Tammy Baldwin Takes Another $50,000 From J Street Lobbyists

Baldwin's campaign has now accepted $170,000 in bundled contributions from lobbyists despite anti-special-interests stance

Sen. Tammy Baldwin / Getty Images
May 1, 2018

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D., Wisc.) has accepted another $50,000 in bundled contributions from lobbyists at the J Street PAC despite her anti-special-interests stance, filings show.

The $50,000 in new donations now brings Baldwin's total to $170,000 on the election cycle from lobbyists, all of which came from individuals at just two far-left organizations.

The J Street PAC, a controversial Washington, D.C.-based Middle East advocacy organization that describes itself as "pro-Israel" and "pro-peace," but is called "anti-Israel" by its opponents, has been the most generous to Baldwin in terms of lobbyist donations.

J Street was one of the biggest backers of President Barack Obama's Iran nuclear deal, which was called a "historic mistake" by the Israeli government, and threw millions of dollars into a public relations blitz in an attempt to garner support from the public on the deal.

During the first quarter of 2018, which spans from Jan. 1 to March 31, lobbyists from J Street bundled $49,452.66 for Baldwin's campaign, filings show.

Lobbyists at the group previously bundled $70,646.17 for Baldwin's campaign throughout 2017, bringing Baldwin's total from individuals at J Street to $120,098.83 on the cycle.

In addition to J Street, lobbyists at the League of Conservation Voters, a D.C.-based environmental group, have bundled nearly $50,000 for Baldwin's campaign.

Baldwin, who is considered one of the more vulnerable Democrats up for election this year, has taken the $170,000 in total bundled contributions from lobbyists despite claiming to be opposed to the undue influence of special interests.

Baldwin has introduced legislation aimed at curtailing the influence of lobbyists, mainly in the financial services industry.

"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 at the time. "We need to make sure that government officials are working on behalf of the public interest and our common good."

The press release additionally read, "#WeThePeople will hold the government more accountable, amend the Constitution to end unlimited campaign contributions, and reform the lobbying laws to limit special interest influence."

Baldwin has also been endorsed by the End Citizens United PAC, which is pushing for politicians to promise that they will no longer take donations from the political action committees of corporations.

However, Baldwin has not made that pledge. The only Democratic senators that have pledged to deny the contributions are those speculated to run for president in 2020.

Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y), and Cory Booker (N.J) have all vowed to swear off corporate PAC cash.

Democrats are reportedly quietly fretting over Baldwin's upcoming election.

President Donald Trump narrowly carried Wisconsin over Hillary Clinton, who did not once step foot in the state to campaign.

Republican senator Ron Johnson, who was considered the underdog in his race that year against former Democratic senator Russ Feingold, won the contest by nearly four points.

Johnson garnered 70,000 more votes (1,479,262) statewide than Trump (1,409,467) during the election.

Baldwin, whose approval rating currently sits at just 37 percent, is the last major statewide Democrat in Wisconsin.

An inquiry sent to Baldwin's campaign on the lobbyist donations was not returned by press time.

Published under: J Street , Tammy Baldwin