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Vulnerable Dem. Sen ripped after raking in cash from corporate PACs despite previous objections: 'Hypocrisy'

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FIRST ON FOX: Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who has long decried the existence of corporate PAC money in politics and once pledged not to accept them while mulling a presidential run, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate PACs this year.

Brown, who has served in the Senate since 2007 and is widely believed to be one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection this fall, raked in almost $300,000 from a variety of corporate PACs in the first quarter of 2024 that were donated to either his campaign or aligned super PACs, according to FEC filings.

Some of the corporate PACs supporting Brown include the New York Life insurance PAC, PriceWaterhouseCoopers PAC, Visa Inc. Political Action Committee, The Boeing Company Political Action Committee, and The Bank Of New York Mellon Corporation-Federal PAC.

Dating back decades, Brown has spoken out against the influence of corporate PAC money and the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Brown pledged not to accept corporate PAC dollars while he was mulling a presidential run in 2019. 


Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is seen during senate votes in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“It takes so much money to run campaigns nowadays,” Brown told the Washington Post in 2002. “There’s a lot more pressure on Democrats to take more corporate money. It’s not good for Democrats, and it’s not good for the country.”

On social media in recent months, Brown has touted his record of standing up to big banks and “corporate greed.”

“I’ll Always Stand Up To Greedy Corporations That Shrink The Size Of Their Products Without Cutting Their Costs, Brown posted on X in April.

“Corporate Greed Is A Threat To Ohio Small Businesses And Workers,” Brown posted on X in March. “I Will Always Stand Up To Corporations And Special Interests To Fight For Ohioans.”


Sherrod Brown

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio and chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, during a hearing in Washington, D.C., on June 22, 2023. (Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Federal Election Commission designates “Corporation PACs,” also known as corporate PACs, as political action committees that are operated by a single corporation that solicits contributions from executives, managers, stakeholders, and their families.

During his time in office, Brown has raked in millions of dollars from corporate PACs, the Washington Free Beacon reported in 2019. 

Over the last several years, prominent Democrats have pledged to stop accepting money from corporate PACs which critics say allow candidates to become beholden to special interest groups.

“Refusing corporate PAC money is one way to show a commitment to addressing the problem of money in politics, and its popularity helps keep the issue at the top of the agenda,” Adam Bozzi, vice president for communications at End Citizens United, told Roll Call in 2022.

“We expect the trend to continue to grow, and it will help us work toward progress on anti-corruption legislation, like ending dark money.”

Brown is currently the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and FEC records show his re-election campaign took money from Visa and Mastercard, both of which have lobbied on the Credit Card Competition Act which came before the banking committee. 

“Sherrod Brown has spent his career in politics and will do anything necessary to stay in office,” Reagan McCarthy, spokesperson for Brown’s GOP challenger Bernie Moreno, told Fox News Digital. 

“Brown tells hardworking Ohioans that he is opposed to big corporations when his re-election campaign is bankrolled by corporate PACs. He is the ultimate Washington insider and Ohioans won’t be fooled by his election-year hypocrisy in November.”


Bernie Moreno

Ohio GOP Senate candidate Bernie Moreno (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana)

“When he wanted to run for president, Sherrod Brown told voters he would reject corporate PAC money,” Philip Letsou, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee told Fox News Digital. “Now that he’s running for reelection, he’s taking more special interest cash than nearly any other United States Senator. 50 years in politics have turned Sherrod Brown into a hypocrite who tells voters one thing and does another.”

Brown has been referred to by some as the “sheriff” of Wall Street as he has led public crusades against big banks and big corporations during his 3 years at the top of the Senate banking committee. Brown has also been promoting the RECOUP Act which supporters have called the strongest bank reform bill since Dodd-Frank.

“Sherrod is one of the nation’s strongest leaders in taking on big corporations on behalf of Ohio workers—that’s one of the reasons Ohioans continue to elect him to the U.S. Senate and why he will win this race in 2024,” Reeves Oyster, spokesperson for Friends of Sherrod Brown, told Fox News Digital in a statement.

“We are proud of the grassroots coalition he’s built and have no doubt it will show up to support him again this year.”

Brown’s race against Moreno in November will be one of the most closely watched in the country. Many view it as one of the best opportunities Republicans have to take back control of the Senate, which Democrats currently hold by a 51-49 margin. 

The Cook Political Report ranks the Ohio Senate race as a “toss up.”

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