For example, Chevron Texaco has given the republican party more than $5.2 million since 1990. Under Bush' stimulus plan, they stood to receive around $572 million in the form of a retroactive tax cut. Enron has given $5.5 million during the same period, and they stood to receive $254 million. General electric stood to receive over $600 million in return for there contributions of less than $2 million. The list could go on extensively. It seems obvious that the money spent to get a candidate elected is much less than the eventual pay backs.
Democratic consultant Darry Sragow, who runs Assembly campaigns, acknowledges: "Contributions clearly do affect policy decisions
"Because if you vote against the interests of someone who has been a significant supporter, it only makes sense that person will become less of a significant supporter — or a politician's worst nightmare, a significant opponent. You vote against those interests at your peril."
The Capitol spin is that money only buys access. "Nonsense," says reformer Bob Stern, president of the Institution for Governmental Studies. "These are rational people. It buys influence or they wouldn't be wasting their money."
In 1996, Eli Lilly, the big Republican-supporting drug firm, was scared that a Clinton reelection would shut them out; a company executive, however, knew this was fixable: "We can get back into this by giving $50,000 to $100,000" to the Democrats, he said. Former Sen. Paul Simon has noted that it's not just face time these big bucks produce. He cited a special provision enacted for Federal Express when he was in the Senate as colleagues chastised him for opposing a big donor.
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