaign coffers.
Each member who recieved the letter has gotten substantial campaign money from Delta in their careers, and the letter simply asks them to disclose other perks, such as special elite flying status or use of a VIP hotline that allows users to avoid waiting for booking travel (wouldn't that be nice).
Here's an excerpt from the letter:
"Congress is debating long term funding reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration, to avoid a similar stopgap funding measure that resulted in a showdown in July, eventually forcing 4,000 FAA employees — not including air traffic controllers — and 70,000 contract workers temporarily off the job. Delta has a huge stake in this debate and has been the only airline lobbying on the anti-union National Mediation Board provision, and in the process has poured campaign contributions into members’ campaign coffers."
The perks like the ones Delta may be giving members of Congress are another reason the American people are fed up with our pay-to-play democracy. While the rest of us wait in long lines, and spend valuable time on hold this holiday season, lawmakers are benefitting not only from campaign cash from interests they are charged with regulating, but also could be receiving other special perks the rest of us can't access.
Answer the question, Congress. Your constituents deserve to know.
UPDATE: Roll Call picked up on the Delta letters and ran this story.