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Study: Anti-tax group is top donor to super committee members

August 15, 2011|By Lisa Mascaro | Washington Bureau
  • Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), a member of the so-called super committee on deficit reduction, is former president of the conservative Club for Growth.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), a member of the so-called super committee on deficit… (Alex Brandon / Associated…)

Reporting from Washington   — The conservative Club for Growth and its members gave more money to lawmakers who are members of the new congressional "super committee" on debt than any other organization, PAC or group of individuals, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan MapLight.org.

Club for Growth, its members and employees, contributed more than $990,000 over the last decade, topping Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, EMILY's List and others.

The club has been an influential force in political campaigns, and helped propel its past president, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), to the Senate last fall. Toomey was named last week to the new super committee.

Over the next three months, the 12 members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction will be tasked with recommending at least $1.5 trillion in budget cuts, a difficult assignment, and one that also concentrates tremendous power in relatively few hands.

Lobbyists have already begun trying to influence the debate, as our Los Angeles Times colleagues wrote earlier this month.

The Club for Growth and its vast member network often back conservative candidates in primary elections. It also supported super committee members Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

"We're proud of the impact our former president, Sen. Pat Toomey, is having on policy debates in Washington, and Club Members were proud to support Senator Kyl and Congressman Hensarling in their campaigns," Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller said in a statement.

Maplight.org also reported Monday that lawyers and law firms are the largest industry contributors to super committee members.

lisa.mascaro@latimes.com

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