Last week, the National Association of Home Builders announced that it was suspending PAC contributions to members of Congress because of the failure to obtain a tax-break provision they desperately wanted. (I’m sure that they aren’t too happy about the bashing they’re taking over the mortgage meltdown.) This action isn’t being treated with open arms by other lobbyists and industry shops. Why, you ask? Well, because the NAHB is explicitly stating that their PAC contributions are tied to votes by members of Congress. Straight from the horse’s mouth: contributions buy votes. Listen to these lobbyists try to distance themselves from NAHB (via The Hill):
“It’s not going to make a damn bit of difference,” said one senior business lobbyist, who said that the $10,000 limits on contributions to candidates’ campaigns were too low for such a threat to have any bite.
A spokesman for the National Association of Realtors, Mary Trupo, said her group had no opinion about the NAHB’s move except that “it’s not a tactic that we would take.” She added, “We continue to support members who have been supportive of the housing sector.”
“I’m embarrassed by what the homebuilders did,” said one lobbyist, who characterized the NAHB’s move as “inappropriate behavior.”
Of course, acknowledging fact in Washington is often "inappropriate behavior".