Last year, when U.S. Representative Robert Latta was running for re-election, the top two sources of money for his campaign were people and political action committees associated with electric power companies: American Electric Power and FirstEnergy Corporation. No other industry gave so much money to Latta’s re-election campaign as the energy utility industry. This wasn’t a new relationship. Congressman Latta has taken tens of thousands of dollars from these companies over the last several years, ever since the beginning of his congressional career.
Why would these energy utilities keep giving money to members of Congress like Bob Latta? Wouldn’t they rather keep the money and pass the savings on to their customers?
Energy companies may look at a politician like Representative Latta and see him as an investment opportunity, with great financial returns in the long run. Congressman Latta can introduce and vote on legislation that helps electrical power corporations bring in profits much larger than the amount of money paid out to gain access to him and keep him feeling in a receptive mood.
One such piece of legislation was introducted by Robert Latta just yesterday. The bill, H.R. 3185, would provide a special exemption that would allow electric power plants to violate pollution standards in order to keep more money in their accounts. It strains credulity to assert that it’s only a coincidence that Latta’s top sources of money would profit from Latta’s proposed new law.