Two NM senators getting plenty of green from environmentalists

GETTING SOME GREEN FROM THE GREENS: Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich finish high in a list of top recipients from environmental groups.

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

SANTA FE, N.M. — As Earth Day celebrates its 44th birthday, the environmental movement has become an increasingly larger presence in Washington, D.C.

And that means political contributions.

A look at the top recipients on Capitol Hill shows New Mexico’s two senators— Democrats Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich — finish near the top when it comes to contributions from groups and individuals with ties to the environmental movement.

According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics and its database.opensecrets.org, Udall — who is running for re-election this November — has received more than $57,000 in contributions from environmentalists during the 2013-14 election cycle (as of March 10, 2014). That’s the third-highest total for members of Congress:

Democrats made up 19 of the Top 20 recipients in the opensecrets.org rankings.

Another nonpartisan group looking at Capitol Hill contributions, maplight.org, tracked the contributions for members of Congress between 2007 and the end of 2012 and determined Heinrich has received the most from environmental concerns among members of the U.S. Senate:

environmental contributions in senate 2007-2012Heinrich served in the U.S House from 2009-12 before getting elected to the Senate in November 2012, so some of those contributions in the maplight.org rankings came while Heinrich was a member of the House.

Conversely, another Capitol Hill member from New Mexico — House Republican Steve Pearce — finished among the highest recipients of contributions from companies operating hydraulically fractured wells and trade associations supporting the fracking industry. Here’s the list, compiled between 2004 and 2012 by the left-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:

fracking money top 10

The exact number was $379,700 for Pearce, whose district includes New Mexico’s Oil Patch and who is up for re-election this fall. Nine of the top 10 in the CREW rankings are Republicans.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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