Contact Information For 50 Politicians Who Take Campaign Money From The RIAA

When you voted the RIAA the worst company in America you gave us an assignment. But how can we improve the customer service of a recording industry trade group? It’s not an easy task. Couldn’t you have voted for Home Depot? U-Haul? Anyway…

One of the ways the RIAA operates is by donating money to politicians who then enact favorable legislation on their behalf. Don’t let the optimist in you believe that this doesn’t work. It does.

But wait, aren’t these representatives supposed to work for you? Sure. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 50 congresspeople who took campaign contributions from the RIAA in the last election cycle. We’ve linked their contact information so that you, as their constituents, can inform them that they’re taking money from the “Worst Company in America,” and that’s going to cost them your vote.

If your congressperson isn’t on the list, try writing Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, both of whom are running for President and have national interest.

Don’t be afraid to tell your representatives how you feel. How else are they going to know? Good luck.

(Photo: stopnlook)

Congressperson Receiving Contributions From The RIAA
Amount
Contact Information
Dist 19-FL
WEXLER, ROBERT
DEM

$9,000
Click
Here
Dist 21-TX SMITH, LAMAR
REP

$7,500
Click
Here
Senate-UT HATCH, ORRIN G
REP

$6,000
Click
Here
Senate-PA
SPECTER, ARLEN
REP

$5,000
Click
Here
Senate-AK STEVENS, THEODORE
REP

$5,000
Click
Here
Senate-NE NELSON, E BENJAMIN
DEM

$5,000
Click
Here

Senate
-CA
FEINSTEIN, DIANNE
DEM

$4,000
Click
Here
Dist
45
-CA
BONO, MARY REP

$4,000
Click
Here
Senate-FL NELSON, BILL
DEM

$
4,500
Click
Here
Dist 08-FL
KELLER, RICHARD
A
REP

$4,054
Click
Here
Dist 07-NJ FERGUSON, MIKE
REP

$4,000
Click
Here
Dist 28-CA BERMAN, HOWARD L
DEM

$3,500
Click
Here
Dist 29-CA SCHIFF, ADAM
DEM

$3,000
Click
Here
Dist 30-CA WAXMAN, HENRY A.
DEM

$3,000
Click
Here
Dist 07-MO BLUNT, ROY REP

$3,100
Click
Here
Dist 06-TN GORDON, BARTON
JENNINGS
DEM

$3,000
Click
Here
Dist 06-VA GOODLATTE, ROBERT
W.
REP

$3,500
Click
Here
Senate-IL OBAMA, BARACK
DEM

$2,000
Click
Here
Dist 14-IL HASTERT, DENNIS J.
REP

$2,000
Click
Here
Dist 07-MA MARKEY, EDWARD J
MR.
DEM

$2,000
Click
Here
Dist 05-MD HOYER, STENY
HAMILTON
DEM

$2,000
Click
Here
Dist 14-MI CONYERS, JOHN JR.
DEM

$2,000
Click
Here
Dist 03-MS PICKERING, CHARLES
W
REP

$2,000
Click
Here
Senate-NY CLINTON, HILLARY
RODHAM
DEM

$2,000
Click
Here
Senate-TN CORKER, ROBERT P
JR
REP

$2,000
Click
Here
Dist 07-TN BLACKBURN,
MARSHA 
REP

$2,000
Click
Here
Dist 06-TX BARTON, JOE LINUS
REP

$
2,000
Click
Here
Senate-AL SHELBY, RICHARD C
REP

$1,000
senator@shelby.senate.gov
Click
Here
Senate- AR

PRYOR, MARK
LUNSFORD
DEM

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 10- CA

TAUSCHER, ELLEN O
DEM

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 22- CA

MCCARTHY,
KEVIN 

REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 49-CA ISSA, DARRELL
EDWARD
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 14-FL MACK, CONNIE
REP

$1,500
Click
Here
Dist 05-IL EMANUEL, RAHM
DEM

$1,000
Click
Here
Senate-LA VITTER, DAVID
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 06-MI UPTON, FREDERICK
STEPHEN
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Senate-MS LOTT, TRENT
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 06-NC COBLE, JOHN HOWARD
REP

$1,000
howard.coble@mail.house.gov 
Click
Here
Dist 09-NC MYRICK, SUE
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 02-NE TERRY, LEE REP

$1,811
Click
Here
Dist 07-NY CROWLEY, JOSEPH
DEM

$1,000
 write2joecrowley@mail.house.gov  
Click
Here
Dist 10-NY
TOWNS, EDOLPHUS
DEM

$1,500
Click
Here
Dist 28-NY SLAUGHTER, LOUISE
M
DEM

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 05-OH
GILLMOR, PAUL E
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 01-OK SULLIVAN, JOHN
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 02-OR WALDEN, GREGORY
PAUL
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 01-WA INSLEE, JAY R
DEM

$1,000
Click
Here
Senate-SD
THUNE, JOHN
REP

$1,000
Click
Here
Dist 05-TN
COOPER, JAMES H.
S.
DEM

$1,500
Click
Here

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Nekoincardine says:

    Why am I not surprised to see Ted Stevens there? I also note that a bunch (but not all) of the Democrats listed are the ‘mid-line’ types, which could indicate a pattern.

    Either way, let’s give ‘em hell.

  2. Skylar says:

    I was just going to comment on Ted Stevens’s presence. “We must stop the tube pirates from stealing the personal internets of thousands of musicians.”

    I bet the money the RIAA gave these guys came out of all the lawsuit winnings.

  3. strathmeyer says:

    Am I the only one who finds the numbers surprisingly low?

    And what’s with the contact information? Do people expect their politicians to need people to point out every little thing they do wrong? Please, vote for somebody else. This is why there’s still war in Iraq.

  4. philbert says:

    Don’t bother trying to send e-mail to Diane Feinstein at her web site. You will get a “Sever error 404.1″ when you try to send a completed comments form. Typical of her performance as a Senator during this current term.

  5. esquilax says:

    is that really enough money to sway anybody’s opinion? seems like you’d have to donate a lot more than $9,000 to get someone to change their mind for you.

  6. mikyrok says:

    As if I needed another reason to not like HillDog

  7. donnie5 says:

    John McCain also seems to be OK with the cable/phone companies charging and making profit however they want (aka, against net neutrality). Another one not to vote for.

  8. axiomatic says:

    I’m kind of ahead of you guys already and have been sending my Texas reps mail for 5 years now on this topic. Every year all I get back is a form mailed letter that basically says they disagree with me and that we dumb citizens “just don’t get it”. U.S. democracy is failing right before our very eyes and transforming in to totalitarianism.

  9. ran6110 says:

    Why is it any business, lobbyist, or person with money can talk to any politician?

    If you go to the website of any member of congress and try to leave a message you’ll see a note that only those that live in their area will be seen.

  10. jbohanon says:

    @Nekoincardine: Just so you know, you’re not quite right that the Democrats listed are “mid-line” types. The Americans for Democratic Action reviews voting records and assigns each congressman a number based on how many times they vote in line with their philosophy. Of the twenty-one Democrats who were in congress in 2006, only seven of them got a rating lower than 90% and only four were below 75%, with Ben Nelson being the only outlier at 35%. In fact, eight of them, (including Obama and Clinton) had at least a 95% rating. The American Conservative Union does similar ratings for congress and the results are roughly skewed the same.

  11. Thermopyle says:

    Most reputable political scientists agree that special interest campaign contributions don’t buy votes.

    At best campaign contributions buy seats.

    Contributions go to congressmen who already share the political views of the special interest group. The money helps get them into power, not to change their voting. As noted previously, most of these type of contributions are pretty miniscule amounts…certainly not enough to change someone’s opinions.

  12. NoDeuces says:

    I wonder if John Edwards has taken money…

  13. QCompson says:

    I am more concerned with how members of Congress vote than where their campaign contributions come from. Sometimes those are related, but not always. Case in point — Jay Inslee, who is on this list, just introduced the Internet Radio Equality Act to save internet radio from new, outrageously high fees on webcasters. Can’t imagine that’s on the RIAA’s priority list.

  14. rhombopteryx says:

    @strathmeyer:

    More like “Am I the only one who finds some of these numbers kinda high?” $5000 is the limit for a corporate contribution to a Federal candidate, I believe.

  15. MarkC says:

    I was able to send an email to Diane Feinstein from her site. Not sure it will really matter though. In the past I’ve sent her notes about other similar topics like BPL (Broadband over Powerlines) which is evil and should never make it here. (Other countries have banned it because of the RF noise it eminates) and DMCA issues.. Each time, the response was basically the same.. She didn’t agree with my views and was going to continue to support those organizations.. I for one will never vote for her again.

  16. Smackdown says:

    My shitheel douchebag Republican representative is the second on the list. I am writing him a letter right now.

  17. Paradise says:

    I’ve sent her notes about other similar topics like BPL (Broadband over Powerlines) which is evil and should never make it here. (Other countries have banned it because of the RF noise it eminates)

    all you ham radio operators need to step out of the way. BPL is coming whether you like it or not.

  18. The_Truth says:

    I could have sworn that accepting money to potentially gain a favorable outcome was called ‘bribery’.

    I guess that only happens in nasty middle east countires?

  19. dohtem says:

    Haha Ted Stevens is there too.

    Goodness, that name has become a punchline. From his infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” to his “series of tubes” comment to the secret hold he placed on placed on that Act Obama introduced.


    I await his next act of stupidity.

  20. deverbative says:

    The PAC contribution limit is $5,000. Corporate contributions aren’t allowed. They have to cover it up with clever PAC names like “Americans for Integrity.”

    What I want to know is why they are giving Robert Wexler so much money. He represents Boca Raton. Are a lot of Jewish grannies torrent freaks?

  21. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Ah, that’s the sound of the founding fathers rolling over in their graves…fuck this, I’m moving to New Zealand…but then all governments, every single one of them, are fucked up. Some are just less fucked up than others.

  22. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Anyway I guess the National Surveillance Agency is starting a file on me now….whatever.

  23. Leighsah says:

    You might want to check your listings…

    Connie Mack listed as a Senator representing the Great State of Florida, hasn’t been our senator for FIVE years. Our senators are Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson. Only Nelson is listed as receiving funds from the RIAA.

    Also, according to opensecrets.org,
    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobbyists/induscode.asp?code=C2

    the RIAA is the top spender for lobbying activities, though BMI ans ASCAP are two and three respectively.

  24. Twitch says:

    Wow, you all are acting like you’re shocked that government representatives take money from concerned individuals or groups.

    The RIAA is a LOBBYING organization. Giving money to politicians is what they do. trying to get a politician to stop taking money from a lobbyist is like getting your dog to stop breathing air. Highly unlikely.

    Vote with your dollars. Support indy music. Go to a concert. buy a shirt. buy your cd’s directly from the artist or used.

  25. asherchang says:

    Barrack Obama? I’m dissapointed in him.

  26. Ariah says:

    You folks realize that none of these candidates are likely to even realize they’ve received money from the RIAA, right? A few thousand dollars is a trivial amount of money on the campaign trail.

    asherchang: I’m dissapointed with Obama too. I’m sure if he gets elected he’ll remember who contributed this money (currently 0.008% of his campaign funds) and pay them some pretty heavy favors!

    On the other hand, Orrin Hatch actually does seem to be property of the RIAA. I desperately hope his INDUCE Act never sees the light of day again.

  27. ggoodwin says:

    I am very pleased to see that a Minnesota representative is not listed. The presence of two possible Democratic presidential candidates is disturbing enough to make me very confused regarding my upcoming election decisions. I used to really hate the republic way of governing but I am starting to really think all US politicians are equally incapable.

  28. Sterlingspider says:

    I would like to question why the documentation next to Hillary Clinton’s name doesn’t actually point to anything with her name on it.

    The documentation beside her name lists “Ellen Tauscher for Congress”, “Feinstein or Senate”, and “Friends of Conrad Burns” as recipients, but no Hillary Clinton.

  29. abbamouse says:

    Thermopyle — I have a PhD in political science and while I agree that contributions usually don’t buy votes, you omitted the most important effect that they have on legislation. This is the power of agenda-setting. If you contribute, you get access. If you get access, you have an opportunity to persuade, to distort information, and to bargain. This is most important on technical issues — witness the number of representatives that expressed surprise at just how far the DMCA reached or the sheer ignorance of people like Ted Stevens (and a surprising number of other techno-illiterate legislators). So money isn’t really about buying votes, it is about influenceing what provisions are put to a vote to begin with, and which details make it out of reconciliation.

  30. lizzybee says:

    @MarkC: I’ve written to her about net neutrality, the DMCA, etc. and have gotten exactly the same response. I voted for the Libertarian candidate last election after Feinstein’s atrocious votes for the Patriot Act, and it felt wonderful! Not voting for her is oddly freeing ;-)

  31. Jared592 says:

    Are you kidding me? A site called “The Consumerist” is restricting registration on the pretext of ensuring “quality comments”? Afraid of a little criticism?

    Anyways, I dislike the RIAA as much as the next internet user, but to use your own unscientific poll as a means to legitimize naming the RIAA “Worst Company in America” does more harm than good, marginalizing us as a bunch of cheap, spoiled, pseudo-political e-whiners. I’m all for contacting the politicians in your list, but certainly not in a manner as unproductive as what essentially amounts to rage-mailing.

    There are valid reasons to write these polticians. Hailing as being from a marginal watchdog website will get your letter binned faster than you can say “Fight the machine, man!” I certainly wouldn’t want to read a bunch of form-letter rageahol and wouldn’t blame anyone for trashing stuff like that without reading it.

  32. Mr. Gunn says:

    I get the point that donations buy seats, not votes, but I would like to see to what degree it looks like they do, based on past donation history.

    What we need is a database that tracks how much money they get from who(which is already available from opensecrets.org) but then correlates that with their voting history. Then you could make an index of how much any particular politician’s votes really are defined by their contributions.

    I imagine, for any given congressman, the correlation would be minor, except for those with only a few large donors, or right before an election year. The interesting thing to see would be just what things affect the strength of the correlation the most(I imagine an upcoming election year would be a big one), and if anyone’s voting record could be predicted with, say, greater than 90% accuracy, from their past donor history.

  33. Thermopyle says:

    @Mr. Gunn: Based on the facts at hand, the correlation should be high, because interest groups will donate to people who already have the same views. In fact, the database you desire already exists!

    http://maplight.org/

    Pogue talks about it here, but makes the same mistake in assuming correlation = causation.

    @abbamouse: Thanks for the clarification. I’m a layman at best but am very interested in polysci.

  34. Trackback says:

    mental_floss reminds us that Mister Rogers was too good for this planet; AM, Then FM pays a visit to the Southside, draws the line between Steppenwolf and Superfly, then breaks into Dad’s record collection; Ickmusic goes insane — here’s some Kermit Ruffins, there’s some…

  35. ubulgaria says:

    (others wrote: but there is a $5000 limit)

    This is easily circumvented within many Corporatist environments; give the maximum personal donation? Expect a Christmas bonus that covers your donation cost plus the additional tax you had to pay to make it. Don’t give the donation to the bosses favorite? Don’t cry when you fail your promotion. Wish to remain anonymous so your boss doesn’t know? Sorry, it’s public record.

  36. kd5owo says:

    Take note Dennis Kucinich is not on that list. Just another reason to point out that he is a better choice for president that Obama or Clinton.

  37. vees says:

    I’m surprised that Elijah Cummings isn’t on the list. He’s such a surprising fan of overly strong copyright, and also of personal and civil rights that I’m always confused why he votes the way he does.

  38. kdonvoan says:

    This methodology is pretty silly. First the RIAA is a trade association so most of the donations will come from its members employees not the RIAA itself. Second you also need to know the amount of bundled money that record industry executives can contribute – A guy with 40-50 friends who will each write a $2K check is someone worth a congressman paying attention to. Third a few thousand dollars in a House or Senate campaign is next to nothing and are hardly indicative of any sort of corruption. You probably also want to look at contributions to the national committees – DNC, RNC, DCCC, NRCC, NRSC, DSC – as well as various PACs.

  39. wesdenton says:

    Jared592 says:
    “Anyways, I dislike the RIAA as much as the next internet user, but to use your own unscientific poll as a means to legitimize naming the RIAA “Worst Company in America” does more harm than good, marginalizing us as a bunch of cheap, spoiled, pseudo-political e-whiners.”

    You know what Jared592? I thought about your comment after I wrote my letter to my senator and perhaps you are right, perhaps it is unscientific to say that the Consumerist says the RIAA is the worst company in America. But then I thought when do politicians ever listen to scientists? Politicians just put their own spin on data to put their own interests in a positive light. The Consumerist is a site that I read often and I’m always amazed by the content I find here. If I didn’t note that my senator, (Diane Feinstein) had accepted $4,000 from the RIAA I probably would not have wrote her letter. Of course I did not only talk about my disapproval of the $4,000, but also in regards to her corruption by voting yes on the latest war funding bill where she says she is disappointed that it was passed, but yet she voted yes for it? She voted yes because her husband makes a ton of money in the defense industry and my digging also shows that Feinstein and her husband just bought a $16 million dollar mansion in SF.
    So even if we readers of the consumerist are as you say “pseudo-political e-whiners” the article still made me angry enough to write a letter to her and tell her that I disapprove of her actions and that she has lost my vote. As the end of the article says, don’t be afraid to tell your representatives how you feel. How else are they going to know?

  40. lalahsghost says:

    I hate to say it, but I am a bit tied down/busy/lazy, and unable to write a quality letter required for my Congress Representative to take seriously. Does anyone know of any “Fill in the blank” type formatted letters that already have a predisposition against the RIAA that I could fill in some info and send. I guess I fall into the category of people who are not too complacent to do something, but just don’t have the time to take the effort :

  41. Trackback says:

    You may have noticed that the RIAA decided that 2007 was the year that they would try to piss off college students around the country by assuming they were all criminals and making sure that they’re even less interested in supporting legal and authorized music options.

  42. kf4qic says:

    To the person telling Ham Radio Operators to step out of the way. Stop and think about how there will be any communication if a major disaster hits. Cellphones rely on commercial power to work. Same thing with landlines. Law enforcement communications will be overwhelmed. The 911 system will become overwhelmed as well. Ham Radio Operators as individuals and as Radio clubs can mobilize and provide communications even on the limited frequencies that we have. All we need is an antenna , a transceiver, and our own backup power to communicate around the world while your fancy cell phones and computers cant even talk to the next block. Another reason not to complain about amateur radio operators is that it is a volunteer service. We make no money providing emergency communications while the mass communications industry continues to basically steal what remaining bands and frequencies we still have.

  43. ceokhan says:

    I dont see John Edwards in that list?!?
    is this list rigged or sumthing?
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