The hand that rocks the cradle
Helen Chenoweth made her mark as an anti-environmentalist and a supporter of militias. But she also pushes tort reform for manufacturers, including a campaign donor whose baby cradle may have been a killer.
Most people know Helen Chenoweth (R-Idaho) as the congresswoman who defended America's militias just after the Oklahoma City bombing. Or perhaps they remember the "endangered salmon bake" fundraiser she threw during her 1994 campaign, serving up portions of the beleaguered sockeye salmon. She also grabbed attention for her T-shirt that read "Earth First!" on the front and "We'll log the other planets later" on the back.
But few know the first-term representative from Boise receives campaign contributions from Graco, one of the country's largest manufacturers of children's products, including the Converta-Cradle, a rocking crib that might have caused the deaths of at least 12 infants. Graco is just one of many manufacturers who gave money to Chenoweth and other Republicans who made a lucrative campaign promise: to restrict laws that allow consumers to sue companies for damages caused by faulty products.