Washington, D.C.—The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is engaged in an unprecedented political advertising push, pouring millions of dollars into ads boosting favored candidates from both parties even as it pushes for a friendly overhaul of chemical safety laws, according to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
So far during the 2014 election cycle, the ACC has more than tripled disclosed spending on political ads compared to the 2012 cycle, including nearly $800,000 it spent on advertisements promoting two Republican Senate candidates just last week—Senate candidate Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). The trade association has also run thousands of other ads benefitting dozens of members of Congress that do not trigger federal disclosure requirements, so the true total is likely much higher.
“The American Chemistry Council’s pumped-up political advertising spending, campaign contributions, and lobbying dollars make it impossible for new chemical regulations to pass without its approval,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said. CREW’s research shows since the ACC hired former Rep. Calvin Dooley (D-CA) as president and CEO in 2008, the trade association has:
- More than tripled its lobbying spending over the past five years, to more than $12 million in 2013;
- Contributed more than $350,000 from its PAC so far this election cycle;
- Quintupled its contributions to state and local-level campaigns between 2008 and 2012, with the most money going to California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Georgia.
“ACC has found the right formula for influence: hire a former elected official to gain access to decision-makers, and spend a massive amount of money. This is a bad sign for Americans looking to Congress and state legislators to protect their communities from the dangers of toxic chemicals,” Ms. Sloan added.
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