Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Stephen Fincher on Taking Care of Stephen Fincher...You Bet`Cha

Congressman Stephen Fincher(R), District#8~Tennessee~Speak With Forked Tongue !

By Fredreka Schouten and Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – 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.

Five months after taking office, Rep. Stephen Fincher(R) Tennessee`s 8th. District, 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. Other freshmen who have crafted legislation backed by the industries helping to underwrite their campaigns include Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. Duffy, who gets a significant portion of his campaign funds from financial services companies, is the lead sponsor of a measure that would dilute the powers of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Gosar would end health insurance companies' protection from anti-trust provisions, a step applauded by doctors, dentists and health professionals who have donated nearly $74,000 to his campaign in the first six months of this year. For the most part, the lawmakers, who were elected on a wave of voter discontent with Washington, say their measures are aimed at advancing a small-government agenda and promoting free-market ideals, not helping donors. Eighty-two Republicans and 11 Democrats were elected for the first time to the House last year. Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen said the proposed legislation is a sign that "the incoming freshmen have learned business-as-usual on Capitol Hill. They are very quickly moving into the ranks of normal incumbents." They also are setting fundraising records. House freshmen collected $37.2 million during the first six months of the year, a 34.3% jump over the campaign money raised by new House lawmakers at the same point in the 2010 election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission data. 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. The decision to host the Fincher event "was based on a wide range of issues affecting agriculture," Land O'Lakes spokeswoman Jeanne Forbis said in an e-mail. "Since being elected to Congress, Rep. Fincher has been supportive on a wide range of issues, including trade policy, support for farmer cooperatives and environmental regulations." Fincher, who also is a gospel singer, touted his outsider credentials during the campaign, calling Congress "out of touch" and proclaiming in his campaign literature, "My roots run deep in Tennessee, not in politics." Fincher's proposed legislation would require automatic approval for genetically engineered crops if the U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to act on an application within 240 days. His spokeswoman Sara Sendek said there's no connection between campaign contributions and legislation. "He's acting in his capacity as a congressman who's here to represent his district," she said.
Bill Freese, a science policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety, called Fincher's effort "an end run around the regulatory process." The environmental advocacy group has waged legal battles over engineered seeds and their potential to contaminate conventionally grown crops. Sendek said the bill was shaped by Fincher's experience as a "farmer who understands the way that burdensome regulation can stall growth."

Editorial : Rep. Fincher is now a certified/business as usual member of Congress ! The problem is, he is representing Stephen Fincher, not us, as in you and I ! He seems to be everything, he said he was`nt during his campaign ! And to think, we could have elected Roy B. Herron to represent us. Hey Tennesseans, you elected Mr. Fincher, are you happy now ? While Roy was bringing new industry to Perry County(400 new automotive parts jobs), Congressman Fincher along with his wife Lynn, was in Israel, nice trip huh ? Gimme a Break ! As far as Goodyear Union City TN, as far as I know, he did NOTHING !

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