Influence Peddling and Indiana Wetlands

In the state of Indiana, Senate Bill 389 was introduced by legislators with ties to the building industry.  They would benefit by the weakening of regulations concerning wetlands. The 2010 SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. FEC to allow money to flow freely to legislators as a first amendment right is a corrupting influence on policies affecting all Hoosiers. To deny this is not only naive, but flies in the face of common sense. It’s made our legislators beholden to donors and not voters.

What campaign contributions have bill authors received from building groups? 

In the last four years, builders associations and development groups have given SB 389’s authors and co-authors more than $230,000. 

Sen. Chris Garten, R-Scottsburg, received more than $50,000 in that same time frame from those groups, construction companies and individuals, representing more than 20% of his total contributions. Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper also received more than $50,000, and Sen. Linda Rogers, R-Granger received about $21,000.

Rogers said she takes offense to the idea that campaign contributions would play a role in her decision-making.

“I have a lot of different organizations, individuals, companies that support my campaign,” she said. “It never has, nor will it ever have an impact on how I vote or support any piece of legislation.”