Meet John Boehner


Putting aside the obvious irony of selecting someone from Ohio to clean up the Republican Party’s ethical problems, it seems like a good idea to take a look at who John Boehner, the new House Majority Leader, is. Boehner emerged, of course, in a role most had considered destined for Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri. Blunt, however, turned out to be too close to outgoing Majority Leader Tom DeLay for comfort, and Republican House members went with a safer choice.

How much safer? Boehner has taken more than $157,000 worth of free trips, placing him 7th among 638 current and former members of Congress in the last five years in acceptance of privately funded travel. Two dozen of his former staff members have gone from working for him to getting jobs as lobbyists or corporate public affairs specialists. Boehner preceded DeLay as the head of the K Street Operation, and, of course, he is famous for handing out tobacco company PAC checks on the floor of Congress.

Boehner is extremely conservative. Here are his ratings on major issues:

NARAL–0% (reproductive rights)
ACLU–7% (civil liberties)
CURE–30% (crime rehabilitation)
NEA–17% (public education)
LCV–5% (environment)
SANE–22% (military action)
FAIR–0% (immigration advocacy)
US COC–100% (business)
AFL-CIO–7% (labor)
ARA–0% (senior advocacy)
APHA–0% (public health)

His more moderate scores:

CATO–50% (free trade)
NTU–63% (tax reform)

And finally:

Christian Coalition–91%

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

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