Top 20 Republicans Owned by Big Oil, Big Pharma, tobacco and gun companies

Top 20 Republicans Owned by Big Oil, Big Pharma, tobacco and gun companies

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Republican pundits love to talk about “owning the libs.” But who owns Republicans?

It should come as no surprise that lobbying groups have funneled massive amounts of cash into certain Republican figureheads. Businesses like tobacco companies and oil companies hand over checks on a regular basis to their preferred politicians. Even the politicians who claim to be self-sufficient have not turned down money from insurance companies or energy companies.

Some of these members of Congress come from poorer, underserved communities who need someone fighting for them in Washington, not a self-serving individual who jumps at the chance to make money.

Here are twenty Republicans who take money from lobbyists.

1. Mitch McConnell

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“Moscow Mitch” seems to be owned by the NRA. McConnell has taken more than $1.2 million from the NRA. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the senator has big donors in the energy and oil industries.

One of his biggest donors is the Devos family, which is also the family of Secretary of Education Betsy Devos. Salon estimates that only 9 percent of his campaign donations come from Kentucky.

The Florida based private prison group GEO Group also gave McConnell $50,000 in 2019.

Amy McGrath, the candidate challenging McConnell, has already raised millions to counter the Wall Street machine that funds McConnell’s campaign.

2. Susan Collins

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The Maine senator only raised 1 percent of her campaign funds from her home state, according to Roll Call.

In fact, Collins has received more money from fossil fuels companies in Texas and energy companies than donors in Maine. Some of these companies include Exxon Mobile and General Electric.

Sara Gideon is running against Collins in 2020. She raised a million dollars immediately after she declared her campaign in December.

3. Tom Cotton

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The Arkansas senator who believed the coronavirus was a Chinese bioweapon, received a total of $1.9 million from the NRA in his career. He has also received donations from Koch Industries.

This aligns with one of his previous statements calling for an expansion of searches for more oil and gas.

4. Kevin McCarthy

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The Republican House Minority Leader was the number one recipient of funds from oil and gas companies in 2018, according to Greenpeace. He has also received a substantial amount of donations from pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies.

In addition, at one point, McCarthy received donations from Rudy Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. These two were suspects in the House Impeachment Inquiry. McCarthy’s campaign said it was returning those donations.

5. Brian Kemp

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Georgia governor Brian Kemp, who opened the state’s beaches despite the coronavirus, received funding from fossil fuel companies for his 2018 campaign. According to AJC, Kemp received massive donations from businesses that he was supposed to regulate as Secretary of State, his previous position.

6. Matt Gaetz

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The Florida congressman who made headlines when he mockingly wore a gas mask to make fun of those concerned about the spread of the coronavirus is funded in part by the NRA. In 2016, a SuperPAC supporting Matt Gaetz received a $100,000 check from a Houston oil company as well.

7. Joni Ernst

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The junior senator from Iowa has received aid in 2019 in her campaign for re-election from a dark money group. She has also taken over $3 million in donations from the NRA.

Her rise from state senator to the Senate could be attributed to the interest shown by the Koch brothers in 2013. A watchdog sought to investigate the untraceable amounts of money donated to Ernst in 2014 from a nonprofit backed by the Koch brothers.

Five Democrats are running against Ernst in the primary. Theresa Greenfield seems likely to secure the candidacy.

8. Devin Nunes

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Rep. Devin Nunes raised millions of dollars in 2019, but less than 5 percent of those donations came from his constituents. Many of those donations came from corporate PACs backed by pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer.

Nunes has also received $95,000 from the NRA.

9. Richard Burr

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Senator Burr, who has been accused of insider trading after a secret briefing about the coronavirus caused him to dump hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of stocks, is also heavily funded by the NRA. He has received more than $6 million in donations from the gun rights organization.

Burr is also funded by tobacco companies. He received $200,000 from tobacco companies including Altria, which produces Marlboro cigarettes.

10.Thom Tillis

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The other Republican North Carolina senator has also received major windfalls from the NRA. Tillis received over $4 million from the gun rights advocacy group.

CEOs of major energy and pharmaceutical companies have also lined Thom Tillis’ coffers. Tillis received campaign donations from the oil and gas company Continental Resources, Inc., as well as Pfizer and Merck, prominent pharmaceutical companies.

Cal Cunningham is running for Tillis’s seat in the fall.

11. Martha McSally

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Pro-gun Arizona senator Martha McSally didn’t think mass shootings were a problem for the federal government, which makes sense considering gun rights organizations like the NRA gave her $200,000. She also received money from insurance companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), is running against McSally. He has received much support, outraising McSally in 2019 with $14 million from donors.

12. Steve Scalise

Top 20 Republicans Owned by Guns, Tobacco, Oil, and Energy Companies 1

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The Louisiana representative received over $130,000 from the NRA in 2018. Scalise also held fundraisers with gas and oil companies and lobbyists to raise funds for the Scalise Leadership fund in 2019. The BGR Group, which represents Chevron, Southern Company, and Petroceltic International, hosted the event with Scalise.

13. Lindsey Graham

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The South Carolina senator has taken $50,000 from the NRA, but he’s also taken massive donations from pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer.

The Daily Kos also found that Graham had accepted large donations from a casino owner while agreeing to vote against any form of legislation that would legalize online gambling.

Jaime Harrison is attempting to unseat Graham in 2020.

14. John Cornyn

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The Texas senator received almost $60,000 in funds from the NRA. But his other big donors include Koch Industries in 2014, which runs multiple businesses in Texas. These businesses include oil refineries and a cattle ranch.

The Center for Responsive Politics found that Cornyn received more than $560,000 in donations from oil and gas companies during the year 2020.

MJ Hegar is running for Cornyn’s senate seat.

15. Cory Gardner

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The Colorado senator’s current 2020 campaign has received funding from the Koch Industries, Merck executives, and an oil company that deals in fracking in Colorado. Continental Resources, an oil company based in Oklahoma, gave to Gardner. The senator had defended fracking in Colorado, saying that banning it would pose “an existential threat.”

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who was also a Democrat primary candidate for president, is looking to take Gardner’s spot.

16. Bill Cassidy

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The Louisiana senator received $2.8 million in funding from the NRA. But he also received $200,000 from oil and gas companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Koch Industries have also donated roughly $74,000 to Cassidy over the course of his political career.

17. Dan Crenshaw

Top 20 Republicans Owned by Guns, Tobacco, Oil, and Energy Companies 2

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Representative Crenshaw has received $200,000 from oil and gas companies. But when Congress was preparing to bail out businesses during the coronavirus crisis, Crenshaw stood up for his donors. He led a delegation which requested that oil and gas companies pay reduced royalties to the Interior Department.

18. Richard Hudson

Top 20 Republicans Owned by Guns, Tobacco, Oil, and Energy Companies 3

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The North Carolina representative has received $23,000 from tobacco companies, who have worked to remove the Democratic representation in North Carolina that threatens their businesses.

Hudson has also received $370,000 from oil and gas companies, as well as almost $350,000 from pharmaceutical companies.

19. Shelley Capito Moore

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The West Virginia senator received $308,000 from energy companies over her political career, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. She has also received $830,000 from oil and gas companies.

She has also accepted $341,000 in donations from the NRA.

20. Donald Trump

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Donald Trump has received $1.4 million from healthcare industries for his 2020 campaign. This should not come as a surprise since he has done everything in his power to remove Obamacare in the past three years.

Fossil fuel organizations helped Trump with his inaugural festivities, donating $107 million to different committees. These companies included Exxon, Chevron, and BP.

The NRA spent $30 million trying to get Trump elected in 2016.

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