Anti-Cuban committees donated more than $3 million to Democratic and Republican Party electoral campaigns

News from Cuba | Friday, 15 July 2011

From Granma International

DURING the 2010 Congressional election campaign, so-called Political Action Committees (PAC) devoted to promoting an anti-Cuban policy in the United States, donated more than three million dollars to Democratic and Republican Party candidates, according to an investigation by the Center for Responsive Politics, described by La Jornada, in México.

In fact, Democrats benefited most during 2009 and 2010 from donations by these PAC’s: Cuban-American Senator Robert Menéndez, from New Jersey and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee; the liberal representative from California, Howard Berman, who chaired the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House and Congressman Ike Skelton from Missouri, who was defeated but had chaired the Armed Forces Committee. Each of these individuals received more than $100,000 from these organizations.

Senator Chuck Grassley was the Republican to receive the most support - $100,000 for his reelection campaign.

The largest anti-Cuban group is the US-Cuba Democracy PAC. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, an independent, non-partisan organization located in Washington, this PAC donated a total of $483,000 to candidates during the 2009-2010 electoral campaign, supporting Democratic representatives with donations totaling $284,500 and Republicans to the tune of $106,000.

Among these are representatives including current Speaker of the House John Boehner; his old ally Dan Burton; Henry Cuéllar, a Latino from Texas; and Eliot Engel, who until last year chaired the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

This PAC donated funds to the Senate Majority Leader, DemocratvHarry Reid; Senator Joe Lieberman (former presidential and vice presidential candidate); as well as the new Latino star in the Senate, Cuban-American Marco Rubio from Florida, among others.

Among the contributors to the PAC, the extensive list includes figures in the conservative Cuban-American community, such as José Fanjul and George Bush’s Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutiérrez.

A Political Action Committee is an entity registered with the Federal Election Commission, formed to raise and distribute funds to elect or defeat candidates for government office. PAC’s represent the interests of business, labor union or ideological groups and are limited in the amounts they can contribute to any one candidate or party. A financial accounting of their activities must be submitted to election authorities.

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