(Ed. Note: Peter G Peterson Foundation (PGPF) is spending a billion dollars to convince people that the costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are driving the US economy to the brink of disaster. To enhance the effort, the foundation’s billionaire namesake lavishes funds on politicians urging them to cut these programs or turn them over to the private sector (where they can be rationed and turn a profit). What is alarming is the number of officials who say they will protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – yet have taken money from this billionaire committed to destroying those programs. These officials – our representatives! – need to hear from us so that they will renew their commitment to protect the programs that serve the people and not the billionaires. Below is a list of these officials and the amounts they took.)
Eight key democratic Members of Congress have joined Republicans in taking large amounts of money from an organization that advocates reducing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They’ve all accepted large contributions for their Leadership PACs from leaders of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a $1,000,000,000 (Billion) endowed organization founded to generate public support for slashing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The foundation was started by Wall Street billionaire Peter G. Peterson., Secretary of Commerce (1972) for President Richard Nixon, then CEO of investment bank Lehman Brothers and finally founder of a private equity firm, Blackstone Group. Readers, particularly those from Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Illinois, and Maryland, should call these congressional leaders and ask why they are accepting five figure contributions from an organization operates with misleading evidence to undermine vital programs that millions of Americans depend on.
The following members have all accepted large contributions to their Leadership PACs from leaders of the PGPF: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wi), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md), Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-Wa), Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Il), and Senators Mark Warner (D-Va), Ron Wyden (D-Or), Michael Bennet (D-Co), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) have in common?
It is worth noting that, per the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org) and Federal Election Committee reports, there are over 220 Democratic Leadership Political Action Committees (PACs) affiliated with current or former Members of Congress, Senators, and other elected officials but Pelosi, Hoyer, Murray, Durbin, Wyden, Bennet, Van Hollen, and Warner are the only currently serving Democratic officials who have received these large contributions from this source. A ninth individual, former Congressman, and current California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, received $20,000 from Foundation representatives.
For Washington voters, Murray’s PAC, M-PAC, received $5000 from Foundation President Michael Peterson on 12/28/15, $5000 from Founder and Chairman Peter G. Peterson on 12/28/15, $5000 from Michael Peterson on 2/2/16, and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 2/2/16.
For Oregon voters, Wyden’s PAC, Holding Onto Oregon’s Priorities, received $5000 from Michael Peterson and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 12/23/15, and $5000 from Michael Peterson and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 1/28/16.
For Colorado voters, Bennet’s PAC, Common Sense Colorado, received $5000 from Michael Peterson and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 12/29/15 and received $5000 from Michael Peterson and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 2/22/16.
For Illinois voters, Durbin’s PAC, Prairie PAC, received $5000 from Michael Peterson on 12/30/15 and $5000 on 2/6/16. The PAC also received $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 12/30/15 and $5000 on 2/6/16, listing the Blackstone Group, a company Peter G. Peterson founded as occupation.
For Virginia voters, Warner’s PAC, Forward Together PAC, received $5000 from Michael Peterson and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 12/28/15, and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 2/2/16.
For Maryland voters, Hoyer’s PAC, AmeriPAC: The Fund for a Greater America, received $5000 from Michael Peterson and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 12/28/15, and received $5000 from Michael Peterson and $5000 from Peter G. Peterson on 2/2/16.
For further insights on the Peter G Peterson Foundation, Social Security, and Medicare:
Joe Nilsson was a Thurston County Organizer for the Bernie Sanders Campaign, a former Chair of the Thurston County Democrats and a former Treasurer of the Washington State Democratic Party.