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Friday, June 5, 2009

Rangel uses tax code to squeeze contributors

Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel raised more in one election than his GOP predecessors did in six cycles. My column explains how:
Only one PAC contributed the maximum $10,000: The National Fire Sprinkler Association, which cut $5,000 checks Jan. 7 and Jan. 9.
A week later, NFSA President John Viniello told his Illinois and Wisconsin chapters that Rangel "will be supportive" of the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, according to the NFSA's newsletter.
Two weeks after that, on Feb. 1, the NFSA held a fundraiser for Rangel -- a $700-a-head breakfast in New York City, attended by a dozen executives and owners of fire sprinkler companies. "He's crucial to the bill," NFSA spokesman Jim Dalton explained to me in discussing the fundraiser.

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