Saturday, February 23, 2008
Out-Of-State Special Interests Finance Carson's Campaign
Out-of-state special interest monies are flowing into the campaign of Democratic 7th District congressional candidate Andre Carson despite rhetoric coming from him in last Tuesday's candidates forum at which he decried the role of special interest money in our campaigns and called for comprehensive campaign finance reform. According to a filing with the FEC this week, Carson snatched up $13,200 from out-of-state PACS within a 48-hour period, while reporting no similar large contributions which trigger the 48-hour reporting requirement from within the 7th District.
One contribution which is likely to draw attention is a $1,700 contribution Carson accepted from the Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee. According to PAKPAC's website, it is "the largest and most organized group of American Muslims for a single country." The PAC's objectives include expanding federal aid to Pakistan and advocating the appointment of more Pakistani Americans to positions within the U.S. government. Carson, who would become only the second Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, has raised concerns in the 7th District among members of his own party because of his ties to Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a long history of espousing views condemned as being anti-Semitic, racist and anti-gay. Carson invited Farrakhan to eulogize his grandmother, the late U.S. Rep. Julia Carson, at her funeral. Farrakhan echoed U.S. Rep. Carolyn Kirkpatrick's (D-MI) support for Carson at his grandmother's funeral. Kirkpatrick claimed the dying Carson told her to "send my seed", referring to grandson Andre.
Carson's largest out-of-state contribution, $5,000, came from Majority PAC, which is controlled by U.S. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq. Murtha was recently embarrassed when an FBI video tape from the ABSCAM investigation surfaced in which he hinted he might accept a bribe at some point in the future. As Wikipedia writes, "The FBI videotaped Murtha responding to an offer of $50,000, with Murtha saying, 'I'm not interested... at this point. [If] we do business for a while, maybe I'll be interested, maybe I won't', right after Murtha had offered to provide names of businesses and banks in his district where money could be invested legally." A resolution was also offered by U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) in 2007 calling for Murtha to be reprimanded after he complained that Murtha threatened retaliatory action against him on his district's earmarks after Rogers attempted to cut an earmark for Murtha's district. The motion was later tabled without action.
Carson collected $1,000 from U.S. Rep. Artur Davis' (D-AL) campaign committee. He also cashed a $2,500 check from UPS PAC in Atlanta, GA and a $3,000 check from Oregon-based Committee for a Livable Future. More importantly, Carson's TV and radio ads hitting Indianapolis' airwaves are being funded entirely by the DCCC. A source confirms that the DCCC began dumping large expenditures in the 7th District race after its internal polling conducted about three weeks ago confirmed the results of an earlier poll conducted by U.S. Rep. Carolene Mays, which showed Carson locked in a dead heat race with Republican Jon Elrod.