Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) openly acknowledged on Thursday that members of Congress expect to receive campaign contributions for voting a certain way on bills.
During an event with the Northeast Chapter of Louisiana CPAs, the congressman shared an anecdote that illustrated how “money controls Washington,” according to the Ouachita Citizen. He said that many approach their work in D.C. as a “steady cycle of voting for fundraising and money instead of voting for what is right.”
McAllister discussed a bill related to the Bureau of Land Management, which he voted against. McAllister told the crowd that an unnamed colleague told him on the House floor that if he voted “no” on the bill, he would receive a contribution from Heritage, a conservative think tank.
“I played dumb and asked him, ‘How would you vote?’” McAllister said. “He told me, ‘Vote no and you will get a $1,200 check from the Heritage Foundation. If you vote yes, you will get a $1,000 check from some environmental impact group.’”
Heritage Foundation, an educational nonprofit, is barred from contributing directly to candidates. Its sister political action organization, Heritage Action, however, is allowed to do so.
McAllister did not receive a contribution, but his colleague did, the congressman said.
McAllister said he wasn’t surprised he didn’t get a check, as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Heritage are “upset” with him. The congressman was caught kissing one of his staffers, and has since decided not to run for re-election in 2014.
“They are always trying to throw bullets at me,” McAllister said of Jindal and the Heritage Foundation. “Once I told my friend about Gov. Jindal being mad at me, he said, ‘Well, that’s why you didn’t get a check.’”
James Weidman, a spokesman for Heritage Foundation, told the Ouachita Citizen that the think tank does not spend in elections and “would never do anything like that.”
“If he (McAllister) is wondering why he didn’t receive a check from the Heritage Foundation, which does not make political expenditures of any kind, it is because we do not do it,” Weidman said. “The Heritage Foundation is a think tank and does research and education, but does not get involved with political bills at all.”
[H/t The Hill]