What did the world do to identify falsehoods before the advent of the internet and sites like Snopes.com? In a January 2019 article, the site published a page entitled, “Was Senator Chuck Schumer Caught Taking $1 Million in ‘Excessive Contributions’?” It went on to explain in a subtitle that “Trump supporters raised the issue of past campaign finance violations to question Schumer’s fitness to hold office in December 2018.”
So, their team dug into the issue and determined that “Schumer’s 1998 campaign was assessed a fine of $130,000 by the FEC for ‘excessive contributions’ and ‘improperly disclosed disbursements’…The fine was primarily related to accounting issues and did not involve the campaign’s accepting contributions from prohibited sources or engaging in other prosecutable activity.”
This story is a great illustration of growing public awareness of questionable activities around campaign finance and the need for politicians to be constantly aware of the sources of their campaign backing.
As the 2020 election begins to gear up, and candidates are debating and fundraising, many have sworn off certain kinds of contributions (for any sort of race and not the presidential race, alone). They are doing this because of public awareness of “dark money” and the growing influences of PACs (Political Action Committees) and their partner SuperPACs.
Dark money is a relatively new phrase, and us put to use when speaking about huge sums directed towards the election of a specific candidate. It encompasses donations that are unable to be traced to their sources, too, and it is where PAC, SuperPAC, or other donating organizations become significant.
PACs and SuperPACs are non-profits, and recent updates to FEC and IRS laws allow them to take in their huge sums while keeping donors’ names private and protected. The funds they distribute or spend on candidates may come from almost anywhere, and the use of them puts many voters in an uneasy position. Why? It is virtually impossible to detect or legislate such campaign funding practices.
PACs and SuperPACs are not a long-standing tradition in American elections, but they have garnered remarkable power in a short span, and been further empowered by Supreme Court rulings.
For instance, the Citizens United ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010, eliminated the ban on corporations and unions spending enormous sums on political campaigns. In a five to four ruling, the Court found it to be a matter of free speech, and said it was appropriate for labor unions and corporations to “spend as much as they want to convince people to vote for or against a candidate,” according to one source. Initially, voters were not convinced that it was such a troublesome issue. However, as time has passed, “spending of this kind (in which groups did not reveal their donors) climbed rapidly from five million dollars in the year 2006 to more than three hundred million dollars in 2012,” according to one group’s findings.
The results of this immense spending and the control it exerts have left many voters winded and somewhat shocked. As another report explained, “With big-dollar donors effectively in control of American politics, writing six- and seven-figure checks to SuperPACs to support ad campaigns that confuse viewers and distort the views and records of candidates, it’s no surprise that voters are increasingly cynical about public affairs.”
Additionally, many political experts agree that the influence such contributions might create can only be seen in more “subtle things that are less top of mind, less likely to be in the news — some amendment tucked into a larger bill…[and] greater access for friendly lobbyists.”
So, for Senator Schumer to fall under intense scrutiny about campaign finance, it was a potentially serious issue. As that Snopes article went on to outline, though, “As the voice of the opposition party in the Senate, Schumer was frequently at odds with President Trump and the Republicans. These disputes spilled over into social media, where Schumer not only exchanged barbs with the president himself but was regularly attacked by Trump supporters hoping to discredit him…In December 2018, some of Trump’s followers shared posts asserting that Schumer had been ‘caught’ accepting excessive campaign contributions and failing to properly disclose expenses in 1998.”
Discrediting such claims is more relevant than ever, and he seems to be under a non-stop array of accusations of this kind. For example, some of the allegations against him include:
- From Act.Presente.org – “Chuck Schumer is the lead Senate Democrat working on immigration reform… he’s also taken over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the private prison industry. Is it any surprise he’s pushing for billions more dollars spent on increased enforcement and detention of immigrants…he’s accepting money from private prison companies that have a strong interest in jailing as many immigrants as possible…The two corporations from which Sen. Schumer took money, GEO Group and CCA, made $296.9 million in profits from the jailing of immigrants last year.”
- From MotherJones.com – A major defender of Wall Street interests before the crash, Schumer has netted more big bank money than any member of Congress who hasn’t run for president.
It is easy enough to look into specific details of Senator Schumer’s work to determine if these special interests are steering his legislative activities. And that is what we are going to do throughout the rest of this article, considering the following:
- Senator Schumer’s committee and caucus activities
- His publicly stated priorities and issues
- Senator Schumer’s most recent legislative items sponsored or co-sponsored
- His critical sources of campaign funding
By doing so, we can determine if campaign backers, rather than constituents, have influenced his policies and actions. We will also use other data to reach our conclusions, including bipartisanship ratings, approval ratings, and more.
For example, Senator Schumer ratedonly moderately in the Lugar Center Bipartisanship Index for the 114th Congress (he is excluded from the Index for the 115th Congress since he was Minority Leader) holding the 72nd spot in the list. What this means is plain: legislation he creates does nottypically attract the support of Republicans, and that, in turn, he does not often support their efforts. He rates moderately better in Senate approval ratings, too where he is in the 39th spot and maintains a 57% net approval rating among fellow Democrats and a -46 net approval with Republicans.
About Senator Charles Schumer
Born in 1950 in Brooklyn, NY he graduated from public school, first obtaining a perfect score on the SAT and serving as his class’ valedictorian. He attended Harvard and received a bachelor’s before moving to their Law School to get a JD. He passed the state bar exam the following year and skipped a legal career, opting to enter politics immediately.
He entered the NY State Assembly in 1974 and was re-elected over eight terms. He then ran for the office of a U.S. Senator for New York in 1998 and won that election. He has been re-elected since.
His official website describes him as having “dedicated his career to being a tireless fighter for New York… and has delivered countless large and small victories across the state, including delivering $20 billion to rebuild after the 9-11 terror attacks and passing a $63 billion relief package to help New York recover from Superstorm Sandy. From massive snowstorms in Western New York to numerous floods across Upstate, Sen. Schumer has been there to deliver aid and support to New Yorkers in their time of need.
From authoring a permanent tax credit to offset the rising costs of college tuition, protecting Social Security and Medicare to encouraging job-creating infrastructure projects, Senator Schumer has made it a hallmark of his career to protect the middle class and those working to reach it – including finding common-sense solutions to national issues.”
Though he does not itemize priorities or issues, he does say that “Throughout his time in the Senate, Chuck has made improving New York’s economy his top priority…He has worked to successfully retain New York jobs that were at risk of leaving and to attract many new firms to New York to create many thousands of family-supporting new jobs. Chuck was the author of legislation that eliminated barriers that delay low-cost generic medications from entering the marketplace and led the charge to make college tuition tax-deductible. He also aggressively championed agricultural measures to preserve vital market support programs for New York’s dairy farmers and crop growers. In 2013, Chuck worked across the aisle to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
Some of the data from ProPublica supports his claims. The group tracks Senators to determine how they vote, the most common subjects of bills they sponsor and even what issues appear in press releases. They have identified that Senator Schumer focuses on the following when proposing bills:
- International Affairs
- Civil Rights and Liberties, Minority Issues
- Environmental Protection
- Public Lands and Natural Resources
The Senator’s press releases focus mostly on:
- Transportation and Public Works
- Emergency Management
- Water Resources Development
- Housing and Community Development
As someone in a ranking position, he is likely to achieve many things, but we need to also look at committee participation, donors and actual legislative acts to see how he uses his influence.
Senator Schumer’s Committee Work
For the 116th Congress, Senator Schumer is assigned to the following committees and subcommittees:
- Committee on Rules and Administration
- Select Committee on Intelligence
This seems limited but is in line with a few of the priorities he has established. Taking this, and comparing it to campaign backers can help to shed some light on any signs of influence.
The Top Industries Funding Senator Schumer Campaign Efforts
In the 2016 elections, Senator Schumer’s campaign raised $24,865,827.00 and spent $24,381,064.00. This support came from an array of industries, and we’ll look at those contributors in three distinct groupings:
- The industries in which the Senator was a “favorite,” or top recipient in the last campaign cycle (2016)
- The industries that contributed the largest amount of financial support
- Individual organizations that donated the most
According to the Open Secrets Website, Senator Schumer was an industry favorite in a very long list of segments and rated in the top three for:
- Beer, Wine & Liquor (#1)
- Commercial TV & radio stations (#1)
- Public Sector Unions (#1)
- US Postal Service unions & associations (#1)
- Accountants (#2)
- Alternate energy production & services (#2)
- Cable & satellite TV production (#2)
- Finance/Credit (#2)
- Health Services (#2)
- Hedge Funds (#2)
- Internet (#2)
- Lobbyists (#2)
- Private Equity & Investment Firms (#2)
- Securities/Invest (#2)
- Telecom Services (#2)
- TV/Movies/Music (#2)
- Venture capital (#2)
- Electronics Manufacturing/Equipment (#3)
- Real Estate (#3)
He was also supported by many other industries, which were, in ranking order:
- Securities & Investment
- Lawyers/Law Firms
- Real Estate
- Miscellaneous Finance
- Electronics Manufacturing & Equipment
- Hospitals/Nursing Homes
- Health Professionals
- Business Services
- Pharmaceuticals/Health Products
- Health Services/HMOs
- Commercial Banks
- Miscellaneous Manufacturing & Distributing
- General Contractors
Lastly, there were the individual organizations that contributed the most, and which are listed below. NOTE: None of these organizations or groups donated directly to the campaign. Instead, they worked with PACs or had direct employee contributions for the 2016 election.
- Paul, Weiss et al – “A firm of more than 1,000 lawyers with diverse backgrounds, personalities, ideas and interests who provide innovative and effective solutions to our clients’ most complex legal and business challenges. The firm represents some of the world’s largest publicly and privately held corporations, financial institutions and asset managers, and clients needing pro bono assistance…widely recognized as having market-leading practices in public M&A, private equity, litigation, white-collar & regulatory defense, and bankruptcy & corporate reorganization, along with equally strong practices in employee benefits & executive compensation, intellectual property, personal representation, real estate and tax law.”
- NorPAC – A “bipartisan, multi-candidate political action committee (PAC) working to strengthen United States support for Israel, founded in New Jersey in 1982. Its activities include fundraising for Senators and Members of the United States Congress who support this relationship, regular emails regarding the situation in the Middle East, and the annual Mission to Washington.”
- Lockheed Martin – “An American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995, and Loral Federal Systems in 1996. It is headquartered in North Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington, DC, area. Lockheed Martin employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide as of December 2017.”
- Blackstone Group – “An American multinational private equity, alternative asset management, and financial services firm based in New York City. As the largest alternative investment firm in the world, Blackstone specializes in private equity, credit, and hedge fund investment strategies.”
- Deloitte LLP – It is “a multinational professional services network. Deloitte is one of the “Big Four” accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals. Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services with more than 286,200 professionals globally. In FY 2018, the network earned a record $43.2 billion USD in aggregate revenues.”
- PricewaterhouseCoopers – It is “a multinational professional services network with headquarters in London, United Kingdom. PwC ranks as the second-largest professional services firm in the world and is one of the Big Four auditors.”
- Google Inc – “An American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies.”
- Lazard Ltd – It is “a financial advisory and asset management firm that engages in investment banking, asset management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients. It is the world’s largest independent investment bank, with principal executive offices in New York City, Paris, and London.”
- Citigroup Inc – It is “an American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation headquartered in New York City. The company was formed by the merger of banking giant Citicorp and financial conglomerate Travelers Group in 1998; Travelers was subsequently spun off from the company in 2002. Citigroup owns Citicorp, the holding company for Citibank, as well as several international subsidiaries.Citigroup is ranked 3rd on the list of largest banks in the United States.”
- KPMG LLP – It is “a multinational professional services network and one of the Big Four accounting organizations.”
Claims that Senator Schumer is tied into major banks and financial organizations are true in light of the fact that three of the four leading auditing firms contribute to his campaign. However, he has a good balance of other industries, with several in-state firms appearing in the list.
That leaves only a look at his legislative work to determine if he is prioritizing properly or under any undue influences.
9 Items Senator Schumer Has Sponsored During the 116th Congress – To Date
For the 116th Congress, to date, Senator Schumer has 168 pieces of legislation with his name sponsoring 41 of them, and the remaining 127 as a cosponsor. The Senator’s official Congressional page indicates that his emphasis in this Congress has been Congress, international affairs, armed forces and national security, civil rights and liberties, minority issues, and crime and law enforcement.
Reintroduced (as one among many previous attempts) on January 15, this bill seeks to create a private route to legal residency for a single man – Alameseghed Mussie Tesfamical. According to a Newsday article about this bill, Senator Schumer, noted for his efforts to “legislate a public path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people living illegally in this country,” is seeking citizenship for Mr. Tesfamical at the request of a nun from Long Island.
The Senator has consistently attempted this process for more than ten years to “prevent the deportation of a former soldier who says he fled his African country of Eritrea because he was tortured there and fears for his life if he is sent back.”
It explains that Senator Schumer is using this “little-known remedy known as a private bill that addresses only the specific case of a person, family or group,” because, as the Senator said, deportation means “he’s going to his death.” Many people are kept within the U.S. through pending private bills, and though they have little chance for passing, they do block deportation.
It was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Introduced on January 15, this bill has been touted by many organizations as a way to provide those with disabilities the help they need with daily basic activities at home or in the community. The bipartisan bill would “guarantee that eligible people with disabilities are offered services in the community. Those already living in institutions would need to be informed about available options in the community.”
The bill explains that “when Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 28 years ago, lawmakers expected that it would ensure that individuals eligible for institutional care would also have a right to get their care in the community. ‘That expectation has not been fulfilled,’ the bill says.”
If made law, “state and local governments and insurers that pay for institutional care for people with disabilities would have to offer these individuals long-term services in their homes or communities. The legislation would prevent state and local governments and insurers from discriminatory practices, such as restrictive eligibility criteria, caps on cost, waiting lists, and the failure to provide a community-based service.”
Speaking of it, Senator Schumer said the bill is “ultimately a civil rights bill. People with disabilities are too often denied the choice to receive at-home care and support services. This bill ensures that it would never happen again.”
It was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Introduced on March 6, this Resolution was inspired by Republican leadership’s refusal to take action on climate crisis and in the face of Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s failure to schedule a vote on this Resolution.
A press release from the Senate Democrats explains this Resolution and its results:“In the wake of Senate Republicans’ refusal to take action on climate change and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) refusal to schedule or allow for a vote on the resolution to establish a bipartisan select committee on the climate crisis, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today established a new Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis.”
So, the Resolution itself was not acted upon, but in the wake of that a ten Democrat committee established itself to “be tasked with investigating, holding hearings, and issuing findings on the economic and national security consequences of climate change and how acting on the climate crisis presents significant opportunities for jobs, public health, and the economy. More specifically, the committee will work with environmental, financial, and national security experts to find solutions for communities impacted by climate change and provide oversight on special interests that foster climate denial.”
Speaking about it, Senator Schumer said, “The economic, national security, environmental, and public health consequences of inaction on climate change are far too pressing to not have a group of Senators dedicated to investigating the costs of inaction and the opportunities that exist in taking bold action.
While our Republican colleagues stay fixated on denying science, Democrats know that climate change is real and Congress must act quickly, and this new committee is an essential first step in addressing this existential threat.”
S.729 —A bill to prohibit the use of funds to Federal agencies to establish a panel, task force, advisory committee, or other effort to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change, and for other purposes
On the heels of the previous effort to address climate change (above), and on the same day as its being introduced, Senator Schumer also introduced this bill that “intends to create a working group to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change,” according to a press release from the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
The bill aims to block funding to President Trump’s intention to develop a “working group to challenge the scientific consensus on climate change” that “has been strategically designed to avoid the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requirements, which means less public disclosure, and would be comprised of cherry-picked Trump Administration employees who have agreed to undermine the consensus among scientists across thirteen federal agencies in the National Climate Assessment.”
Of this bill, Senator Schumer said: “President Trump’s record on climate change is one of abject failure: denying the science, systematically rolling back environmental protections that reduce carbon emissions, and announcing withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords. Now he is on a mission to contradict the National Climate Assessment released by his own administration last year, which outlined the severe and immediate impacts of climate change, by organizing this fake climate panel. This is the intentional, deliberate sowing of disinformation about climate science by our own government and will not stand. My colleagues and I are introducing legislation to block funding for this farce and make sure the fake news stops here.”
With 16 cosponsors, the bill was read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 35 on March 11.
Reintroduced on March 27, this legislation is part of an ongoing “battle against New York’s disproportionately small share of the federal fluke fishery,” according to a Newsday article about it.
If passed into law, it would “require that federal fisheries managers use up-to-date research and data to set quotas, which now limit New York’s share of the commercial fishery to 7.6 percent of the federal allotment. States such as North Carolina and Virginia get more than 20 percent. Out-of-state boats fishing in New York-area waters can sometimes take thousands of pounds of fluke, but must steam to home ports to unload their catch.” This has left New York waters closed because their quotas are met.
The bill has only one cosponsor and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation ordered it to be reported without amendment favorably.
It seems surprising that U.S. veterans would need to struggle to sell poppies for fundraising efforts, but there are rules preventing them from doing just that. On May 9, Senator Schumer introduced this bill in order to allow “veterans to distribute poppies outside area post offices.
The “restoring access improving service to enable veterans engaging to fundraise” recognizes the common fundraising initiative using red poppies. A Democrat and Chronicle article about the bill explains it thus: “The red poppy is the international symbol of fallen soldiers, and veterans groups worldwide distribute artificial replicas of the flower around holidays commemorating veterans and the war dead as a way of honoring their sacrifice and to raise money…[However] in May 2018 U.S. Postal Service officials ousted U.S. Navy veteran Joe Jakus from Rochester’s main post office in Henrietta as set up to sell poppies in observance of Memorial Day to post office patrons and collect donations for his Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
Members of VFW Rice-Hallick Post No. 5465 had distributed poppies in the days leading up to Memorial Day at the post office on Jefferson Road for nearly 30 years. Jakus served in the Navy for 28 years and was a Rochester firefighter for 26 years.
The incident sparked community outrage and an outpouring of support for veterans, their efforts and the poppies.”
It also inspired this bill that was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Reintroduced on May 14, this bill intends to “address the root causes of the Central American migrant crisis,” according to a press release from Senator Dick Durbin, one of its cosponsors.
Explaining that the bill “outlines the coordinated regional response needed to effectively manage the endemic violence and humanitarian crises in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras that are forcing many women, children, and families to flee and seek refuge in the United States.”
If enacted it would:
- Condition assistance to Northern Triangle governments to address the root causes of the violence and instability that are driving migration.
- Crack down on smugglers, cartels, and traffickers exploiting children and families
- Minimize border crossings by expanding refugee processing in the region
- Enhance monitoring of unaccompanied children after they are processed at the border
- Ensure fair, orderly and efficient processing of those who do reach our border seeking protection
When introducing it, Senator Schumer said, “While the Trump administration’s actions exacerbate issues at the southern border, Senate Democrats are committed to addressing the root causes that force families to flee Central America in the first place.”
The Central America Reform and Enforcement Act is a common-sense proposal based on solutions that have shown success in the past and seeks to stem the flow of asylum claims at our border, crack down on the drug cartels causing the violence that forces people to flee, and provide a safer path to asylum for families in Central America.”
The bill has 37 cosponsors and was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Introduced on May 20, this bill would decriminalize marijuana and “remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and provide funding for the expungement of criminal records for those with past marijuana convictions.”
According to a press release from Norml.com, if enacted into law, it would:
- Deschedule Marijuana: The legislation would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level by descheduling (removing) marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970;
- Protect Children: The legislation would maintain the Department of Treasury’s authority to regulate marijuana advertising in the same way it does tobacco advertising to ensure the marijuana businesses aren’t allowed to target children in their advertisements.
- Incentivize Record Sealing and Expungement Programs: The legislation authorizes grant programs to encourage state and local governments to administer, adopt, or enhance expungement or sealing programs for marijuana possession convictions. The bill provides $100 million over five years to the DOJ to carry out this purpose.
- Invest In Impacted Communities: The legislation would prioritize support for small business development to promote minority and female entrepreneurs.
- Respect States’ Rights: The legislation would maintain federal law enforcement’s authority to prevent marijuana trafficking from states that have legalized marijuana to those that have not.
- Level The Economic Playing Field: The legislation would establish dedicated funding streams to be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for women and minority-owned marijuana businesses that would be determinant on a reasonable estimate of the total amount of revenue generated by the marijuana industry.
- Ensure Public Safety: The legislation would authorize $250 million over five years for targeted investments in highway safety research to ensure federal agencies have the resources they need to assess the pitfalls of driving under the influence of THC and develop technology to reliably measure impairment.
- Invest In Public Health: The legislation would invest $500 million across five years for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to work in close coordination with the Director of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to better understand the impact of marijuana, including the effects of THC on the human brain and the efficacy of marijuana as a treatment for specific ailments
When speaking of it before Congress, Senator Schumer said that the legislation is “about giving states the freedom to be the laboratories that they should be and giving Americans – especially women and minority business owners as well as those convicted of simple possession of marijuana intended for personal use- the opportunity to succeed in today’s economy. This legislation is simply the right thing to do and I am hopeful that the balanced approach it takes can earn bipartisan support in Congress and across the country.”
With seven cosponsors, it was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Introduced on April 4, this bill was passed on June 27. It will “hold China and other countries accountable for their commitments to crack down on producers and traffickers of fentanyl and other deadly synthetic opioids, pushing China’s government to honor their commitment to enforce new laws declaring all fentanyl derivatives illegal. Additionally, the legislation would provide the U.S. government with more tools and resources to sanction illicit traffickers from China, Mexico, and other countries-a critical effort, in light of the steep rise in devastating fentanyl overdose deaths.”
- Require imposition of sanctions on drug manufacturers in China who knowingly provide synthetic opioids to traffickers, transnational criminal organizations like those in Mexico who mix fentanyl with other drugs and traffic them into the U.S. and financial institutions that assist such entities. Waivers would be provided for countries that take sufficient action to implement and enforce regulations on synthetic opioid production.
- Authorize new funding to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including the Departments of Treasury, Department of Defense and Department of State, to combat the foreign trafficking of synthetic opioids.
- Urge the President to commence diplomatic efforts with U.S. partners to establish multilateral sanctions against foreign synthetic opioid traffickers.
- Establish a Commission on Synthetic Opioid Trafficking to monitor U.S. efforts and report on how to more effectively combat the flow of synthetic opioids from China, Mexico and elsewhere.
When introducing it, Senator Schumer said, “We must hold China, currently the world’s largest producer of illicit fentanyl, accountable for its role in the trade of this deadly drug. Our Senate-passed, bipartisan sanctions bill will do just that.
The opioid crisis has claimed tens of thousands of lives and devastated families and communities across the country. In New York state, from November 2017 to 2018, approximately 2,000 people died from an opioid overdose. About 1,500 of those deaths were from synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Our legislation is critical in this fight to save American lives.”
From even a cursory examination of the activities Senator Schumer has participated in during the 116th Congress, it is obvious he has no influences upon him. Many items focus on humane treatment and civil rights, and none will benefit major backers