March 28, 2013

Sen. Roy Blunt: Monsanto’s Congressional Judas


One has to wonder how Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri benefited by sliding in that nasty little rider that puts Monsanto above the law?  Not unlike Judas Iscariot, Blunt used his position to betray those who trusted him, but it appears that the senator got more than 30 pieces of silver.

As an elected official, Senator Blunt is obligated to promote the wishes of the people.  All of them, not just the ones with money.

Let’s go down the rabbit hole and explore why Blunt might have done such a thing.

Monsanto has its home base in St. Louis, Missouri, and here we can begin to see the connection between Blunt and the evil company.

Just a cursory search shows financial ties of nearly $300,000.  To name just a few direct links between Monsanto and Blunt, the following donation amounts are from the website Open Secrets, (with the caveat “The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.”):

  • Blunt’s most recent congressional campaign received  $64,250 in donations from Monsanto.
  • Blunt’s campaign received $110,950   from the Crawford Group, a law firm that deals with issues involving Roundup Ready sugar beets and alfalfa.
  • Blunt’s campaign received $75,150 from Emerson Electric Company, which acquired Fisher Controls from Monsanto in 1992.
  • Blunt’s campaign received $42,758 from Bryan Cave LLC, a law firm which represented Monsanto in its $290 million purchase of Aly Participacoes. Reuben Shelton, senior counsel at Monsanto, serves as president of the Board of Directors of Legal Services for the company, and his daughter, Christian Shelton, is an attorney at the firm.
  • The #1 PAC donation in the most recent election was from “agribusiness” – $51,250

Hang on – there are a couple MORE links between Blunt and Monsanto, (not to mention other special interest groups like Phillip Morris, Altria, and Kraft).  In fact, Blunt has a long, sordid history of slipping bills in that help out the big spenders, a lover, and his sons…

  • Blunt’s wife, Abigail Perlman, is the in-house lobbyist for Kraft Foods, who donated heavily to battle against mandatory labeling of GMOs. Before this, when the good Baptist Blunt divorced his wife of 30+ years to marry Perlman, she lobbied for Altria/Phillip Morris, where Blunt’s son Andy was also a lobbyist.  An article on The Daily Kos pointed out that, “at the time Roy Blunt, the bastion of Missouri values, was helping his lobbyist girlfriend, he was still married to another woman.”
  • Blunt’s son, Matt, was the governor of Missouri from 2005-2009.  According to an article on The Nation, ” Matt Blunt was such a champion of Monsanto’s GM products that its CEO presented him with the annual leadership award of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a Monsanto-backed group.”

This Monsanto rider isn’t the first time Blunt has tried to help out a big donor.  In 2003, literally hours after he was named whip for the House Republicans, he attempted a less successful stealth legislation attached to the 475 page bill that created the DHS for his buddies at Phillip Morris.

The new majority whip, who has close personal and political ties to the company, instructed congressional aides to add the tobacco provision to the bill — then within hours of a final House vote — even though no one else in leadership supported it or knew he was trying to squeeze it in.

Once alerted to the provision, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert’s chief of staff, Scott Palmer, quickly had it pulled out, said a senior GOP leader who requested anonymity. Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) also opposed what Blunt (Mo.) was trying to do, the member said, and “worked against it” when he learned of it.

The provision would have made it harder to sell tobacco products over the Internet and would have cracked down on the sale of contraband cigarettes, two practices that cut into Philip Morris’s profits. Blunt has received large campaign donations from Philip Morris, his son works for the company in Missouri and the House member has a close personal relationship with a Washington lobbyist for the firm. (source)

It is highly unusual for a House Republican to insert a last-minute contentious provision that has never gone through a committee, never faced a House vote and never been approved by the speaker or majority leader. Blunt’s attempt became known only to a small circle of House and White House officials. They kept it quiet, preferring no publicity on a matter involving favors for the nation’s biggest tobacco company and possible claims of conflicts of interest.

Given the above, it probably comes as no surprise that the watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) bestowed upon Blunt a spot in the second annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress back in 2006 and then again in 2010.  You can read the 2010 report on Blunt’s special interest pandering HERE.

So, Blunt was the architect of all of this sneaky little rider, slipped into HR 933.  This doesn’t mean that the other members of Congress who voted for it are not complicit, however.  The fact that President Obama does not have line-item veto authority doesn’t let him off the hook either. By refusing to send the entire bill back to be redrafted, every person who voted for this is guilty, as is President Obama.

In case you’re curious how your Senators and Representatives voted, you don’t even have to click a link – here are the results of the roll call.

For the Senate:
YEAs —73
Alexander (R-TN)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cowan (D-MA)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Thune (R-SD)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)

And here are those who voted “yes” in the House of Representatives.

Aderholt
Alexander
Andrews
Bachus
Barber
Barletta
Barr
Barrow (GA)
Barton
Beatty
Benishek
Bentivolio
Bera (CA)
Bilirakis
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (UT)
Black
Blackburn
Blumenauer
Bonamici
Bonner
Boustany
Brady (PA)
Brady (TX)
Brooks (AL)
Brooks (IN)
Brown (FL)
Brownley (CA)
Buchanan
Bucshon
Burgess
Bustos
Butterfield
Calvert
Camp
Campbell
Cantor
Capito
Capps
Carney
Carson (IN)
Carter
Cassidy
Castro (TX)
Chabot
Chaffetz
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Coble
Coffman
Cole
Collins (GA)
Collins (NY)
Conaway
Cook
Cooper
Costa
Cotton
Courtney
Cramer
Crenshaw
Cuellar
Culberson
Cummings
Daines
Davis (CA)
Davis, Rodney
DeFazio
Delaney
DelBene
Denham
Dent
Diaz-Balart
Dingell
Duckworth
Duffy
Duncan (SC)
Edwards
Ellmers
Enyart
Eshoo
Esty
Farenthold
Fattah
Fincher
Fitzpatrick
Fleischmann
Flores
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foster
Foxx
Frankel (FL)
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gabbard
Gallego
Garcia
Gardner
Garrett
Gerlach
Gibbs
Gibson
Goodlatte
Gosar
Gowdy
Granger
Graves (GA)
Graves (MO)
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Griffin (AR)
Griffith (VA)
Grimm
Guthrie
Gutierrez
Hanna
Harper
Harris
Hartzler
Heck (NV)
Heck (WA)
Hensarling
Herrera Beutler
Himes
Hinojosa
Holding
Horsford
Hoyer
Hudson
Huffman
Huizenga (MI)
Hunter
Hurt
Israel
Issa
Jenkins
Johnson (GA)
Johnson (OH)
Johnson, E. B.
Johnson, Sam
Jordan
Joyce
Kaptur
Keating
Kelly
Kilmer
Kind
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kinzinger (IL)
Kirkpatrick
Kline
Kuster
Labrador
LaMalfa
Lamborn
Lance
Langevin
Lankford
Larsen (WA)
Latham
Latta
Levin
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Loebsack
Long
Lowenthal
Lowey
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Lujan Grisham (NM)
Maffei
Maloney, Carolyn
Maloney, Sean
Marchant
Marino
Matheson
McCarthy (CA)
McCarthy (NY)
McCaul
McHenry
McIntyre
McKeon
McKinley
McMorris Rodgers
McNerney
Meadows
Meehan
Meng
Messer
Mica
Michaud
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Miller, Gary
Moore
Moran
Mullin
Mulvaney
Murphy (FL)
Murphy (PA)
Negrete McLeod
Neugebauer
Noem
Nugent
Nunes
Nunnelee
O’Rourke
Olson
Owens
Palazzo
Pastor (AZ)
Paulsen
Payne
Pearce
Pelosi
Perry
Peters (CA)
Peterson
Petri
Pittenger
Pitts
Poe (TX)
Polis
Pompeo
Price (GA)
Price (NC)
Quigley
Radel
Rahall
Reed
Reichert
Renacci
Ribble
Rice (SC)
Rigell
Roby
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Rokita
Rooney
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross
Rothfus
Royce
Ruiz
Runyan
Ruppersberger
Ryan (WI)
Sanchez, Loretta
Scalise
Schiff
Schneider
Schock
Schwartz
Schweikert
Scott (VA)
Scott, Austin
Scott, David
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Sewell (AL)
Shea-Porter
Sherman
Shimkus
Shuster
Sinema
Sires
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (WA)
Southerland
Stewart
Stivers
Takano
Terry
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiberi
Tipton
Titus
Turner
Upton
Valadao
Van Hollen
Veasey
Vela
Visclosky
Wagner
Walberg
Walden
Walorski
Walz
Waxman
Weber (TX)
Webster (FL)
Wenstrup
Whitfield
Williams
Wilson (SC)
Wittman
Wolf
Womack
Woodall
Yoder
Yoho
Young (AK)
Young (FL)
Young (IN)

So there you have it….a list of those responsible for making Monsanto untouchable.  I don’t want to hear the “they had no choice” baloney.  The option to refuse is always there and anyone with ethics would have done just that.

I encourage you to reach out to your senators and representatives and let them know how you feel about their betrayals.  And don’t forget the White House.  Contact information can be found below.  (Please be courteous and don’t make crazy threats, because that just reflects badly on the rest of us.)

Refuse to be silenced.

Senator Roy Blunt (email address)

Contacting the Congress (email addresses)

Senator Blunt’s Washington DC office  (202) 224-5721

Congressional switchboard  (202) 224-3121.

President Barack Obama’s line (202) 456-1111

credit: Natural Society




Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy Luther lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper's Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and the soon-to-be-released The Prepper's Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy's articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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