FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
ICYMI: Daines Gave His Dad and Friends Billions in Tax Breaks After They Bankrolled His Campaigns [Montana Post]
Helena, MT – A new story details how Senator Steve Daines fought to pass tax breaks for contractors after “receiving support in the form of financial donations and dubious awards from contractor groups—including some led by his father.” This comes as campaign finance reports reveal that the National Association of Home Builders – of which Daines’ father sits on the Board of Directors – has spent nearly $90,000 to help re-elect him.
It’s clear that Daines “certainly delivers for the special interests.” Time and time again, Daines shows that he will put himself and his corporate allies first – not Montanans.
Montana Post: Steve Daines Gave His Dad and His Friends $3 Billion in Tax Breaks After They Supported His Bids for Office
By: Don Pogreba
Steve Daines certainly delivers for the special interests who buy his services. After receiving support in the form of financial donations and dubious awards from contractor groups—including some led by his father—Senator Steve Daines passed along $3.2 billion in tax savings to contractors and voted against a bipartisan measure to improve energy efficiency they opposed.
There is no question that contractors benefited handsomely when the 2017 tax bill was signed into law. The National Association of Home Builders told its members that the bill saved them $3.2 billion in taxes, including $1.51 billion for the bill’s pass-through provision and $991 million for its reform of private activity bonds.
Senator Daines was at the center of both of those changes in the law, telling the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that he “personally fought to ensure” the private activity bonds and famously refusing to support the tax law unless more generous tax breaks were implemented for pass-through entities.
We’ve repeatedly discussed how Daines, as a real estate developer himself, benefited from these kickbacks in the Trump tax bill, but we haven’t talked about how he made money on the other end, taking massive donations from contractor groups. During his career in Congress, Daines has taken $ 542,450 from General Contractors, making him one of the highest recipients in the Senate, and $1,178,481 from the Construction Industry.
In Quarter 3 of 2020 alone, Daines has taken in more than $63,000 from the building and construction industry.
A lot of money, to be sure, but quite a bargain for $3.2 billion in tax breaks.
Daines hasn’t just benefited from an economic relationship with contractors. He has used his relationship with his father, an important contractor in southwest Montana, to boost his profile and raise money.
The National Association of Home Builders PAC reports that it has spent $88,000 to back Daines’s Senate bid in 2020, even though it has only spent on behalf of two other candidates this cycle, for digital ads worth less than $4,000 each.
Clair Daines, the Senator’s father, sits on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Home Builders.
Senator Daines has also received the support of the Montana Building Industry Association (MBIA) and Southwest Montana Building Industry Association (SWMBIA), which presented him with a “Defender of Housing” Award at a 2016 meeting. In 2018, MBIA and SWMBIA held a roundtable featuring Daines, and in 2018, they awarded him another “Defender of Housing Award.”
In 2019, Senator Daines was photographed with his father and SWMBIA members, accepting a check from their PAC to help his bid for Congress.
Clair Daines? According to his website, he “served as the first President of the Southwest Montana Home Builders Association, and also became President of the Montana Home Builders Association.”
Daines repaid the generosity of the Builders with more than tax breaks. In September of last year, the Senate considered a bipartisan measure to improve energy efficiency. It passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a 14-6 bipartisan vote with Daines voting no, no doubt influenced by the Montana Building Industry Association, which called him out by name in an op-ed one month before the vote.
This story illustrates just what Senator Daines does. When Big Pharma wants him to oppose measures to bring down the price of drugs, they give him a little attention and money, and they get the vote they want. When the elite gathers at the Yellowstone Club, all it took was a little cash, and Daines was voting against his own party to continue an immigration program rife with abuse.
And when Senator Daines’s friends and family in the building industry wave a little campaign cash and a few spurious awards he can boast about on his campaign web site, Daines delivers them billions, leaving us to pay the tab.
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