Fincher Pushing Legislation to Benefit Political Donors

Several House freshmen who swept into power vowing to change Washington’s ways are pushing legislation that could benefit some of their most generous campaign contributors, a USA TODAY review of legislative and campaign records shows.
The Jackson Sun carries the article, which features 8th District Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher prominently.
Five months after taking office, Rep. Stephen Fincher, a cotton farmer from a mostly rural swath of Tennessee, introduced a bill to mandate swift federal approval of genetically modified crops for commercial sale. Fincher has received more campaign money from agribusiness than any other industry.
Two months after he filed the bill, the political action committee of the Minnesota-based agricultural giant Land O’Lakes staged a $500-a-head fundraiser to benefit the Republican’s re-election campaign.
The company spent more than $740,000 on lobbying last year on a range of issues, including federal regulation of its genetically modified alfalfa seeds.
…A third of the donations this year to House freshmen who have joined the Tea Party caucus came from political action committees, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
Fincher, one of 15 freshmen in the House Tea Party group, has received more than $87,700 from agribusiness interests between Jan. 1 and June 30, according to data compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. In July, Land O’Lakes hosted a Capitol Hill dinner to aid Fincher’s campaign. Its subsidiary, Forage Genetics, had been at the center of a protracted legal battle over commercial cultivation of a genetically altered alfalfa seed it helped develop. It won final federal approval this year.

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