While Democrat politicians continue to decry corporate influence on politics, Politico reports that many of them #resist the potential consequence to their wallets.
“We need to get rid of corporate special interest money in politics,” said former Navy officer Gil Cisneros in a 2018 candidate forum. Cisneros was competing for the seat of retiring Rep. Ed Royce, against Young Kim, who reportedly received funding from Chevron, ExxonMobil and Koch Industries.
That message may have won Cisneros the race, but it does not appear to be something to which he is especially committed. Now that he has the seat, he has been accepting fundraising efforts from lobbyists representing AT&T, Comcast, Microsoft Corporation, Pfizer, Verizon, and Wells Fargo, as indicated by a fundraising event the lobbyists held for Cisneros last month.
Cisneros made about $15,000 from the event, brazen enough to include the message “Cisneros for Congress gladly accepts money from non-corporate PACs” in the event listing. Of course, none of these corporations donated directly; but the difference between that and allowing those same corporate interests to raise funds on his behalf seems like a question of semantics, not morality.
The congressman is one of 43 House Democrats to pledge not to take money from corporate PACs, and serves as a good example of how those candidates toe the line they have drawn in the sand.
Freshman Rep. Cindy Axne is another easy example. The same pledge did not prevent her from holding a fundraising event at a lobbying firm that represents Boeing, Citigroup, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, and United Airlines.
“Rep. Axne does not take corporate PAC donations, but we are still very hopeful that our friends will show up to help in whatever capacity they can,” Cornerstone Senior Vice President Mike Goodman said.
The list goes on. Would-be Arizona senator Mark Kelly declared “this campaign is about the people of Arizona, not corporate PACs and the mess they’ve created in Washington,” asserting that he “won’t take a dime of corporate PAC money, and I’ll only answer to Arizonans.”
But Kelly just had a fundraiser hosted by lobbyists representing ExxonMobil, JPMorgan Chase, and Lockheed Martin, among others.
Splitting hairs has been a very profitable tactic for each of these liberal politicians and many of their peers, but it may very well grate on voters listening through moralizing that sounds good on paper — but never seems to make it much further than that.