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Levin and Stabenow part of new report on Industry influence in the Senate

January 12, 2011

Last week the Center for Public Integrity published a new report entitled Senate Chairs: Democrats Have Deep Ties to Industries They Oversee.

The report looks at 12 Democratic Senators, which chair major committees, their top PAC (Political Action Committee) contributors, whether or not their former staff work as registered lobbyists, budget earmarks and campaign promises.

Both Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin are part of the report, since both of them chair major committees – Levin the Senate Armed Services Committee and Stabenow the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. Here are some of the findings on both Stabenow and Levin.

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Top PAC Contributors

Mylan Inc., a pharmaceutical company — at least $30,000

UAW, the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (better known as the United Auto Workers) — at least $27,500

DaVita Inc., a kidney care and dialysis provider — at least $25,000

New York Life Insurance Co., an insurance and investment firm — at least $22,500

Real Estate Roundtable, a public policy group made up of real estate trade associations — at least $22,500

United Steelworkers, a 1.2 million-member labor union for metals, manufacturing, paper and forestry products, chemical industry, health care, pharmaceuticals, public services, mining and energy, and utilities workers — at least $22,500

PACs gave at least $1.4 million to Stabenow’s campaign account and her America’s Leadership leadership PAC

Revolving Door

Patrick Cavanagh, a former Stabenow director of constituent communications, is now vice president for federal affairs at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity

Raphael Goodstein, a former legislative correspondent for Stabenow, is legislative director for the American Automotive Policy Council, a coalition of the Chrysler Group, Ford Motors, and General Motors to promote American automobiles

Noushin Jahanian, after seven years as policy director and chief counsel to Stabenow, now lobbies for The Washington Tax Group on behalf of Yum! Brands, Monsanto Company, Applied Materials Inc., and Oerlikon Solar USA

Lisa Layman, who was senior policy adviser to Stabenow from 2005 to 2007, is director of government law and strategies at Brown Rudnick, lobbying for Apotex Corporation, Hospira Inc., and Norwalk Hospital of Norwalk, Conn.

Alexander “Sander” Lurie, Stabenow’s chief of staff and legislative director from 2001 to 2007, is a principal at SNR Denton, lobbying clients including Allstate Insurance Co., Marsh & McLennan Cos., Sara Lee, and UCare, a nonprofit health insurance company

Mat Young, a former economic policy director for Stabenow, is director of congressional and political affairs at the American Institute of CPAs


Between 2008 and 2010, Stabenow obtained more than $744 million in earmarks, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense

In 2010, she obtained in excess of $186 million in earmarks, including $2.4 million to A123Systems Inc. for an advanced lithium ion phosphate battery system for army vehicles, $1.6 million to AAR Mobility Systems for air mobility shelters and communications systems for the National Guard, and $800,000 to Calumet Electronics for highly integrated siloxane optical interconnect for military avionics. All three companies are headquartered or have major operations in Michigan

Campaign Promises

In a release, Stabenow pledged a bipartisan push to write “a new farm bill that once again recognizes the importance of America’s agricultural economy and rural communities”

Senator Carl Levin

Top PAC Contributors

Butzel Long Tighe Patton, a law firm that lobbies for a range of clients including Guam Shipyard and the Workers United labor union — at least $15,048

Amalgamated Bank, the only bank in the U.S. wholly owned by a labor union — at least $15,000

Service Employees International Union, the 2.2 million-member union of service workers — at least $12,500

Laborers’ International Union of North America, the labor union for the construction industry — at least $12,500

PACs gave at least $1.1 million to Levin’s campaign account

Revolving Door

Jason Hill, a former healthcare legislative aide to Levin, is now director of federal government relations for Wal-Mart

Carla Kish, a legislative assistant to Levin in the early 1980s, is a lobbyist at The Margolin Group and represents the County of Los Angeles, Planned Parenthood of California, and the Tarzana Treatment Centers

Marda J. Robillard, who worked for Levin from 1978 to 1986, is now vice president at Van Scoyoc Associates, where she lobbies for Anheuser-Busch Companies, Prince William County, Va., and the Center for Responsible Lending

William J. Weber, a former Levin legislative assistant, is a partner at the Baker Hostetler firm, lobbying for Catalyst Paper Corporation, Federated Investors, Inc., and the Colgate-Palmolive Company


Between 2008 and 2010, Levin obtained over $834 million in earmarks, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense

In 2010, he obtained more than $243 million in earmarks, including $1.6 million for Raytheon Company’s Troy, Mich., location for Hybrid Electric Drive All Terrain Vehicles, $2 million for GE Aviation Systems LLC in Grand Rapids, Mich. for Precision Engagement Technologies for Unmanned Systems, and $3.2 million for L-3 Communications’ Combat Propulsion Systems division in Muskegon, Mich., for Heavy Fuel Engine Family for Unmanned Systems, all defense contractors


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