The Consumer Federation of America, calling this session of Congress "the most decidely anticonsumer Congress in recent history," has targeted five republicans for defeat in the November elections.
In a news conference yesterday the CFA also gave endorsements to 25 proconsumer Democrats it said needed help in closely contested congressional elections.
CFA officials said it was purely coincidental that the only people on its hit list are Republicans, while all of its endorsements are going to Democrats.
The nation's largest consumer organization - it claims well over 30 million members - listed candidates for four Senate spots and 21 House seats it would be supporting with staffers on the campaign trail.
Voting records and a detailed questionnaire sent out by CFA were used in determining who would be supported and who opposed.
CFA Executive Director Kathleen O'Reilly said the organization has deliberately kept the list of endorsees small to enhance the impact of the consumer group's efforts. It expects the races it has chosen to be hotly contested.
"There are dozens of proconsumer candidates whose election or relection is deemed sufficiently secure so as to not warrant CFA's assistance," she said. Last election CFA endorsed 80 candidates.
CFA is an alliance of an estimated 240 labor, cooperative and other groups that lobbies for consumer-protection legislation in Congress and periodically publishes a consumeroriented newsletter and pamphlets.
"To date the 95th Congress has been the most decidely anticonsumer Congress in recent history," said O'Reilly in making yesterday's announcement. "It is painfully clear that a growing number of members of Congress are increasingly responsive not to their consumer constituencies but to certain well-financed special interest groups which consistently oppose the consumer position on key pieces of legislation."
O'Reilly said CFA would be working against the reelection of Sen. Jesse A. Helms (R.N..C) and Reps. Samuel L. Devine (R-Ohio), Robert K. Dornan (R-Calif.), George V. Hansen (R-Idaho), and Steven D. Symms (R-Idaho) - the latter the only two representatives Idaho has.
On the positive side, CFA said they would work for the reelection or election of the following senators or senators or senatorial candidates.
Dick Clark (D-Iowa), Floyd K. Haskell (D-Colo.), William D. Hathaway (D-Maine), and Charles (Pug) Ravenel (Democratic candidate for the Senate seat held by Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).
CFA also endorsed the following Democratic incumbents or candidates for House seats.
Norma Bork (candidate in California). John Brademas (D-Ind.), Terry Bruce (candidate in Illinois), Robert M. Carr (D-Mich.), Dan Corcoran (candidate in California), Bob Eckhardt (D-Tex.), Robert W. Edgar (D-Pa.), Tony Hall (candidate in Ohio), Tim Hall (candidate in Illinois), Mark W. Hannaford (D-Calif.), Gary Hindes (candidate in Delaware), Peter H. Kostmayer (D-Pa.), Keith McLeod (candidate in Michigan), Dick Meyers (candidate in Iowa), Helen S. Meyner (D-N.J.) Abner J. Mikva (D-Ill.), Claude Pepper (D-Fla.), William Ratchford (candidate in Connecticut), Timothy E. Wirth (D-Colo), Howard Wolpe (candidate in Michigan) and Charlotte Zietlow (candidate in Indiana).