Does money get votes? The cash for climate story

As mentioned previously on this site, Ottawa city councillors get a fair whack of money from developers for their campaigns.

Here is yet more evidence that donations do affect voting intentions. This comes from the US, where both houses are wrangling with climate change legislation.

On June 26, the House narrowly passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454) by a vote of 219 to 212. The final version of the bill that passed the House Floor differed substantially from the version that was originally introduced by Reps. Waxman and Markey.

As the bill heads to the Senate for further markups and compromises, MAPLight.org examined some of the House actions that illustrate the influence of special interests on the legislative process.

House members’ positions on changes to the bill tended to correlate with financial support from the interest groups that would benefit from these changes.

Money matters. Legislators respond to campaign contributions, and if their voters do not approve, yet say nothing, it’s the money that will talk.

I’ve heard from lobbyists that they only wish they had the influence over a legislator that constituents had. I only wish constituents knew it as well, and would take the time to contact their representatives. Even a phone call can make a difference.

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