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Pa Cs: What A Difference A Sweep Makes


Up Front: POLITICS AS USUAL

PACs: WHAT A DIFFERENCE A SWEEP MAKES

REPUBLICANS HAVE LONG griped that political donations from business tilted toward the Democrats. Since the GOP took over Congress, though, things are different. The National Republican Congressional Committee reports that the richest 400 political action committees gave overwhelmingly to GOP House candidates during 1995's first half--$10.1 million, or 58% of the total.

During the 1993-1994 election cycle, the same PACs gave 65% of their money to House and Senate Democrats. Last time, the American Hospital Assn. gave two-thirds of its boodle to the Dems. Now, this is down to a mere 20%. The group says it's unaware of its partisan shift and makes donation decisions by individual merit. Says Representative Bill Paxon (R-N.Y.), NRCC chairman, of the PAC switchers: "They felt they had to give their money to the Democrats, but now they've been liberated."

While such longtime Dems backers as labor have stayed true, there are desertions. The United Transportation Union, which gave little to the Republicans before, now sends them almost half its largesse. Some Republicans, says union lobbyist J.M. Brunkenhoefer, "understand our issues."EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT, WITH OLUWABUNMI SHABI Mary Beth Regan


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