The public-affairs lobby Common Cause issued a 1,742-page report yesterday explaining how special-interest groups spent $22.5 million to try to influence the outcome of the 1976 congressional elections.
It is full of large facts and small. Interest groups gave $49,400 to Rep. Joe D. Waggonner Jr. (D-La), a conservative leader in the House, apparently to retain his goodwill. He had no opponent.
Tom Hayden, a radical leader of the 1960s, reported receiving $1,014 from interest groups in his losing race in the California Senate primary. It consisted of $1,000 from Dairymen. Inc., $13 from Johs-Manville Corp. and $1 from Hughes Aircraft Co.
More significant were the predictable patterns of giving. Bankers gave thousands of dollars to members of the banking committees, diary groups to members of the agriculture committees, doctors to the committees with judisdiction over health programs.
Overall, interest groups - business, labor and others - gave nearly twice as much in 1975-76 as in the two years before the 1974 elections. They favored incumbents over challengers by a ratio of 3 to 1. The biggest increase in giving was among business groups, which nearly tripled their 1973-74 figures.
Labor groups gave $7.4 million, all but $250,000 of it to Democrates. Business groups were more evenhanded, dividing their $7.1 million about 60-40 in favor of Republicans.
The biggest special-interest contributor to the 1976 congressional campaign was the American Medical Association with $1,780,879. It was followed by the dairy committees (1,362,159), AFL-CIO ($969,910), maritime unions ($979,691). United Auto Workers (845,939), and oil, natural gas and coal interests (809,508).
House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes (R-Ariz) led House candidates, receiving $113,848 from special-interest groups, Common Cause reported. He won with 58 per cent of the vote. Former Sen. Vance Harte (D-Ind.) led Senate candidates by raking in $275,875 while losing his bid for a fourth term.
The bulk of the year-long Common Cause study was devoted to showing which interest group gave how much money to each candidate. Not surprisingly a lot of the money went to candidates who held positions or views tht could be helpful to the giver.
Here are some examples of where the money:
BAnking and other financial interests gave $9,725 to 15 of the 17 members of a House subcommittee with jurisdiction over banking legislation. Biggest gifts were $16,800 to Chairman Fernand St Germain (D-R.I.), $12,900 to Rep. Thomas L. Ashley (D-Ohio), $11,525 to Rep. Jerry Patterson (D-CAlif.) and $10,500 to Rep. John Rousselot (R-Calif.), the subcommittee's senior Republican. Only members getting nothing were Reps. John J. Cavangh (D-Neb.) and Jim Leach (R-lowa), who were first elected in 1976.
Maritime unions gave $102,563 to 29 of the 40 members of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. The biggest contributions were $18,138 to Rep. leo C. Zeferetti (D-N.Y.) and $18,000 to Ashley.
Dairy interests gave $82,686 to 8 of the 11 members of a House Agriculture subcommitttee with jurisdiction over their legislative interests. The largest contributions were $27,575 to Rep. Richard Noland (D-Minn.), who heads a subcommittee on family farms, and $27,200 to Rep. Alvin Baldus (D-Wis.).
Dairy interests gave $58,215 to six of the 18 members of the Senate Agriculture Committee. This included $20,000 to Sen. John Melcher (D-Mont.), who was running for a first term. It also included $15,000 to Sen. Milton YOung (R-N.D.) and $12,000 to Sen. Geroge McGovern (D-S.D.), neither of whom was up for election.
Health organizations gave $49,550 to 11 of the 13 members of the House Commerce subcommittee on health. They gave $17,100 to Rep. Tim Carter (R-Ky.), senior Republican and a physician, but only $250 to Chairman Paul G! Rogers (D-Fla.).
The issue of antional health insurance pits the stongly opposed American Medical Association (AMA) against big labor and the battle will first be fought in the House Ways and Means subcommittee on health. The AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers gave nothing to Republicans on the subcommittee. They concentrated on helping four junior Democrats in close races. The AFL-CIO also gave $1,000 to Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (D-I11.) and $325 to Rep. James C. Corman (D-Calif.).
The AMA. on the other hand spread its money around seeking friends. It gave money to six Democrats on the subcommittee, including $5,000 to Rostenkowski and $100 to Rep. Martha Keys (D-Kan.).
The AMA gave $10,000 to Keys' oponent and to each of 20 other candidates for House or Senate, 10 of whom lost. It gave $10,000 to former Sen. J. Glenn Beall (R-Md.) and $25 to Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.), who beat him. The AFL-CIO gave $10,000 apiece to "candidates, five of whom lost. All 11 were running for the Senate except Rep. Lloyd Meeds (D-Wash.), who won by a whisker and will not run again.
The AMA made contibutions to 400 congressional candidates of all ideological hues. It gave to liberal black Democrats such as Rep. William Clay (D-Mo.) ($2,500), Rep. Yvonne B. Burke (D-Calif.) ($2,500), and Rep. Parren Mitchell (D-Md.) 50). It also gave $1,500 to Rep. Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.), now speaker of the House.
The AFL-CIO gave to more than 250 candidates, only four of whom were Republicans. They were Reps. Shirley N. Pittis Calif.), Peter Peyser (N.Y.), who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate, William Cohen (Maine and Joseph McDade (Pa.).
Five of the largest recipients of special-interest contributions, Common Cause found, were California Democratic incumbents, Norman Mineta, John J. McFall, Mark Hannaford, Jim Lloyd and Patterson. They received contibutions ranging from Hannaford's $96,973 to McFall's $62,750. Only Hannaford's and Lloyd had close races.