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Congressman Neal Defends Use Of PAC Money

Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier
Congressman Richard Neal defended his use of political action committee money in his reelection campaign.

Springfield Congressman Richard Neal defended the practice of accepting money from political action committees, or PAC's, following criticism from his Democratic primary opponent.

Springfield Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud sent out a mailer last week rejecting corporate PAC contributions. Amatul-Wadud has called for Neal to stop accepting large donations from the pharmaceutical and defense industries.

During a press conference Monday, Neal defended his use of PAC money, saying the committees are a way for working people to join forces.

“Teachers, firefighters, tradesmen, construction workers; they’re just pooling their money,” Neal said. “The bank presidents can write checks for $1,000, what’s wrong with the AFL-CIO getting 100 employees to give $10?”

As of the end of June, Neal raised more than $2.4 million dollars to Amatul-Wadud's approximately $72,000, campaign finance disclosures show.

Neal also said he's willing to debate Amatul-Wadud before the primary on September 4.

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