Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I commend Donald Pollock, certified public accountant, for his concern for the pernicious influence of money in subverting our 232 year old democracy ("Giveaway mentality kills democracy", November 10, 2008). As a civic minded citizen, Mr. Pollock could put his accounting expertise to good use by reading the reports of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to find out who has been buying our democracy.

Senator Saxby Chambliss has been in Congress for 14 years including 6 in the Senate, and the FEC reports he has raised $12,041,398 for the 2008 Senate race starting on the day he was sworn in in 2003. Mr. Chambliss has consistently opposed regulation of commercial banks and the real estate industry. Those industries put $362,163 (real estate) and $211,248 (banks) towards his re-election- including $10,000 from Fannie Mae, $9,000 from the American Bankers Ass'n, (and $1,000 from my mortgage company, Washington Mutual, which recently collapsed).

In the health insurance arena, Mr. Chambliss opposed any regulations that would prohibit insurance companies from refusing to insure persons with pre-existing illnesses or HMO's from refusing to pay for life-saving medical procedures. He opposed any effort to remove the burden of providing employees' health insurance from America's struggling businesses (GM, Ford, and Chrysler all pay billions in health related costs while their foreign competitors pay nothing). He supported a Medicare prescription drug benefit that prohibited the government from negotiating discount prices and kept seniors from ordering cheaper drugs from Canada. He has been rewarded with $261,861 from the insurance industry, $282,160 from medical providers, and $46,600 from various pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott Laboratories ($5,000), AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals ($5,000) and Johnson & Johnson ($4,500).

Mr. Chambliss, who has served on the Armed Services Committee, failed to ensure that our troops had life saving armored vests and up-armored vehicles when he voted for War in October of 2002 (I had to spend $6,000 out of my pocket for vests for my son and other members of his unit during his second Iraq deployment in 2006) , but he made sure that the largest defense contractor in the world (Lockheed-Martin) continued to get tens of billions of dollars in funding for advanced fighter jets that have no usefulness in the War on Terror. That company supported him with fund raisers in 2007 and 2008, led by its Maryland based CEO, and the company's top executives from Texas to California gave him $36,500 in the span of a few days.


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