For immediate release: Wednesday, October 2, 2002
Schnee Contradicts Himself on
Corporate Campaign Contributions
Wilmington, DE: Although for months Attorney General
Candidate Vivian Houghton has raised the issue of how corporate campaign
contributions contaminate the other Attorney General candidates and weaken
their ability to be hard on corporate crime, Mr. Schnee has
previously sided with Ms. Brady by acting dumbfounded at what he
considered the foolishness of Ms. Houghton's position.
"This is a hundred percent ridiculous," Mr.
Schnee insisted in a televised debate on Ch. 28 in June when Ms. Houghton
stated that Ms. Brady and Mr. Schnee were less likely than she was to
prosecute corporate crime because they both were beholden to the companies
that financially support their campaigns and the two parties'
Over the following months, until now, Mr. Schnee refused
to even acknowledge the possibility of political corruption. As he
persisted in his refusal, Ms. Houghton hammered home the point that
it was precisely such corruption (the kind that Mr. Schnee dismissed as
unsubstantiated) that helped create a political climate in which Motiva,
Metachem, Sunoco, General Chemical and other multi-million dollar
companies have gotten away with only token fines while dumping carcinogens
in our soil, spewing poisons in the air, and fouling our water.
Now that Mr. Schnee lags behind in the race, he has
suddenly reversed himself in a key issue in order to rev up his dispirited
Unfortunately for Mr. Schnee, he is like the pot
calling the kettle black when he he accuses Ms. Brady of being
contaminated by corporate funds. He also is contaminated, just as
Ms. Brady is.
Like Mr. Schnee, Ms. Brady also scoffs at the idea that
big money buys political influence. At the same debate mentioned
above, she denied that corporate contributions could buy influence with
candidates. She said, "Anyone who thinks that . . . is
Yet of all people, Ms. Brady should know the power of
money in politics. Among Republican attorneys general, she is one of
the loudest voices in support of those corporations who oppose multi-state
lawsuits against industries like the pharmaceutical industry. This
is why she turned down a request from Nevada officials to team up with
them in their recent suit against 12 major drug companies. Nevada
has charged the companies with grossly inflating the costs of prescription
drugs and thereby Medicare and Medicaid as well as individual patients.
Those hurt the most by such cost gouging are of course the poor, working
people and seniors.
Ms. Brady also knows about the politically corrupting
power of corporate money because of what goes on under her own nose right
here in Delaware. One of the things that's been going on under her
nose is MBNA's exploration of ways to skirt local and federal campaign
donation laws. As a result of MBNA's borderline contribution
practices, the credit card company now finds itself under investigation by
the Federal Election Commission for allegedly providing Congressman Jim
Moran, a Virginia Democrat, with an illegal loan in order to buy the
congressman's support for new bankruptcy legislation that MBNA wants
Unlike either Schnee or Brady, Ms. Houghton has stuck by
her word to neither accept corporate contributions or PAC money.
Ms. Houghton invites her opponents, particularly Mr.
Schnee who is such a Johnny-come-lately on this issue, to return all
corporate and PAC money as a way of establishing political independence.
If a candidate isn't willing to do this, they are all mouth and no
action on this issue.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Committee to Elect Vivian Houghton Attorney General
800 West Street
Wilmington, Delaware 19801
Green Party of Delaware
P. O. Box 6044
Wilmington, Delaware 19804
Green Party of the United States
1314 18th Street, Lower Level
Washington, D.C. 20036
866-41GREEN (toll free)