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Republicans fire back at reports Santorum top lobbyist recipient

RAW STORY
Published: Wednesday May 24, 2006

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Republicans have responded to widespread reports of Rick Santorum's (R-PA) lobbyist contributions by pointing out that 8 of the 11 U.S. Senators to benefit the most from lobby gifts are, in fact, Democrats, RAW STORY has learned.

A report prepared by the group Public Citizen found that Santorum accepted more lobbyist cash of anyone in the U.S. Senate, and that Republicans, overall, generated the most in lobbyist contributions.

The group produced figures indicating that while Republicans raked in $58,381,889 from lobbyists since 1998, Democrats pulled in a significantly smaller sum of $44,683,510. However, this difference is only slightly more disproportionate than the balance of offices in Congress held by the two parties.

In the current election cycle, however, the difference is indeed more marked: $23,429,932 in GOP gifts to just $8,407,809 pulled in by the Democrats. That means Democrats are currently generating just 38.5% of the funds donated by lobbyists.

An email circulated by Republican aides directs press to a list of the 20 biggest recipients of lobbyist cash--10 Democrats and 10 Republicans. However, the top 10 is conspicuously weighted in the Democrats' favor.

"The Democrats just don't get it," Brian Nick, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told RAW STORY. "Every time they throw out some flailing political attack it boomerangs back to hit them between the eyes. Seven out of the top 10 recipients of lobbyists' money this election cycle are Senate Democrats—that speaks for itself."

Among the remaining 3 is Santorum, whose position atop the list was a popular subject among liberal blogs yesterday. RAW STORY reported yesterday the top four yesterday, headlining that Santorum and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) held the number 1 and 2 positions.

The Republican mailing also points out that, of the top 20 recipients this cycle, 16 are up for reelection this year.