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SOUTHERLAND'S GONE WASHINGTON

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Tea Partier Southerland campaigned on reform, but he's taking money from mega corporation Koch Industries.

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Top targeted, vulnerable GOP Congressman Steve Southerland campaigned on "reforming Washington," -- but it's clear that all this Tea Partier turned insider has done is gone Washington. Now, Congressman Southerland is accepting money from mega corporate interest Koch Industries — selling out to special interests.

"Tea Party Congressman Southerland said he'd change Washington — but all he's done is gone Washington," said Florida Democratic Party spokesman David Bergstein. "Now — after taking thousands of dollars from special interests like Koch Industries and voting against middle class families at every turn --  it's clear that Congressman Southerland has become part of the part of the problem in Congress. I can't think of a single accomplishment Southerland can point to except for racking up donations from corporate special interests."

BACKGROUND:

This quarter, Congressman Steve Southerland accepted $2,000 from corporate special interest Koch Industries. On March 23, 2012 Southerland accepted a $2,000 donation from Koch Industries' Political Action Committee, Koch Pac. [Southerland Q1 2012 FEC Report, accessed 4/17/2012]

Congressman Southerland has accepted a total of $7,000 from Koch Industries. Since taking office, Congressman Southerland has accepted $7,000 from Koch Industries Political Action Committee, Koch Pac. [FEC Committee Donations, accessed 4/17/2012]

Southerland Voted for the House Republican Budget that Continued Special Tax Breaks for Big Oil. On April 15, 2011, House Republicans voted for the budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan. Robert Greenstein, President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities wrote that it was noteworthy that the Republican budget secured no deficit-reduction contribution at all from closing special interest tax breaks, such as breaks for big oil companies. [H Con Res 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/20/11]

Koch Industries has spent over $4 million lobbying for the oil and gas industry. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 4/17/2012]

Koch Industries Sold Millions Worth of Petrochemical Equipment to Iran. “A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries -- in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East -- has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism. […] Internal company documents show that the company made those sales through foreign subsidiaries, thwarting a U.S. trade ban.” [Bloomberg, 10/3/11]

Koch Industries Did Business with Iran the Day After Bush Told Congress Iran Supported Terror. In 2011, ABC News reported that Koch Industries did business with Iran the “day after President Bush told Congress in his State of the Union message that Iran continued to be an enemy of the U.S. that ‘represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction and supports terror.’” [ABC News, 10/7/11]

Koch Lobbied To Extend Tax Breaks For Oil And Gas Production. In 2011, the Center for Public Integrity published a report that showed Koch lobbied for the U.S. to maintain tax breaks and credits for oil and gas producers. “In the oil patch, Koch has lobbied for the United States to maintain some tax breaks and credits for oil and gas producers that the Obama administration wants to end.” [Reuters, 4/6/11]

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