Democratic leaders in the House and Senate criticizing GOP groups for allegedly funneling foreign money into campaign ads have seen their party raise more than $1 million from political action committees affiliated with foreign companies.
House and Senate Democrats have received approximately $1.02 million this cycle from such PACs, according to an analysis compiled for The Hill by the Center for Responsive Politics. House and Senate GOP leaders have taken almost $510,000 from PACs on the same list.
The PACS are funded entirely by contributions from U.S. employees of subsidiaries of foreign companies. All of the contributions are made public under Federal Elections Commission rules, and the PACs affiliated with the subsidiaries of foreign corporations are governed by the same rules that American firms' PACs or other PACs would face.
"This is not foreign money per-se, but these PACs are certainly populated by people who work for foreign companies," said Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics.
“Foreign companies and foreign governments can lobby Congress, and that is probably one area where they have a measurable effect on politics,” Levinthal explained. “Foreign-subsidiary political action committees is about as close as you can get.”
Republicans with groups under fire from the White House say the hefty campaign contributions illustrate Democratic hypocrisy.
“Barack Obama criticized the Supreme Court and his adversaries over the bogus charge of foreign money tainting elections – while leaders in his own party had taken more than a million dollars from the foreign cookie jar,” said Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, the political group at the center of the controversy.
“The hypocrisy here is just stunning,” he said. (Continues here)