Two More Senators Ditch Corporate PACs

Two Senate Democrats joined a group of congressional incumbents running for reelection who have sworn off contributions from corporate political action committees (PACs).

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) announced on Twitter this month that they would join at least 10 other members of Congress in rejecting donations from corporate PACs in their upcoming reelection campaigns.

“Because of the corrosive effects of corporate money I have decided from this point on I will not be accepting corporate PAC checks into my campaign,” Gillibrand said in a video earlier this month.

Booker announced a similar pledge in a tweet this month, saying “our campaign finance system is broken.”

A corporate PAC is a committee funded primarily by employee and individual contributions — not from corporate treasuries — and have a $5,000 per-candidate, per-cycle donation limit. Neither candidate has said they plan to reject individual donations from employees of corporations.

End Citizens United, a nonprofit that opposes corporate money in politics, hailed the move as a victory.

“Right now, we’re seeing a wave of candidates rejecting corporate PAC money and taking a stand against the rigged system,” Anne Feldman, a spokeswoman for ECU, said in an email. “By making this commitment, Senator Gillibrand, Booker and others are showing they will fight for people and not corporate interests.”

Corporate PAC donations make up just a small percentage of campaign funding for incumbents, such as Gillibrand and Booker, who have accepted millions in PAC donations from banks, pharmaceutical companies, and international and corporate interests, FEC data shows.

Since running for Congress, Gillibrand has accepted $4.9 million from business PACs — 9.7 percent of her total fundraising. Her top PAC donors include Goldman SachsUBS AG and Morgan Stanley.

Booker, with one run for Senate under his belt, has accepted $1.8 million from business PACs — 8 percent of his total…

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