Blue Dog Democrats

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The Blue Dog Democrats who are (collectively) known as the Blue Dog Coalition is a coalition of conservative and moderate Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The term "Blue Dog" is taken from the longtime description of a Southern party loyalist as one who would vote for a yellow dog if it were on the ballot as a Democrat. The 'Blue Dog' moniker was taken by members of the Coalition because their more-conservative views had been 'choked blue' by their party in the years leading up to the 1994 election. They are concentrated in those states where tobacco is a major cash crop, and they have often caucused (House and Senate) to defeat tobacco control legislation, and often vote as a block alongside the Republicans.

"The Coalition was formed in the 104th Congress as a policy-oriented group to give moderate and conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives a common sense, bridge-building voice within the institution," its website states.[1]

Blue Dog members

There are currently 48 "Blue Dog" members in the 110th Congress posted on the website[2] of Rep. John Tanner, a leader and founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition.

  1. Rep. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.)
  2. Rep. Joe Baca (Calif.)
  3. Rep. John Barrow (Ga.)
  4. Rep. Melissa Bean (Ill.)
  5. Rep. Marion Berry (Ark.)
  6. Rep. Sanford Bishop (Ga.)
  7. Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.)
  8. Rep. Leonard Boswell (Iowa)
  9. Rep. Allen Boyd (Fla.)
  10. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (Calif.)
  11. Rep. Chris Carney (Pa.)
  12. Rep. Ben Chandler (Ky.)
  13. Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.)
  14. Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.)
  15. Rep. Robert E. Cramer (Ala.)
  16. Rep. Lincoln Davis (Tenn.)
  17. Rep. Joe Donnelly (Ind.)
  18. Rep. Brad Ellsworth (Ind.)
  19. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz)
  20. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)
  21. Rep. Bart Gordon (Tenn.)
  22. Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.)
  23. Rep. Stephanie Herseth (S.D.)
  24. Rep. Baron Hill (Ind.)
  25. Rep. Tim Holden (Pa.)
  26. Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.)
  27. Rep. Nick Lampson (Texas)
  28. Rep. Tim Mahoney (Fla.)
  29. Rep. Jim Marshall (Ga.)
  30. Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah)
  31. Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
  32. Rep. Charles Melancon (La.)
  33. Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine)
  34. Rep. Dennis Moore (Kansas)
  35. Rep. Patrick Murphy (Pa.)
  36. Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.)
  37. Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.)
  38. Rep. Mike Ross (Ark.)
  39. Rep. John Salazar (Colo.)
  40. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (Calif.)
  41. Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.)
  42. Rep. David Scott (Ga.)
  43. Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.)
  44. Rep. Zack Space (Ohio)
  45. Rep. John Tanner (Tenn.)
  46. Rep. Gene Taylor (Miss.)
  47. Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.)
  48. Rep. Charlie Wilson (Ohio)

Blue dogs and tobacco

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

  1. "The Blue Dog Coalition. 12 Years of Leadership," The Blue Dog Coalition website, accessed August 10, 2007.
  2. The Blue Dog Coalition website.

The tobacco industry lobbyists saw them as allies [1] along with Republican oriented think-tanks and policy support groups. They financially supported both the Coalition as a whole, and Blue Dog coalition members by campaign contributions. [2]

One of their main projects was to maintain the extraordinary subsidies paid to tobacco farmers even at times when other government agencies were actively working to reduce cigarette consumption. They also had consitutents who worked in leaf-drying/curing, storage, transport and cigarette-making factories, and in some regions of the South, the tobacco industry was a key economic resource that they protected. So the Coalition was also against the hiking of taxes on cigarettes.

Therefore, in the tobacco archives, the term "Blue Dog Coalition" is a close approximation of the term "Congressmen from the tobacco-growing states" (there were 21 of them in 1996 [3]), but not all southern Democratic politicians were pro-tobacco. Campaign funding was directed by the tobacco indsutry towards selected coalition members. See the notations alongside this listing for tobacco funding: [4]

  • Ralph Hall, Democratic Representative for Texas:

A member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Commerce Committee, Hall was the key Democratic vote when the Waxman smoking restriction legislation was under consideration. A conservative, he is a founding member of the Blue Dog coalition

  • Jack Tanner, Democratic Representative from Texas:

As the representative of a large, agricultural district in West Tennessee, Tanner has been a leader among the House tobacco district members. He is a conservative member of the Blue Dog coalition, where he is frequently the spokesman on budget issues .

  • Gary Conduit, Democratic Representative from California:

A leader of the Blue Dog Coalition, Congressman Condit is influential beyond his seniority

and committee assignments, particularly on budget matters. He serves on the Agriculture and

Government Reform and Oversight Committees.
  • F. Allen Boyd Jr. the Blue Dog Whip from Florida also appears to have negotiated a Kraft Food Hunger grant from Philip Morris (who own Kraft) [5]

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