Project Relief

PAC contributions from Project Relief member companies and trade associations

Wednesday, February 1, 1995

Project Relief

PAC contributions from Project Relief member companies and trade associations

Summary

Project Relief is an alliance of corporations, trade associations, think tanks and law firms formed in December 1994, to promote the regulatory reform components of the House Republican "Contract with America." With 350 industry members -- many of which are powerful Fortune 500 corporations -- and a half-million dollar communications budget, Project Relief works closely with Republican members of Congress to draft legislation and lobby members to support regulatory reform legislation. According to an in-depth study of Project Relief by The Washington Post (March 12, 1995), this coalition provided staff to draft key amendments of the regulatory moratorium bill that was passed by the House on February 24. As debate over the moratorium approached, Project Relief lobbyists organized a collaborative lobbying effort aimed at Democrats, whose support the industry groups needed to pass the bill. Project Relief also supplied staff to work with Rep. David McIntosh (R-IN) in the war room he set up to respond to challenges from the opposition as the bill went to the House floor. The regulatory moratorium passed the House with a final vote of 276 to 146. This moratorium, retroactive to November 20, 1994, would not only freeze future environmental and public health protections, but nullify essential safeguards already in place.

One reason Project Relief wields such influence in the halls of Congress is that it is backed by millions of industry dollars. In addition to drafting bills, directly lobbying members of Congress, and providing staff to help Republican lawmakers pass regulatory reform legislation, member companies and trade associations of Project Relief also contribute large sums of money to members of Congress through their Political Action Committees (PACs). One hundred and fifteen PACs associated with members of Project Relief contributed over $10.3 million to members of the House in one, two-year House cycle (1993-1994), and $8.9 million to members of the Senate in one, six-year Senate cycle (1989-1994).

 

Contributions to Influential Members of the House and Senate

Project Relief targets its contributions to members of Congress who are in positions to strongly influence the outcome of regulatory reform legislation. The 21 members of the House Regulatory Task Force received, on average, 24 percent more than fellow members from Project Relief PACs. Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), who was instrumental in the creation of Project Relief, and who chairs the House Regulatory Task Force, received $38,423 from Project Relief PACs in 1994, or nearly 2.3 times the $16,790 average amount received by members of the House. Freshman Rep. David McIntosh (R-IN), who is chairman of the House regulatory affairs subcommittee, and ran Dan Quayle's Council on Competitiveness during the Bush Administration, received $37,056 from Project Relief PACs -- more than twice the average (Figure 1). House leadership was also targeted by Project Relief. The 11 members of the leadership received, on average, $36,052 from Project Relief PACs in 1994, or over twice the average amount received by a House member in the same year (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Project Relief contributions to House Regulatory Task Force in 1994

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Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from Federal Election Commission records.

 

Figure 2: Project Relief contributions to House leadership in 1994

house leadership

 

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from Federal Election Commission records.

A similar pattern occurs in the Senate, where the 15 members of the Senate Regulatory Task Force received more than $2 million, or 23 percent of total Senate contributions from Project Relief PACs from January 1989 through November 1994 (Figure 3). Members of the Senate leadership received, on average, $116,186, or 30 percent more than the $89,263 average received by a Senator in one, six-year Senate cycle (Figure 4).

 

Figure 3: Project Relief contributions to Senate Regulatory Task Force in 1994

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Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from Federal Election Commission records.

 

Figure 4: Project Relief contributions to Senate leadership in 1994

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Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from Federal Election Commission records.

Project Relief's Contributions are Paying Off

A set of regulatory reform legislation, supported by industry and opposed by a coalition of health, safety, labor, environmental and other public interest groups, has been rapidly passed by the new House. The regulatory moratorium passed the House by a vote of 276 to 146. Regulatory elements of the "Contract With America," including compensatory "takings" and risk assessment, also passed the House by wide margins. Project Relief, backed by millions of industry dollars, has played an important role in lobbying members of Congress to vote for regulatory reform measures. Such measures are currently being debated in the Senate. The fate of the regulatory moratorium is still uncertain, but significant amendments to ensure continued public health protections, such as meat inspection and safe drinking water standards, were defeated in Senate committee.

Given Project Relief's record of campaign giving, this alliance, made up largely of industry groups, promises to play an influential role in upcoming debates and decisions about the future of critical public health and environmental safeguards.

 

Study Methods

The Environmental Working Group identified 115 Political Action Committees (PACs) associated with a list of nearly 200 corporations, corporate trade associations, think tanks and law firms that are members of Project Relief. Using Federal Election Commission records from January 1989 through November 1994, EWG analyzed Project Relief PAC contributions to members of the House and Senate.

For current House members, EWG analyzed contributions from January 1994 through November 1994 to members -- including freshmen -- in order to reflect their most recent election cycle. The analysis of the Senate was more complicated because of the six-year Senate cycle. In order to capture contributions to the Senate, it was necessary to look at a full six-year cycle, because members receive most of their money during election years. Limiting the Senate analysis to 1994, as EWG did for the House, would not accurately show the amounts received from Project Relief PACs by members that were not up for reelection in 1994, but received most of their money in the 1990 or 1992 election cycles. Senate contribution averages were determined by calculating the average amount received over a six-year period -- one full Senate cycle -- by incumbent Senators.

It should be noted that EWG's analysis underestimates the total that members of Project Relief have contributed to Congress. EWG did not research the individual members of the numerous trade associations that belong to Project Relief, such as the Chemical Manufacturers Association or the National Association of Manufacturers. If EWG were able to analyze the contributions of all companies that belong to these trade associations, the total contributions from corporate interests associated with Project Relief would be significantly higher. Project Relief, then, enjoys an even greater influence in Congress than is shown in this study.

Member Company/Trade Association -- Political Action Committee

Adolph Coors Co. -- Political Action Coors Employees
Air Conditioning Contractors of America -- Air Conditioning Contractors of America PAC
American Association of Nurserymen -- AAN-Nursery Industry PAC
American Bakers Association -- Amer Bakers Assn Bread PAC
American Feed Industry -- Feed Industry Political Action Committee
American Independent Refiners Association -- American Independent Refiners Assn PAC
American Movers Conference -- American Movers Conf. PAC
American Subcontractors Association -- American Subcontractors Assn Inc PAC
American Trucking Associations -- Specialized Carriers & Rigging Assn Inc PAC
American Trucking Associations -- Trucking Industry Political Action Committee
American Trucking Associations -- Trucking PAC of the Amer Trucking Assns
American Trucking Associations -- Interstate Truckload Carriers Conf PAC
American Wholesale Marketers Association -- Amer Wholesale Marketers Assn Whole-PAC
Amoco -- Amoco Political Action Committee
Amway corporation -- Amway Political Action Committee
Ashland Oil -- Ashland Oil PAC for Employees
Ashland Oil -- Arch Mineral Political Action Committee
Ashland Oil -- Aecom Technology Corp Govt Affairs Committee
Associated Builders and Contractors -- Tennessee ABC-PAC
Associated Builders and Contractors -- Assoc Bldrs & Contractors Georgia Inc. PAC
Associated Builders and Contractors -- Assoc Builders and Contractors PAC
Associated General Contractors of America -- Assoc General Contractors North Dakota PAC
Associated General Contractors of America -- Assoc General Contractors PAC
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers -- Assn of Home Appliance Manufacturers' PAC
Association of Telemessaging Services -- Assn of Telemessaging Services Intl PAC
BellSouth Corporation -- BellSouth Corporation Federal PAC
BellSouth Corporation -- BellSouth Services Inc. Federal PAC
BellSouth Corporation -- BellSouth Telecommunications Inc Fed PAC
BellSouth Corporation -- L. M. Berry and Company PAC
BellSouth Corporation -- South Central Bell Telephone Co. Fed PAC
CBI Industries Inc. -- CBI Industries PAC
Chemical Manufacturers Association -- Chemical Manuf Association PAC
Chevron -- Chevron Employees PAC
Chevron -- Chevron Employees Texas PAC
Conservative Caucus -- Conservative Caucus Inc
Conservative Caucus -- Conservative Caucus PAC
Conservative Victory Committee -- Conservative Victory Committee
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Credit Union Legislative Action Council
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Mich Credit Union League Legis Action Fund
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Alabama Credit Union Legis Action Council
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- California Credit Union League PAC
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Kentucky Credit Union League Members PAC
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Mass Cuna Credit Union Assn PAC
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Midwest Asn Of Credit Unions PAC
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Montana Credit Unions PAC
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Nebraska Credit Union League PAC
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- Penn Credit Union Legis Action Cttee
Credit Union Legislative Action Council -- South Carolina Credit Union League PAC
Entergy -- "Entergy Services, Inc. Good Gvt Action Committee
Entergy -- Employees of Entergy Operations Inc PAC
Entergy -- Ano Employees of Entergy Operations Inc PAC
Entergy -- Employees of Louisiana Power & Light Co PAC
Entergy -- ENPAC Ark Power & Light Co. Energy PAC
Entergy -- Louisiana Employees Ctte on Political Action
Entergy -- New Orl Public Service Inc Committeefor Resp Govt
Federal Express -- Federal Express Corporation PAC
Fleishman-Hillard -- Fleishman-Hillard PAC
Food Marketing Institute -- Food Marketing Institute PAC
GEC-Marconi Electronic Systems Corp. -- GEC-Marconi Electronic Systems Corp PAC
General Electric -- General Electric Company PAC
Grocery Manufacturers Association -- Grocery Manufacturers of America Inc PAC
Hill & Knowlton -- Hill & Knowlton Inc. PAC
Independent Insurance Agents of America -- Indep Insurance Agents of America Inc PAC
International Council of Shopping Centers -- International Council Of Shopping Centers
International Council of Shopping Centers -- Intl Council of Shopping Centers Inc PAC
International Mass Retail Association -- International Mass Retail Association PAC
Kidder Peabody Group Inc. -- Nonpart Polit Support CommitteeKidder Peabody
Maytag Corporation -- Maytag Corp Employees for Good Govt Fund
Mechanical Association of America -- Mechanical Contractors PAC
National Aggregates Association -- Natl Aggregates Assn PAC Natl Sand & Gravel PAC
National Association of Convenience Stores -- National Association of Convenience Stores
Natl Assoc of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors -- Natl Assn Plumb-Heating-Cooling Contractors PAC
National Association of Realtors -- Realtors For Good Government
National Association of Realtors -- Realtors Political Action Committee
National Association of Realtors -- California Real Estate PAC
National Association of Realtors -- Minn Assn of Realtors Real Estate PAC
National Association of Retail Druggists -- Natl Assn Of Retail Druggists PAC
Nal Assoc. of Small Bus. Investment Companies -- Natl Assn of Sm Busin Investment Companies PAC
National Association of Wholesale Distributors -- Whlsl-Distrib PAC Natl Assn of Whlsl-Distributors
National Beer Wholesalers' Association -- National Beer Wholesalers' Assn PAC
National Chamber of Commerce -- Natl Chamber Alliance/Politics of Chamber of Comm
National Electrical Contractors Association -- Electrical Constr PAC
Natl Federation of Indep. Business (NFIB) -- Natl Federation of Independent Business
Natl Federation of Indep. Business (NFIB) -- Natl Fed of Indep Business Free Enterprise PAC
Natl Federation of Indep. Business (NFIB) -- NFIB/Save America's Free EnterTrust
National Food Processors Association -- Natl Food Processors Assn PAC
National Grocers Association -- National Grocers Assn PAC
Natl Lumber & Bldg Material Dealers Assoc -- Natl Lumber & Bldg Material Dealers Assn PAC
National Pest Control Association -- National Pest Control Assn PAC
National Restaurant Association -- National Restaurant Assn PAC
National Restaurant Association -- Texas Restaurant Assn PAC
National Retail Federation -- National Retail Federation PAC
National Retail Federation -- National Retail Federation Store/PAC
National Roofing Contractors Association -- Natl Roofing Contractors Assn RoofPAC
National Tooling & Machining Association -- Natl Tooling & Mach Assn Committeefor Strong Economy
National Utility Contractors Association -- Natl Utility Contractors Assn Legis Info & Action Committee
Natl-Amer Whlsl Grocers & Intl Food Distrib. Assoc. -- Natl-Amer Whlsl Grocers & Intl Food Distributors
Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association -- Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Assn's PAC
Petroleum Marketers Association of America -- Illinois Marketers Political Action Committee
Petroleum Marketers Association of America -- Petrol Marketers Assn of Amer Sm Businessmen's Cmttee
PHH Corp. -- PHH Corporation Employee PAC
Printing Industries of America -- Printing Industries of America
Roadway Services Inc. -- Roadway Services Inc REXPAC
Roadway Services Inc. -- Viking Freight, Inc. Political Action Committee
Ryder System Inc. -- Ryder Employees Political Action Committee
Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contrs Natl Assoc. -- Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors' PAC
Snack Food Association -- Snack Food Association
Society of American Florists -- Society of American Florists PAC
Soft Drink PAC -- Soft Drink PAC
Union Pacific -- Union Pacific Fund for Effective Government
United Parcel Service (UPS) -- United Parcel Service Political Action Committee
UNOCAL Corp. -- Union Oil (UNOCAL) Political Awareness Fund
Wal-Mart -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc PAC for Responsible Govt
Wal-Mart -- McLane Company Inc. Federal PAC
Wexler Group -- Wexler Group Political Action Committee