A reader sent Bluestem the latests Agri-Pulse newsletter; the lead article, Ag, energy sectors putting up big bucks for 2016 election reports:
Agriculture, food and energy industry Political Action Committees (PACs) are preparing in a big way for the upcoming presidential election, having already contributed a combined $24.9 million to political candidates in the first half of the 2015-2016 election cycle.
Farm groups and agribusinesses, along with food manufacturers, processors, retailers and their associations contributed just shy of $10.2 million to political campaigns in 2015. Almost three-fourths of those PAC dollars – 72 percent – went to Republican candidates, according to Federal Election Commission data assembled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Energy PACs, including oil and gas companies, renewable energy producers, electric utilities and their respective industry groups, gave $14.6 million, with 78 percent going to GOP politicians. . . .
“PAC contributions are one tool we use” to develop relationships with candidates, Jon Doggett, executive vice president for the National Corn Growers Association, told Agri-Pulse. “But it’s not the number one tool,” or even the number two or three tool, he said. “We use it selectively… to support our friends that have supported us.” . . .
Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the ranking member on the House Ag Committee, collected $209,525 in PAC funds from ag groups. Top contributors were Land O’Lakes ($10,500), the American Association of Crop Insurers ($10,000), the National Turkey Federation ($10,000), and the Southern Minnesota Sugar Beet Cooperative ($10,000).
That makes for a heady policy hotdish, but Bluestem thinks that Peterson's Independence Party and eventual Republican opponents are not likely to cook up much opposition based on these contributions. The dairy, turkey and sugar beet industries are key parts of the district's economy, and the Republican Party has tried to spin state-level DFL candidates as anti-agribusiness. F
Perhaps we'll hear he's a dirty hippie socialist feeling the Bern. Okay then.
Screengrab: Yep, our dear friends at the Minnesota 7th Congressional District Republican Party are feeling the Bern as you've never seen it before.
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