Monday, November 05, 2018

Farm bureaus and other ag lobbies were selective and bipartisan in campaign contributions, with an edge to GOP

Big agricultural lobbying groups "have been selective — and bipartisan — in handing out cash to candidates in the many competitive midterm races in farm states and districts this cycle," Ryan MacCrimmon reports in Politico's Morning Agriculture newsletter.

"Farm bureaus in the top 10 agricultural states spent more than $1 million through federal PACs ahead of Tuesday's elections," MacCrimmon writes, citing reporting by Liz Crampton. "Most contributions went to Republicans, but nearly all the farm bureaus donated to both parties." Many state farm bureaus do not make political contributions; Politico surveyed only 10 states.

"The top individual recipient among the 'Big Four' agriculture committee leaders was Senate Agriculture ranking member Debbie Stabenow, who took in about $18,000 in donations from six of the 10 states," MacCrimmon writes. "The Michigan Democrat is seeking reelection in a state President Donald Trump won in 2016, though Stabenow is widely favored to prevail."

Most contributions from ag lobbies were made to in-state candidates, "but ag policymakers and party leaders in competitive races — like Senate Ag member Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) — also raked in campaign funds from farm bureaus elsewhere," Politico reports.

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