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JUNE 17, 2002
8:32 PM
CONTACT:  Common Cause
Seth Amgott or Cleve Mesidor 202.736.5770
Follow the Money:
Accounting Industry Gave $1.3 million to Conferees
WASHINGTON - July 17 - Since 1995, the Big Five accounting firms and their trade group have given more than $1.3 million to the Members of Congress and Senators named today to the conference committee to reconcile House and Senate versions of accounting oversight and corporate accountability bills.

Twenty-one of the 23 House conferees received $893,519.

Of that total, three members alone -- Billy Tauzin (R-LA), Christopher Cox (R-CA), and House Financial Services Chairman Michael Oxley (R-OH) alone took in more than $387,902 in campaign contributions from accounting interests. Chairman Oxley sponsored a House accounting oversight bill widely criticized for being too weak and ineffective.

"These donations come from the people who profited while millions of Americans lost investments, jobs and pensions. The accounting industry gave this money to escape legitimate oversight and stop the federal government from looking after the public interest. This is exactly why the House should take up the Sarbanes bill immediately, and not consign it to the backrooms of conference committee. Failing that, the committee ought to meet in the open, with televised proceedings. Big Four lobbyists have the money to open all the backroom doors. America's investors, employees, and pensioners deserve no less."

For more information, please contact the Common Cause Press Office at 202/736-5770.

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