Politics

The ‘PAC Man’ Can’t Take the Heat

With rallies dubbed “Move America Forward,” Barack Obama is out trying to rev up his increasingly shrinking base of supporters before the midterm elections. One talking point that seems to be a favorite of his lately is how, if the GOP does take back Congress, the nebulous forces of “special interests” will once again be in the driver’s seat in Washington. “[Republicans] can ride with us if they want, but they’ve got to get in the back seat, because we want to go forward,” Obama told a Philadelphia crowd over the weekend. “We don’t want the special interests riding shotgun.”

Forget for a moment Barack Obama himself benefited from mother cash loads of “special interest” dough. (During the 2008 presidential cycle, the Service Employees International Union spent $27 million big ones to help elect Obama.)

And let’s conveniently overlook the fact that by adding Michael Moore-sized bureaucracy to an already burdened economy, our Prez has only incentivized the number of lobbyists in the nation’s capital to increase, as companies seek legislative carve outs and favorable governing rules to be attached to the flurry of new laws.

What’s really insidious about Obama’s hackneyed references to “special interests” is that members of his own party are huge benefactors of the type of financing that he’s on the stump deploring.

Take Rep. Jim Matheson, Utah’s only Democrat in Congress. His hometown paper, the Salt Lake Tribune, calls him the “PAC man” because, as they noted, “more than 84% of Matheson’s contributions have come from the political action committees of businesses, labor unions and other politicians.” To put this in perspective, House members typically only have 43% of their campaign contributions routed through PACs. Matheson nearly doubles that ratio.

What’s the Utah Democrat have to say for himself? We caught up with Matheson and gave him a chance to defend his fundraising tactics—you know, since Obama tells us we should all be concerned about “special interests” and all.

Matheson’s response to us: “Shame on you.” Maybe we should’ve wrote him a PAC check first. Surely he would’ve spoken to us then. Next time.

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