61% of Donnelly’s fundraising comes from PACs

A Donnelly Watch reader alerted us to some interesting information regarding Rep. Donnelly’s fundraising. According to information made available electronically by Federal Election Commission on June 24, 2008, 61% of Donnelly’s fundraising comes from Political Action Committees (PACs).

Interestingly, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama has rejected PAC money.

Why isn’t Rep. Donnelly following Sen. Obama’s lead?

Rep. Donnelly’s opponent, Luke Puckett has received only 1% of his fundraising total from PAC contributions.

Furthermore, Rep. Donnelly’s top contributor thus far is the Renco Group, a New York City-based holding company controlled by Ira Rennert.

From Rennert’s wikipedia entry:

Rennert was awarded the The Awful Truth Man of Year Award in 1999 by filmmaker Michael Moore, based on a 1996 EPA Report which lists Magnesium Corp Of America as the top single polluting industrial facility in the United States and a second EPA report from the same year which lists Renco Group Inc. as the top most polluting parent company (based on total on-site and off-site releases)

The Renco Group is essentially a holding group that owns other companies, such as Doe Run, and used to own AM General, manufacturer of the Hummer. Ira Rennert, bought AM General for $133 million in 1992. Ronald Perelman, a Wall Street corporate raider, bought a 70 percent interest in AM General of Mishawaka, Indiana. The deal reportedly cost close to US$1,000,000,000. The company makes the military Humvee, as well as the Hummer H1 and H2 sold by General Motors. In February 2008 the Company acquired Delphi’s interiors and closures business which has been renamed Inteva Products, LLC.

The Renco Group’s wikipedia entry includes the following section under the heading “Pollution.”

The Renco Group also owns mills and mines in the United States and South America, and pollution problems at the company’s properties have sparked public outcries, environmental lawsuits, and hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental penalties and fines. One Renco subsidiary, U.S. Magnesium, is accused of polluting the Great Salt Lake.

Smelting operations by another Renco subsidiary, Doe Run Company, have caused are responsible for elevated levels of lead, arsenic, and cadmium in Herculaneum, Missouri and elevated levels of lead, copper, zinc, and sulfur dioxide in La Oroya, Peru and Doe Run, Missouri.

In 2007, La Oroya was listed by Blacksmith Institute as one of the “World’s Worst Polluted Places.”


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