Why James Inhofe tried to sabotage open access

A look at his top campaign finance contributors explains all

Published October 26, 2007 11:00AM (EDT)

So why exactly did Oklahoma Republican, Senator James Inhofe, attempt to gut the open access provisions of a bill passed by the Senate last Monday? Could it be because his 11th biggest financial contributor over the past five years was Reed-Elsevier, one of the largest for-profit publishers of scientific research in the world?

Peter Suber's Open Access news passes on that tidbit from Charles Bailey's Digital Koans. How the World Works took particular interest in it, not only because it ties up Inhofe's motivations with a tidy little bought-and-paid-for bow, but because earlier this week readers were arguing over whether the science publishing industry had any money to lobby politicians with.

According to OpenSecrets.org, Reed-Elsevier spent a total of $3,380,000 on lobbying expenses in the United States in 2006.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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