Swamped With Cash

Political campaign contributions and the assault on America's wetlands laws

March 1, 1996

Swamped With Cash: Anti-wetlands PAC Contributions to the House of Representatives

Anti-wetlands PACs have given considerable sums of money to influence current members of Congress. In the 1994 and 1996 campaign cycles (See Note 5) anti-wetlands PACs associated with members of the National Wetlands Coalition and the American Petroleum Institute made $5.5 million in contributions to current members of the House of Representatives. (Table 4 and Table 5.)

Table 4. PACs associated with members of the National Wetlands Coalition gave more than $2.6 million to members of the House who voted against the Gilchrest amendment.

Name of Political Action Committee Contributions
to House members
who voted against
Gilchrest amendment,
1994-1996 cycles
Contributions
to House members
who voted for
Gilchrest amendment,
1994-1996 cycles
Ratio of
contributions: anti-Gilchrest
vs.
pro-Gilchrest
       
Union Pacific Fund For Effective Government $405,045 $101,240 4.0
Exxon Corporation Political Action Committee $282,950 $42,880 6.6
Tenneco Inc. Employees Good Government Fund $220,525 $81,550 2.7
International Council Of Shopping Centers Inc PAC $189,146 $35,549 5.3
Chevron Employees Political Action Committee $179,764 $22,300 8.1
National Association Of Realtors $107,345 $86,855 1.2
Texaco Political Involvement Committee $138,200 $38,735 3.6
Atlantic Richfield Company, Arco Pac $138,390 $39,550 3.5
National Cotton Council Comm. for the Adv. Of Cotton $116,396 $21,850 5.3
Nat. Util. Contr. Assn. Legislative Info. & Action Comm. $81,800 $44,700 1.8
Mobil Corporation Political Action Committee $83,075 $23,550 3.5
Panhandle Eastern Corp Political Action Committee $73,264 $21,650 3.4
Shell Oil Company Employees' Political Awareness Committee $73,050 $11,500 6.4
Interstate Natural Gas Association Of America PAC $58,296 $16,900 3.4
G-P Employees Fund Of Georgia-Pacific Corporation $63,993 $11,800 5.4
Freeport-McMoran Inc Citizenship Committee $49,000 $15,500 3.2
BP America PAC $47,950 $15,550 3.1
Williams Companies Political Action Committee $55,600 $6,700 8.3
Entergy Services, Inc. Good Government Action Committee $47,100 $13,350 3.5
Union Oil (Unocal) Political Awareness Fund $47,575 $12,113 3.9
Sun Company Inc Political Action Committee $37,500 $18,050 2.1
National Stone Association StonePAC $31,800 $8,900 3.6
Kerr-Mcgee Corporation Political Action Committee $33,250 $3,500 9.5
Cons. Nat. Gas Svc. Co., Inc. Executives' Political Fund $26,200 $9,950 2.6
National Realty Political Action Committee (RealPAC) $16,250 $8,350 1.9
Occidental Oil & Gas Corporation PAC $19,100 $1,000 19.1
First Commerce Corporation Political Action Committee $9,200 $8,050 1.1
American Road & Transportation Builders Association $11,100 $3,500 3.2
Fina Inc. & Fina Oil And Chemical Co. PAC $11,100 $4,000 2.8
Louisiana Land And Exploration Co. PAC $11,700 $2,000 5.9
China Clay Producers Assoc. Inc. PAC $6,250 $2,000 3.1
Hunt Oil Company Political Action Committee $2,500 $500 5.0
       
Total, all PACs associated with Nat. Wetlands Coalition $2,674,414 $733,622 3.6

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

Note: Data for the 1996 election cycle include contributions through Dec. 31, 1995. Listed PACs may have given additional contributions to members who did not vote on the Gilchrest amendment.

 

Table 5. PACs associated with members of the American Petroleum Institute, but not with the National Wetlands Coalition, gave more than $1.4 million to members of the House who voted against the Gilchrest amendment.

Name of Political Action Committee Contributions
to House members
who voted against
Gilchrest amendment,
1994-1996 cycles
Contributions
to House members
who voted for
Gilchrest amendment,
1994-1996 cycles
Ratio of
contributions: anti-Gilchrest
vs.
pro-Gilchrest
       
Fluor Corporation Public Affairs Committee $192,300 $25,930 7.4
Coastal Corp. Employee Action Fund $137,300 $50,405 2.7
FMC Corporation Good Government Program $153,300 $38,750 4.0
Amoco Political Action Committee $119,850 $30,500 3.9
Allied-Signal Political Action Committee $84,800 $45,350 1.9
Ashland Inc Political Action Committee For Employees $112,600 $18,250 6.2
Phillips Petroleum Company Political Action Committee $100,200 $12,400 8.1
Babcock & Wilcox Company Good Government Fund $69,100 $19,000 3.6
Dresser Industries Political Action Committee $68,200 $12,150 5.6
Marathon Oil Co. Employees PAC $62,550 $12,000 5.2
JEG Good Government Committee $43,750 $23,000 1.9
LTV Steel Active Citizenship Campaign $35,930 $28,050 1.3
Lorillard Public Affairs Committee $37,125 $10,050 3.7
Rhone-poulenc Inc Political Action Committee $25,000 $18,000 1.4
Crowley Maritime Federal Political Action Committee $25,723 $16,550 1.6
Dow Chemical Company Employees' PAC $36,750 $2,000 18.4
Cf Industries Employees' Good Government Fund $33,100 $8,000 4.1
Better Government Fund Of McDermott Inc. $27,500 $13,100 2.1
Dow Chem. Co.-Headquarters Unit Employees PAC $24,550 $6,000 4.1
Santa Fe Pacific Corporation PAC $24,450 $2,200 11.1
Nalco Chemical Company PAC $17,750 $6,600 2.7
Kirby Corporation PAC $11,677 $3,000 3.9
Maritrans Inc Political Action Committee $2,750 $4,900 0.6
Mitchell Energy & Development Corp PAC $5,500 - -
Foster Wheeler Corporation PAC $1,000 $4,200 0.2
Ethyl Corporation Political Action Committee $4,000 $250 16.0
Gatx Corporation Good Government Program $2,000 $2,500 0.8
Baker Hughes Incorporated PAC $1,750 $1,500 1.2
Stockham Valves And Fittings PAC $3,475 - -
Employees Of Mustang Fuel Corporation PAC $2,000 - -
Continental Emsco Co. Active Citizenship Campaign $1,000 $1,000 1.0
Goulds Pumps Inc. Employee PAC $400 - -
       
Total, selected PACs $1,467,380 $415,635 3.5

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

Note: Data for the 1996 election cycle include contributions through Dec. 31, 1995. Listed PACs may have given additional contributions to members who did not vote on the Gilchrest amendment.

These contributions appear to have yielded results in the legislative arena. An amendment offered on the House floor by Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) that would have restored a scientifically sound definition of wetlands to the Clean Water Act was defeated by a vote of 247 to 180. During the 1994 and 1996 election cycles, anti-wetlands PACs gave more than $4.1 million to members of the House who voted against the Gilchrest amendment, but only $1.15 million to members who voted for the Gilchrest amendment. (See Figure 3.) On average, members of the House who voted for the Gilchrest amendment received about $6,400 each over the period studied, as compared with nearly $17,000 each for members who voted against the amendent. (See Figure 4.)

Figure 3. In the 1994 and 1996 campaign cycles, anti-wetlands PACs gave $4.1 million to members of the House who voted against the Gilchrest amendment, but less than $1.2 million to members who voted for the Gilchrest amendment.

bar chart

 

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from Federal Election Commission data. Note: Data for the 1996 election cycle include contributions through Dec. 31, 1995.

Figure 4. In the 1994 and 1996 campaign cycles, anti-wetlands PACs paid an average of $16,768 to members of the House who voted against the Gilchrest amendment, but only $6,385 to members who voted for the Gilchrest amendment.

Bar chart

 

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from Federal Election Commission data. Note: Data for the 1996 election cycle include contributions through Dec. 31, 1995.

Eighteen anti-wetlands PACs gave more than $100,000 over the 1994 and 1996 election cycles; their contributions were skewed heavily towards those who voted against the Gilchrest amendment. (See Figure 5.)

Figure 5. Eighteen anti-wetlands PACs gave more than $100,000 to members of the House in the 1994 and 1996 election cycles.

bar chart

 

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from Federal Election Commission data. Note: Data for the 1996 election cycle include contributions through Dec. 31, 1995.

Of the 25 top recipients of anti-wetlands PAC money who voted on the Gilchrest amendment, 22 voted against Gilchrest (Table 6). Anti-wetlands PAC contributions during 1995 were particularly tilted in favor members who voted against the Gilchrest amendment: of members who voted against the Gilchrest amendment, 87 percent received anti-wetlands contributions during 1995, while just 55 percent of pro-Gilchrest voters received contributions during 1995. Even contributions to members of the House water and environment subcommittee, of which Rep. Gilchrest is a member, heavily favored members who voted against Rep. Gilchrest's amendment. (See Figure 6.)

Table 6. Of the top 25 recipients of anti-wetlands PAC contributions in the House who voted on the Gilchrest amendment, 22 voted against Gilchrest, and only 3 voted for Gilchrest.

Name of member Total contributions from anti-wetlands PACs, 1994-1996 cycles

Rank Vote on the Gilchrest amendment
1 Laughlin, Greg (R-TX) $97,748 N
2 Young, Don (R-AK) $80,923 N
3 Tauzin, W. J. (R-LA) $74,600 N
4 Hayes, James (R-LA) $74,208 N
5 Fields, Jack (R-TX) $70,800 N
6 Davis, Thomas (R-VA) $67,952 Y
7 Shuster, Bud (R-PA) $60,800 N
8 Livingston, Bob (R-LA) $60,250 N
9 Brewster, Bill (D-OK) $55,114 N
10 Barton, Joe (R-TX) $54,929 N
11 Oxley, Michael (R-OH) $54,380 N
12 Cubin, Barbara (R-WY) $51,750 N
13 Payne, Lewis (D-VA) $49,866 N
14 McCrery, Jim (R-LA) $48,873 N
15 Schaefer, Dan (R-CO) $46,319 N
16 Dingell, John (D-MI) $45,500 Y
17 Moran, James (D-VA) $44,039 Y
18 Stenholm, Charles (D-TX) $41,457 N
19 Bliley, Thomas (R-VA) $40,400 N
20 Thomas, William (R-CA) $38,000 N
21 Murtha, John (D-PA) $37,800 N
22 Bonilla, Henry (R-TX) $36,750 N
23 Crapo, Michael (R-ID) $36,670 N
24 Armey, Richard (R-TX) $36,600 N
25 McInnis, Scott (R-CO) $34,653 N

Name of member Total contributions from anti-wetlands PACs, 1994-1996 cycles

Rank Vote on the Gilchrest amendment
1 Laughlin, Greg (R-TX) $97,748 N
2 Young, Don (R-AK) $80,923 N
3 Tauzin, W. J. (R-LA) $74,600 N
4 Hayes, James (R-LA) $74,208 N
5 Fields, Jack (R-TX) $70,800 N
6 Davis, Thomas (R-VA) $67,952 Y
7 Shuster, Bud (R-PA) $60,800 N
8 Livingston, Bob (R-LA) $60,250 N
9 Brewster, Bill (D-OK) $55,114 N
10 Barton, Joe (R-TX) $54,929 N
11 Oxley, Michael (R-OH) $54,380 N
12 Cubin, Barbara (R-WY) $51,750 N
13 Payne, Lewis (D-VA) $49,866 N
14 McCrery, Jim (R-LA) $48,873 N
15 Schaefer, Dan (R-CO) $46,319 N
16 Dingell, John (D-MI) $45,500 Y
17 Moran, James (D-VA) $44,039 Y
18 Stenholm, Charles (D-TX) $41,457 N
19 Bliley, Thomas (R-VA) $40,400 N
20 Thomas, William (R-CA) $38,000 N
21 Murtha, John (D-PA) $37,800 N
22 Bonilla, Henry (R-TX) $36,750 N
23 Crapo, Michael (R-ID) $36,670 N
24 Armey, Richard (R-TX) $36,600 N
25 McInnis, Scott (R-CO) $34,653 N

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

Note: Data for the 1996 election cycle include contributions through Dec. 31, 1995. Listed PACs may have given additional contributions to members who did not vote on the Gilchrest amendment.

Figure 6. In the 1994 and 1996 election cycles, anti-wetlands PACs gave more money to members of the House environment subcommittee who voted against the Gilchrest amendment than to members who voted for the Gilchrest amendment.

bar chart

 

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from Federal Election Commission data. Note: Data for the 1996 election cycle include contributions through Dec. 31, 1995.

Notes

5. Data for the 1996 election cycle include all campaign contributions made on or before December 31, 1995.