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She Did It Amway

Amway funded Sue Myrick and taught her to reach the top by climbing on the backs of people on the bottom. Now she's pushing the company's conservative agenda and its expansion into markets abroad.

[Editor's note: Myrick is #4 in Mother Jones' September/October "Dirty Dozen" list of House members (9 Republicans and 3 Democrats) compromised by their close ties to corporate donors.]

When new House members are sworn into office, they are allowed to invite two people to witness their oath. Most pick family or friends. Not surprisingly, Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) brought her husband, Ed, to the January 1995 proceedings. She also scraped together seats from other House members so she could include Billy Florence, his wife, and their three children. Afterward, Myrick and the Florences posed for pictures with Speaker Newt Gingrich. Florence had sponsored Myrick when she joined Amway, the controversial direct-sales giant -- and the company most responsible for her election.

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According to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records, Amway and its sales force may have contributed nearly half of Myrick's total campaign fund of $669,525. But that's just a drop in the bucket for Amway, the country's number one corporate donor. Just a month before the November 1994 elections, it gave the biggest corporate contribution ever recorded to a political party for a single election: $2.5 million to the GOP.

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