This came out last week and I didn’t have time to work it in. Still, it’s worth keeping alive.
Ross, who was first elected in 2000, has raised more than $10.1 million for his campaign efforts since 1999. The labor, health and Wall Street sectors all run neck-and-neck as the five-term congressman’s top financial backers.
Ross, who was first elected in 2000, has raised $1.19 million from labor unions since that election cycle. Meanwhile, he’s collected $1.18 million from health-related interests during the same time period and $1.16 million from the finance, insurance and real estate sector.
This cycle, Ross’ biggest financial backer has been the health sector, more than $357,000 in contributions — and 60 percent of that sum has come from health professionals.
The finance, insurance and real estate sector ranks No. 2 this cycle for Ross, with more than $261,500 in contributions. And the energy sector ranks No. 3 — with more than $212,900 in contributions.
Labor unions have only given Ross $42,500 this election cycle.
Health professionals, and their affiliated PACs, actually rank as Ross’ top career industry backer, giving him more than $767,200 since 1999. Lawyers and law firms rank follow health professionals, with $644,400 in contributions. And people and PACs associated with retail sales companies rank third, at $352,700 in contributions since 1999.
People and PACs associated with the following industries have all given Ross between about $200,000 and $300,000 during his career: commercial banks, industrial unions, public sector unions, building trade unions, oil and gas, forestry, transportation unions, electric utilities, insurance and crop production.
Since his election, Ross has ranked among House members as one of the top beneficiaries of money from the forestry industry.
This stuff isn’t a big secret. As soon as Ross got to Washington he stopped working for ordinary Arkansans and the people of his district and started working for Wall Street, big corporations, and their lobbyists. Yeah yeah, I know, he votes with Democrats ninety percent of the time on naming post offices and all that other important stuff. It’s just the little things, like making sure his constituents, a huge number of which are living in poverty, have access to basic health care, or cleaning up corruption and speculation on Wall Street, or protecting the planet and cleaning up our air and water, or standing up for poor, working, and middle class Americans that he votes like a Republican. Big money interests bought the Republican Party long ago. They had hoped to buy the Democratic Party through the Blue Dog Coalition, the largely defunct DLC, and a number of other “third way” conservative Democratic groups. The good news?
just 46 or 48 percent of the Blue Dog Coalition will be returning next year
If being a Blue Dog or something similar was electoral magic in “red states” Chad Causey would be headed to Congress, Blanche Lincoln would have been reelected easily, and the Blue Dogs wouldn’t have been neutered while progressives like Raul Grijalva in Arizona and Chellie Pingree in Maine, both thought to be facing competitive races, won reelection. In other words, they’re discredited and we no longer have to wring our hands when they make electability arguments. The only reason Mike Ross won reelection this cycle is because his opponent was nothing but a former beauty queen who wanted to look like Sarah Palin and put out songs while campaigning. Had the run someone serious against him this cycle he’d be gone. They may well aim for that in the next cycle, and I’d encourage unions, progressives, real Democrats, etc. to join us in not lifting a finger to help his sorry ass.
That said, there’s been noise about a primary challenge to Ross. Progressive activists have wanted that for a long time and, frankly, had things worked out a little better for us this cycle, finding someone to do so would have been my top priority headed into 2012. But we’ve got bigger fish to fry now, and scarce resources that need to be focused on taking back AR-01 and AR-02. That said, if and when Mike Ross runs for Governor in four years, he will face a stronger, better organized, progressive movement within the Democratic Party that has already shown a major ability to affect primary races. And we’re likely to have a candidate too. It’s no secret that both Dustin McDaniel and Bill Halter are eyeing this race, and either of them would be much better in any office than Mike Ross. (Personally, I hope Dustin and Bill sit down and work out their differences. They have more in common than they do petty differences and it would be nice to see one run for Governor and the other focus on something like taking out Boozman or running for Congress or something. No sense having too more progressive minded Democrats nuke each other when they could get more good done elsewhere.) So yeah, let Ross think he’s invincible. His arrogance is well known and, for now, he has every reason to be as smug as ever. Meanwhile, let’s organize, build connections, develope progressive infrastructure, build our archives for opposition research, and hone our tactics. When he leaves the safety of his district (or if a viable primary challenge does manifest itself) we’ll be ready. Or hey, maybe the Republicans will take him out in 2012 for us. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that personally. It’s not like we even have the seat at this point, as Ross’s fundraising indicates.