Campaign Cash Controversy in U.S. Senate Race

by Mark Curtis  

mcurtis@ABC6.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/abc6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – PAC-man, the old 1980s video game character is making a comeback. These day's PAC stands for political action committee. Republican U.S. Senate challenger Barry Hinckley used the character is a campaign prop to criticize current Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, saying Whitehouse is raking in political action committee donations:

Barry Hinckley, (R) RI U.S. Senate candidate said, “How someone can take 2 million dollars from the special interests, when he's crying out against special interest money in politics? I agree, special interest money is polluting politics.”

Hinckley say Whitehouse's voting record is being influenced by those who give the most to his campaign.

Mark Curtis, ABC-6 Political Reporter said, “Despite those criticisms, Political Action Committees or PACs are a staple in American politics. But Barry Hinckley says he's only taken 1 percent of his contributions from PACs, whereas Sheldon Whitehouse has taken about 20 percent.”

Senator Whitehouse's campaign manager fired  back with this statement saying, quote:
“It's surprising to hear him (Hinckley) say he's concerned about PAC money when just last week Mr. Hinckley was begging the National Republican Senatorial Committee for their support and their PAC money.”

Yes, but Hinckley says he's simply dwarfed by Whitehouse:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Barry Hinckley said, “Two million versus maybe, a little over 10 thousand. 10 to 20 thousand dollars for me.”

Expect to hear a lot about PACS, as Campaign 2012 heats up.  In Providence, I'm ABC-6 Political Reporter Mark Curtis.

For more on campaign donation amounts, see: www.OpenSecrets.org.