Chaos Space Marines for Lieberman
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Chaos Space Marines for Lieberman
Lieberman’s Donors Include Many Who Favor Republicans
By MIKE McINTIRE and JENNIFER MEDINA
Published: July 20, 2006
When it comes to supporting candidates for public office, the Associated General Contractors of America gives 90 percent of its campaign contributions to Republicans.
And then there is Senator Joseph I. Lieberman.
The group, which represents the construction industry, wrote a $4,000 check last month to Mr. Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat who is facing a spirited challenge for his party’s nomination from a political novice, Ned Lamont. The money was just a sliver of the $260,000 he has collected from political action committees since March.
But that donation and others like it have fed a perception, stoked by the Lamont campaign and its supporters on the Internet, that Mr. Lieberman is too cozy with Republicans. It is a vexing assertion for Mr. Lieberman, whose centrist politics and pragmatic style, once a source of pride, are now is being held against him by liberals and antiwar Democrats.
He is drawing financial support, not unexpectedly, from interest groups that typically gravitate to incumbents. Mr. Lamont has received no contributions from political action committees, something his campaign boasts about. Instead, Mr. Lamont’s largest contributor is himself: He has already spent $2.5 million of his own money, and yesterday announced that he would personally match every dollar donated to his campaign over the Internet.
Anyone looking for evidence of Mr. Lieberman’s bipartisan appeal can find it in his roster of recent contributors, which includes organizations that traditionally give more to Republicans. They include engineering and construction firms, some with contracts in Iraq. Those firms include Bechtel, Fluor International and Siemens, which support Republicans 64 to 70 percent of the time, according to data compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine, which tracks campaign and lobbying activities.
Florida Power and Light, which supports Republicans 84 percent of the time, gave $5,000 to Mr. Lieberman. Areva Cogema, a builder of nuclear power plants that gives 70 percent of its contributions to Republicans, contributed $1,000.
An Ohio law firm that directs 80 percent of its donations to Republicans gave $1,000. SRA International, a technology consultant that favors Republicans 66 percent of the time, gave $1,000. America’s Health Insurance Plans, representing health insurers, gives to Republicans 71 percent of the time and donated $2,000 to Mr. Lieberman.
The reasons for their support differ, and are not always clear. Most of these contributors did not support Mr. Lieberman in 2000, and many have supported only Republican candidates in Connecticut; the only other Connecticut candidate to receive a contribution this year from Areva Cogema, for example, was Representative Nancy L. Johnson, a Republican.
Mr. Lieberman sits on the Armed Services Committee and so would be expected to draw contributions from defense firms. Also, his senior position on the Environment and Public Works Committee partly explains the donation from the contractors association, said Stephen E. Sandherr, the group’s chief executive, who added that other factors come into play when backing a candidate.
“We also look at where they are on tax policy, regulatory policy, being responsive to our members in our states,” Mr. Sandherr said. “He listens. He’s very responsive to our industry.”
posted by Steve @ 12:31:00 AM