Tammy Baldwin Surpasses $200,000 in Bundled Contributions From D.C. Lobbyists

Baldwin, who has pushed to limit special interests, received a majority from J Street PAC

Sen. Tammy Baldwin / Getty Images
July 24, 2018

Democratic senator Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), who has pushed to limit the influence of special interests during her first term in the Senate, has raked in more than $200,000 in bundled contributions this cycle from lobbyists at two far-left organizations, filings show.

Individuals at the J Street PAC, a D.C.-based Middle East advocacy group that was one of the most ardent supporters of President Obama's Iran nuclear deal, and the League of Conservation Voters, an environmental group also based in D.C., supplied the money to Baldwin's campaign.

Prior to the campaign's most recent filings, lobbyists at J Street bundled $120,098.83 in donations for Baldwin. During the second quarter, which spans from April 1 to June 30, Baldwin's campaign took in an additional $37,623.66 from lobbyists at the group, according to the campaign's most recent filings to the Federal Election Commission. 

J Street is often referred to as an "anti-Israel group" by supporters of the Jewish state.

The organization poured millions into a public relations campaign blitz backing Obama's Iran nuclear deal, which was called a "historic mistake" by the Israeli government, and has come under fire in the past for inviting speakers to conferences who compared Guantanamo Bay to Auschwitz while another described Israel as a "whore."

The controversy led Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, to back out of speaking at the conference. Thirteen senators and congressmen removed their names from the event's host committee.

Lobbyists at the League of Conservation Voters have bundled $50,000 for Baldwin's campaign.

Baldwin, who was first elected in 2012, accepted the contributions from the liberal lobbyists despite pushing for legislation aimed at curtailing the influence of special interests during her first term in the Senate.

"Hardworking American families are struggling to get ahead and they can't afford to have special interests in a cozy relationship with the government," Baldwin said in 2016 when pushing an anti-special interest legislation package. "We need to make sure that government officials are working on behalf of the public interest and our common good."

Last year, Baldwin introduced legislation aimed at slowing the revolving door between the pharmaceutical industry and federal agencies.

Baldwin's campaign website additionally has a "Taking on Special Interests" section that boasts of her push to blunt certain sectors.

"Tammy is putting Wisconsin first and standing up to powerful special interests who want Washington to keep working for them—not Wisconsin," the site states. "That’s why it’s no surprise that corporate special interests, billionaire megadonors, and shady Super PACs have made Tammy their top priority and have flooded Wisconsin with millions in outside spending against her."

"No matter how much secret money these special interests spend, Tammy will continue doing right by Wisconsinites and work to reduce the influence of special interest money in our government and our elections."

Baldwin's campaign did not return a request for comment on the bundled lobbyist contributions.

Published under: Tammy Baldwin