ELECTION ‘12//CONGRESS 15 | If you access the Federal Election Commission’s campaign finance reports from a political action committee named, “Because I Care PAC,” (BICPAC) you will find the pro-Israel group lavishes thousands in contributions on some of the biggest names in the Republican Party.
The Boca Raton, FL PAC gave Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign $5,000 last year along another $1,000 this past August, according to recent FEC finance reports released Tuesday. They gave House Speaker John Boehner $1,000 last June and his lieutenant, Rep. Eric Cantor, received $2,500. Ultra-conservative presidential candidate Rick Santorum also picked up $2,500 earlier this year.
George Allen, the Virginia senate candidate who once called a black person “macaca” pulled down $1,000 from BICPAC. Texas Tea Party Rep. Ted Cruz received campaign donations, as did Rick Berg, the Republican candidate for Senate in North Dakota, who once advocated for incarcerating women who attained abortions even after rape.
The list of contributions from BICPAC is an illustrious group of ultra conservatives who will likely continue to pursue far right-wing political positions well into the next decade. But, then there’s one name on BICPAC’s list of contributions completely unknown to anybody outside of the East Bay.
However, BICPAC also contributed $500 to Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell’s congressional campaign last Sept. 18, according to his most recent FEC filings. Although, BICPAC is listed as a non-partisan committee, it typically contributes to Republicans in vastly greater percentages, according the government watchdog site, OpenSecrets.org.
In the third quarter, Swalwell’s contributions from PACs rose significantly from just a few thousand dollars during the entire campaign to $40,250 in the last three months alone, according to the reports.
From July to the end of September, Swalwell raised $233,936 in donations to his campaign with $161,116 in cash remaining. Rep. Pete Stark reported a slightly better financial haul with $266,871 in contributions, while still sitting on $537,749 in cash on hand. The clear money advantage for Stark will likely be flexed in the last few weeks of the campaign certainly in the form a flurry of mailers to district voters.
As reported last week, Swalwell’s increased viability to PACs has often come from groups historically hostile to Stark’s record, primarily in the health insurance industry and pro-Israel lobby. The medical insurance firm, Wellpoint, Inc, long a target of Stark’s, gave Swalwell a total of $5,000 from its PAC. Swalwell has also received support from medical firms, Allergen, Amgen, Merck and Pfizer totaling $9,000 in the past few months.
Swalwell’s pro-Israel stance articulated early in the primary season also attracted extensive support from Jewish groups outside of the district. In addition to BICPAC, Swalwell received $5,000 from the National Action Committee and $2,000 from both the World Alliance for Israel PAC and National PAC. Support from groups with interests in protecting Israel gravitating towards Swalwell is not at all surprising. Over Stark’s 40-year career in Congress, he has never been reverential to the Israel lobby and has generally stuck to pacifist views both domestically and internationally.
Conversely, Stark has never been shy in accepting PAC money, particularly from groups seeking his influence on the House Ways and Means health subcommittee. Roughly three-fourths of his campaign contributions come from PAC associated with the medical and pharmaceutical industries.