• Chuck Schumer (New York) Recived $2.7 million from Wall Street. Defended loophole that allows hedgefund billionaires to pay only 15 percent in taxes. May back a tax “amnesty” to allow giant corporations to evade billions in taxes on profits they’ve stashed offshore. Key quote: “$250,ooo makes you really rich in Mississippi, but it doesn’t make you rich at all in New York.”
• Ben Nelson (Nebraska) Corporate America’s most dependable Democrat. Provided the 50th vote for Bush’s tax cuts; helped the GOP downsize the stimulus and weaken health care reform. Voted against jobless benefits for the unemployed while supporting $21 billion in subsidies for Big Oil. Key quote: “One of the biggest challenges our job creators face is overregulation.”
• Joe Manchin (West Virginia) Appeared in campaign ad firing a rifle at Obama’s climate legislation. In office barely a year, has accepted $600,000 from coal interests – and voted for a GOP measure to permanently bar the EPA from regulating big carbon polluters. Key quote: “The EPA’s overreach is destroying jobs in my state and all over the country, and it must be stopped.”
• Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) Accepted almost $1 million from Big Oil; prevented $13 billion in industry tax breaks from being diverted to clean energy. Opposed a temporary halt to offshore drilling, even after the BP spill. Key quote: “If I were one of them,” she said, defending beleaguered oil executives, “I’d be tempted to just shut off the spigots and go elsewhere.”
• Kay Hagan (North Carolina) Won praise from Rep. Eric Cantor for co-sponsoring GOP bill to allow America’s richest corporations to pay only 5.25 percent in taxes on $1.4 trillion in offshore profits. Voted for GOP “jobs” bill to repeal withholding tax on federal contractors. Key quote: Tax evaders like GE are victims of an “outdated” tax system that “traps” their profits abroad.
This story is from the November 24, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone.