Big business quietly held a major fund-raiser Wednesday evening to help the 15 Democratic House members who voted for the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and have had their funding cut off by organized labor.
The event was held at the Washington offices of Nortel, a telecom company, at the 101 Constitution Ave. building. Contributions ranged from $1,000 to $15,000. Top business leaders and corporate executives were listed among sponsors led by former Michigan Gov. John Engler (now president of the National Assn. of Manufacturers).
All 15 recipients of the business aid have liberal voting records as measured by the Americans for Democratic Action. Vic Snyder of Arkansas and Jim Moran of Virginia each voted 95 percent liberal last year. They were followed at 90 percent by Ruben Hinojosa of Texas, Dennis Moore of Kansas and Edolphus Towns of New York.
Paul Hackett, the increasingly likely Democratic challenger against Republican Sen. Mike DeWine in Ohio, may not be able to assume the pro-gun posture campaigning statewide that he used while nearly winning a congressional seat Aug. 2 in a heavily Republican Cincinnati district.
In a summer mailing to voters in the conservative constituency, Hackett identified himself as a Marine veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and National Rifle Association (NRA) member. The card says: "The first week I was home from Iraq I got my conceal and carry permit."
The card assailed the record in the Ohio legislature of his Republican opponent, Jean Schmidt, for voting against a concealed handguns bill in 2003 and against a concealed weapons bill in 2004.