Adam Smith, 202-997-8929
Washington, DC-This morning's USA Today highlighted the role played by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) to secure more than $6 million in funding for UPS at the Capitol Regional International Airport in Lansing, after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the mail carrier.
The national newspaper reported that Rep. Rogers received $4,800 from UPS's political action committee on March 19, 2007, just three days after writing a letter to House leaders seeking an earmark for the runway extension at the airport. Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF) has discovered that earlier that month, on March 5th, UPS lobbyist Robert Dotchin donated $500 to Rep. Rogers - the only such gift from Dotchin since Rep. Rogers began running for Congress in 2000.
In addition, while USA Today reported that Rep. Rogers had received $45,000 from the UPS Political Action Committee (PAC), PCAF found that Rep. Rogers' leadership PAC, MIKE PAC, has received $30,000 more, for a total of $75,000 from the UPS PAC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
"If it's a day that ends in y, there must be another story about a member of Congress securing earmarks for a campaign contributor," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. "That Rep. Rogers received donations from the company's PAC within days of his effort to secure the funds is just another example of why we need to dramatically change the way campaigns are financed in this country."
To sever the ties between campaign contributors and lawmakers, Congress must pass the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826), legislation that would create a system of campaign financing that blends limited public financing and small dollar donations. With Fair Elections, candidates can take office unencumbered by the agendas and expectations of large donors.
"To demonstrate that he is not doing the bidding of contributors, Rep. Rogers should become a sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act," said Donnelly.
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Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing comprehensive reform of America's election laws and works to hold politicians accountable for the favors they do for special interests.