Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, is a powerful figure in Washington. As Speaker she holds the whip hand on Democratic members of the House, who cross her at their peril, and decides which bills will come to the House floor for a vote. Since the election of Barack Obama, the candidate she selected early on in the primary process, her power is virtually unlimited.
Personally, she is one of the richest members in congress, as the wife of businessman/investor Paul Pelosi, holding part interest in investments estimated to be in the $90 million range. She has held elected office in the San Francisco 8th congressional district since 1987 when she succeeded Congresswoman Sala Burton in the post, running against gay supervisor, Harry Britt. Prior to election in the eighth congressional district she was a highly successful fundraiser for the Democratic Party. In her current capacity as highest ranking female member of the Democratic Party, she raises and distributes funds for congressional races.
Speaker Pelosi’s campaign disclosed receipts of $2,844,765 to the Federal Election Commission for 2008, $1,337,132 from individuals and $1,502,230 from PACs. She raised an enormous amount of cash although she was virtually unchallenged by any viable candidate except anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.
First on the list of contributors to Speaker Pelosi was the Feminist Majority Pac, $1,000. The Feminist Majority is a major stockholder in Liberty Media, and multi-millionaire Peg Yorking, which owns Ms. Magazine.
The second listed contributor is Freddie PAC (Yes, THAT Freddie), $5,000 (the maximum allowable) in the primary and $2,500 in the general electiongeneral election. Barack Obama was the largest recipient of Freddie campaign funds (although the Los Angeles Times insisted that that had no influence on Obama’s regulatory >standstand
The third listing among the contributors was an aeronautical industry PAC General Dynamics Voluntary, which contributed $5,000 in the primary and $5,000 in the general election. In a later post I will try to summarize the types of industries contributing to Speaker Pelosi as well as the sums bestowed upon her by favor seekers. Ms. Pelosi received much of her campaign war chest from Washington D. C. area residents and lobbyists.
Nancy Pelosi won 72% of the vote in her congressional district which has not elected a Republican since 1949. Her Republican opponent garnered 11% and Independent anti war candidate Cindy Sheehan, 17.6%. Pelosi, as always, refused to debate her challengers. Although Sheehan tried to force the issue, she and her campaign manager confronting the Speaker at public venues, the campaign manager was forcibly removed from the premises.
Ms. Sheehan’s campaign reported $499,146 in individual contributions, $5,159 from PACs and $11,257 from candidates.