Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Freshman Republican Party - NYTimes.com

Freshman Republican Party - NYTimes.com

The high-spending campaign that ended in November was odious enough, but there is something even more unsavory about giving to a candidate after the election, when the outcome is known and the link between power and currying favor is even more evident.

That didn’t stop Bill Flores, a newly elected representative from Texas who held a fund-raiser to collect money from ExxonMobil and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. Or Dan Benishek of Michigan, who took in money from Delta Air Lines and the K&L Gates lobbying firm. Or Chris Gibson and Michael Grimm of New York, Francisco Canseco of Texas, and David Schweikert of Arizona, among many others.

Representative Eric Cantor, the incoming Republican leader who has also vowed to shake up the ways of Washington, is having a fund-raiser this week at Ceiba, a high-end Washington restaurant, to celebrate the Seinfeld-inspired holiday of Festivus. The minimum contribution to Mr. Cantor’s political action committee is $500, although it is free to those who have already maxed out their donations.

The corrupting power of money in Washington is an old, bipartisan game. But this year’s Republican class ran with such virulence against the establishment that this rush to the trough seems especially hypocritical.

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