In California’s 51st congressional district, Denise Moreno Ducheny and Juan Vargas are competing for the Democratic nomination to replace retiring U.S. Representative Bob Filner. On the Republican side, there is only one candidate: Nick Popaditch.
Popaditch has only recently begun his campaign for this seat in Congress, so it’s difficult to say much about the character of his 2012 effort. We can, however, look to Popaditch’s campaign in 2010 to understand something of the nature of his political support.
Nick Popaditch’s 2010 campaign for Congress claimed to be based upon the needs of the people of the 51st congressional district. In fact, much of Popaditch’s support came from far outside the borders of California.
Among those sending money to Popaditch was Howard Cohen, who lives just outside of Washington D.C., in Potomac, Maryland. Cohen has a long history of making power deals for D.C. insiders, having worked for many years as a legal counsel to the House Commerce Committee.
Now, Cohen is offering counsel of a different sort, as a federally registered lobbyist. Most recently, he’s lobbied the federal government on behalf of Amgen, a pharmaceuticals corporation, and Genzyme, a biotechnology corporation. Cohen is also lobbying on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
It’s not Cohen’s job to promote the welfare of the American people in general, much less the welfare of the residents of California’s 51st congressional district.
Popaditch also took money from Jerry Hodge, the Chairman of Maxor National Corporation – a pharmacy services company. He took money from Terry Paul, a Washington D.C. lobbyist representing corporations like Bombadier, Inc., Palantir Technologies, GeoEye, and Pranalytica. Popaditch took money from Patrick Rooney, an executive with the Investment Corporation of Palm Beach, and from James Teetzel, the CEO of Wilcox Industries.
The list of out-of-state special interests sending money to Nick Popaditch goes on and on. A central question for the campaign in 2012 is whether Popaditch will continue to depend so heavily on lobbyists and other donors with a profit motive to invest in his candidacy.