The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

June 10, 2010
New report lists Nancy Pelosi's biggest benefactors

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful member of Congress, has compiled an eclectic collection of sugar daddies (and mommies) over her long political career.

According to a report released today by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, the San Francisco Democrat's top five individual donors are: John W. Keker, a San Francisco trial lawyer who was chief prosecutor of Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North for his role in the Iran-contra scandal; his wife, Christina Day Keker, a graphic designer; Bernard Osher, the billionaire founder of World Savings Bank; Lucinda B. Watson, an IBM heiress who is a healing-touch practitioner; and Alexander R. Mehran, Watson's former husband and head of Sunset Development Co.

They have given Pelosi a combined $240, 350 since her first congressional race in 1987, the center's report says.

Pelosi's top political action committee backers include the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the National Association of Realtors; the National Education Association; and the United Auto Workers.

There are eight labor unions among Pelosi's top ten PAC donors, all of which have given more than $100,000. The center says that unions have benefited from her presence in Congress. The AFL-CIO's scorecards indicate 100 percent support from Pelosi for their legislative priorities in 2008 and 2009, and a 95 percent lifetime score for the speaker, the report says.

The report is the last in a series that the center has issued this week on where the four top congressional leaders have received campaign money throughout their careers. The earlier reports on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican; and House Minority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, are available here.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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