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Trevor Potter Quoted in Bloomberg, Debt Panel Co-Chairman Murray Counts U.S. Defense Industry as a Top Donor

August 11, 2011, Bloomberg

Excerpt taken from article.

When Washington Democrat Patty Murray fought to keep her Senate seat last November, two allies emerged: the lobbying community and the defense industry.

As the newly appointed co-chairwoman of the 12-member, bipartisan committee charged with finding $1.5 trillion in budget savings, Murray's campaign supporters now are sure to come calling for her help.

"If lobbyists are not trying to get to her, then their clients should probably fire them," said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group in Washington. "Every lobbyist is going to go through their Rolodex to try and figure out all the connections to the 12 members of the ‘super committee.'"

About $900,000 in campaign contributions from lobbyists and political action committees associated with them poured into Murray's 2010 campaign account, according to disclosure reports categorized by the Center for Responsive Politics. Defense companies' PACs and employees chipped in almost $200,000 more, while hometown employer Boeing Co. delivered a critically timed endorsement in her re-election bid.

Those ties will be particularly important for the defense industry, which has been targeted for about $500 billion in automatic cuts if the committee fails to fulfill its charge.

"It is normal for members of Congress to raise money from lobbyists," said Trevor Potter, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Election Commission and president of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based organization that defends campaign finance limits.

Click here to read the whole article on Senator Murray and campaign finance limits.

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