Washington, D.C.—Campaign finance watchdog criticized House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today for taking campaign money from the meat industry and voting against food safety legislation. Earlier this month a family in Speaker Boehner’s district became ill after eating E. Coli contaminated meat. The political action committee of Tyson Foods, the company recalling about 65 tons of their ground meat, and their executives have given Boehner $24,000 in campaign contributions over his career, according to the group’s analysis of data found at opensecrets.org.
“Four children in southwest Ohio got sick from tainted meat and their representative, House Speaker John Boehner, voted against food safety as recently as last December,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “He’s taken tens of thousands of dollars from the meat processing industry, including $24,000 from the PAC and executives of the company whose meat got the kids sick. Whose side is he on?”
During his career, Speaker Boehner has received at least $80,421 from the meat processing industry. Tyson Foods PAC and executives have given $24,000 to Speaker Boehner’s campaign committee and leadership PAC over his career. In addition, Boehner received $5,000 from the American Meat Institute’s PAC, the trade association for the industry, in June this year.
Since 2009, Tyson Foods has spent $6.5 million lobbying Congress. They have spent $1.4 million already in 2011, a number that will surely increase.
Public Campaign Action Fund works to hold elected officials accountable for the favors they do for special interest donors and fights to pass comprehensive change in the way elections are financed.