A watchdog group has reviewed the nearly six-thousand campaign contributions Iowa’s 150 legislators accepted last year. Joan Lucas, chair of Money and Politics Iowa, says, “What’s immediately apparent is the huge amount of money people and groups are willing to hand over to legislators.” For example, there were 158 contributions of one-thousand dollars or more — 13 of those checks were for five-thousand dollars. Lucas says unfortunately, there are no limits on campaign contributions to legislators, so “anyone can give as much as they want to any political committee, as many times as they wish. Lucas thinks five-thousand dollars is “really an outrageous amount” to give, especially considering that 2003 was an off-year — no legislator was running for re-election. Des Moines businessman Marvin Pomerantz gave three five-thousand dollar checks. James Cownie, another businessman in Des Moines, gave four, five-thousand checks to legislators. Lucas can’t i-d the rest of the donors who wrote out the 13 five-thousand dollar checks. Lucas says that’s one of the short-comings of Iowa’s campaign disclosure law — it does not require people to list their occupation or employer. Lucas says political action committees, or PACs, accounted for a lot of the cash, too. The top corporate PAC for legislators in 2003 came from the telecommunications industry. The PAC for Qwest made 40 different contributions, totaling over 38-thousand dollars. To see all the data, go to www.mapIowa.org. As we reported last month, Money and Politics Iowa found state legislators took in over one-point-seven million dollars in campaign contributions during 2003.
You are here: / / Groups give large donations to legislators