Sen. Mitch McConnell Named First 'Insurance Puppet' By Watchdog Group As Health Care Debate Begins

Dec 01, 2009, 09:10 ET from Public Campaign Action Fund

Online advertising campaign in Kentucky and Washington, D.C. asks if health insurers are pulling the strings

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Public Campaign Action Fund, a national campaign finance watchdog group, named Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) its first "Insurance Puppet" in an online advertising campaign targeting Kentucky and Washington, D.C.

"Senator McConnell has taken $523,000 from health insurers, and given more than 50 floor speeches spouting their talking points," said David Donnelly, Public Campaign Action Fund's national campaigns director. "As the Senate begins its second day of debate on health care reform legislation, the insurance interests are getting their money's worth from their 'Insurance Puppet,' Mitch McConnell."

The campaign finance watchdog group will release an "Insurance Puppet" each day at for the rest of the week in an effort to educate the public about the impact of the health insurance industry's campaign contributions on the health care debate. The industry has donated $17.7 million in campaign contributions to the Senators taking part in the current debate, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The online campaign will use both context words and search terms to deliver flash and text advertising to web users in the home state of each Senator and in Washington, D.C. Additional Senators will be named "Insurance Puppets" on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

"The debate over health care legislation has highlighted the problem of money in politics, and the need for comprehensive change in the way elections are financed," Donnelly added. "It's time for Congress to pass the Fair Elections Now Act."

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Fair Elections Now Act in order to reduce the pressures of fundraising on federal candidates. It provides qualified candidates the option to run for office with a mixture of small donations and public funds.

To learn more about Sen. McConnell's insurance money and the Fair Elections Now Act, visit

Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonpartisan group dedicated to advancing comprehensive campaign finance reform. It also campaigns to hold elected officials accountable for the special favors they give to wealthy campaign donors.

SOURCE Public Campaign Action Fund