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How America Works: Lobbyists Buy Politicians

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Was Watergate really an aberration from the norm in politics? What are the inner workings of "our'" government really all about? Some fascinating answers to these questions were revealed this week in a study of where state legislators in Michigan get their campaign money. Il seems that state records indícate that some state lawmakers whose committees are handling Iegislation for campaign and lobby reform received the bulk of their recent campign funds from lobbyists. The records show that in some cases contributions from lobbyists made up more than fïfty per cent of the money spent during the August 6th primary election by the legislators, a Detroit newspaper reported last Sunday. According to the records, state Sen. William Faust, D-Westland, spent S360 for his primary campaign - and all the money carne from lobbyists. Faust serves on the Senate State Affairs Committee. which is keeping a lobby-control bilí from reaching the full Senate. The bilí would forcé disclosure of who the lobbyists are and exactly which firms a lobbyist represents. The records show Rep. George Edwards, D-Detroit, picked up $2.275 of the $2, 820 he spent in the primary from lobbyists. Edward's House Corporations and Finance Committee handles banking legislation. " Among others obtaining money from lobbyists was Flint Democratie Rep. Harold Scott. Records show Scott received about $3100 from lobbyists. He spent about six thousand dollars. Scott said it's "just coincidental" that he received the money and is also on the House Labor Committee. Policy Committee and the Taxation and Retirement Committee. He said he would return money if he thought it was given to influence his vote. He also said he believed the banking lobby contributed to his campaign, " because of my good record in voting to increase interest rates." Most of the money given to the lobbyists carne in donations from political action arms of labor groups, doctors, bankers. real estáte, teachers, truckers, life-insurance and even motorcycle lobbies. The House Policy committee is currently considering a sweeping campaign fïnance reform measure which would limit campaign funds and require diselosure of contributors, including lobbyists.