GARDENDALE - According to a Politico article published on Friday, incumbent Rep. Spencer Bachus has “been forced to plow more than $1.5 million” into efforts to retain his congressional seat.
“If I hadn’t had a million dollars in my account, I would be underwater right now,” Bachus told journalists.
At issue is the source of the $1.5 million Bachus has been pressured to spend. According to The Hill, Bachus referred to his vote in favor of TARP bailouts as a “gift which keeps on giving.” On Tuesday, what will be determined is whether the financial service industries which Bachus is charged to regulate can purchase a congressional seat.
“The big question is whether Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the big banking lobbies can buy this election with TV ads,” said Alabama state Senator Scott Beason, who is challenging Bachus for his seat. “We’ve already got the grassroots, and we are still out there holding Town Hall events, knocking on doors and making phone calls daily. We’ve already won the ground game, talk radio and on the internet. It’s now a contest between Alabama’s wonderful grassroots conservatives and DC special interest groups.”
The overwhelming majority of Bachus’ contributions come from out-of-state, primarily from the DC area or New York City and Chicago (which are home to major financial services industries). Spencer Bachus received 89 percent of his campaign contributions from outside his district and 80 percent of campaign contributions outside Alabama, according to this report.
According to one report, the top five industry categories contributing to Bachus during this campaign cycle are Commercial Banks, Real Estate, Insurance, Securities and Investment and Finance/Credit Companies. These industries, sometimes referred to as the FIRE Sector (finance, insurance, and real estate), are the ones he regulates as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. His top five donors are listed as the J Hass Group, Credit Suisse Group, Credit Union National Association, JPMorgan Chase and Company and the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Bachus also joins Democrats Barack Obama, John Kerry and Christopher Dodd as the top beneficiaries of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac campaign contributions.
“No congressman is more reliant on finance sector contributions than Bachus, who has pulled in 84 percent of his PAC contributions from the finance sector and 70 percent of his total contributions during the first three months of 2011,” reads this Sunlight Foundation report.
“There are a variety of organizations educating the public about my opponent’s voting record, ranging from the Campaign for Primary Accountability to the Eagle Forum PAC to the Conservative Action Fund. They generally paint my opponent as very fiscally irresponsible and I see no reason to refute that,” said Beason.
“There’s a strong anti-incumbent mood in the district right now and one entrenched incumbent has just been unseated in Ohio,” Beason continued. “These conservative organizations are helping to level the playing field while we are hitting the ground hard daily and running our own ads, too. I’ve won tough races before, and I’m optimistic that the voters will take a close look at each of our records and cast their votes based on their Alabama values.”
As a state legislator, Scott Beason has perhaps the most conservative voting record in Alabama. In addition to his voting record, Beason has been a leader in fighting local and state tax increases as well as improving Alabama’s jobless rate by sponsoring and promoting HB56, Alabama’s toughest-in-the-nation anti-illegal immigration law.