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tomtoolbag
Veteran Advisor

Politics as usual, but it's definitely time for campaign finance reform

  I came across this article and it points out why nothing will ever change in D.C. The unwritten rules that ensure the same people or players stay in power or at the minimum directly control who the incoming people are by the high cost to run campaigns to get elected. The lobby industry, which has multiplied who knows how many times since the paid pundits started putting "free markets" in everything that they were paid to write or say, along with the multi-billion dollar association or trade groups that shower politicos with money. They write the laws and back up their basis or position for them with skewed, false or omitted facts, data and statistics. They encircle politicians and shower them with cash, and only get their ROI after the 2nd or 3rd trip to the politician's office by adding more zeros to their "contribution" checks.

  The recent debt commission was a perfect example of politics as usual. The two political parties and their pet groups or preferred groups of campaign contributors were well represented along with their protection of the 3rd party known as the "greenbacks" party, that has the money and does contribute to campaigns. Neither side spared any chance to take swipes at the oppositions consistent backers, and the whole fiasco ended up basically a draw in terms of anything that could or will possibly be instituted.

  Anyhow, here's the article:

Incoming GOP freshmen rapidly embracing big-money fundraisers

Dozens of freshmen lawmakers have held receptions at Capitol Hill bistros and corporate townhouses in recent weeks, taking money from K Street lobbyists and other powerbrokers within days of their victories. Newly elected House members have raised at least $2 million since the election, according to preliminary Federal Election Commission records filed last week, and many more contributions have yet to be tallied.

The aggressive fundraising efforts underscore the financial pressures facing new members of Congress even before they take their seats. The contributions also represent a symbolic challenge for the Republican class of 2010, many of whom gained office by running against the ways of official Washington and monied interests.

 

"The lobbyists are all saying, 'Welcome to Washington; let me help pay off your debt,'" said Nancy Watzman, who tracks political fundraisers for the Sunlight Foundation, a watchdog group. "It's particularly interesting when so many of this year's freshmen were running against Washington. But as soon as they get elected, they come to Washington and put out their hand."

 

Incoming House member Robert Hurt, who railed against "union and special interest money" during his campaign against Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), received contributions for debt retirement from Rolls-Royce, Verizon Communications , Yum Brands Inc. and others. Overall, Hurt received more than $600,000 from PACs in 2010, according to the FEC.

 

Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, said debt-retirement events and other post-election fundraisers "are God's gift to special interests," allowing corporate PACs and lobbyists to curry favor with grateful lawmakers. It also allows some donors to pitch in with a candidate that they had previously ignored or opposed, she said.

"If you were on the wrong side or just AWOL during the election, this is your chance to make it up," McGehee said. "It' s a great way to get in good with members of Congress."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/05/AR2010120502691_2.html?sid=ST2010120...

 

 

21 Replies
Milligan Hay - Iowa d:^)
Veteran Advisor

Re: Politics as usual, tom....

....but where were you on this topic, two years ago, when it was your stooges that was getting the gravy, eh???

I will bet that a vastly larger number of the new GOP conservatives will stay honest a Helluva lot longer than the last hammer and sickle crowd did.

tomtoolbag
Veteran Advisor

Re: Politics as usual, tom....

  It was really hard to put ANY faith or support in a group of people that were proven to be financed by the same old power structures. There's also the fact that most if not all of the teabaggers were and still are, ignorant and inexperienced as to how the government actually works legitimately and the unwritten rules. The loudest and most likely most uninformed voice, that has money in their pocket from the usual sources, not to mention that it's what force that they were running against or opposed to, will not end in a positive manner.

  FYI, it wasn't "my" anything getting any ???????whatever. Neither party is worth total and undying support, although AT TIMES the democrats have offered up, but usually it's offset with something negative. Republicans, well that's not an option because they pretend to need your vote and then do whatever the big money interests pay them to do. Take the newly elected (and re-branded same old POS) Senator Mark Kirk. He's got a new hat and a new image, but he's still the same old worthless a-hole that he's always been and will be.

GreaTOne_65
Senior Contributor

Re: Politics as usual, tom....

Oh yee of such innocent faith! Dream on, Craig, it's a disease, maybe the Democrats got it, but I know the Republicans do! Eight years of total incompetence proved that. Your giving them way to much credit, pal, they are after all human beings, your precious Teabaggers, can't and won't resist it, I promise!

bruce MN
Veteran Advisor

Re: Politics as usual, tom....

And you can take it a step further tom........

If it's the Koch Bros, Rich Armey's clients, the Chamber of Commerce, the Murdoch/Newscorp/WSJ/FOX Neews moguls who are making those donations and IF IN FACT the Democratic party and the alledged Bolshevick President are acting so radically against the interests of those people...as mentioned here numerous times daily and perpetually by Murdoch news gang referred to above...then shouldn't these wingers and baggers, these "little people" who "want their government back" from the special interests and the miners of policy support those who challenge the fat cats who are taking over ownership of the government? Those plutocrats, oligarchs and gangsters aren't going to give money to Democrats who openly oppose them. But, somehow, if you listen to the campaign rhetoric the baggers also oppose the fat cats.  But their support still goes to the same places where the big bucks go.

 

It's "being used like rented mules" in spades.

 

On a related note..A elderly old friend of mine who has been a Republican since Roosevelt started trying to control production levels through idling acres and authorizing the killing of baby pigs and chicks to control supply told me (he's a devout conservative U.C.C. member, BTW, and sees the destruction of creation and the stiffling of natures ability to produce and provide as poor human behaviour) over the weekend..oh, and this is a guy who owns nearly 500 acres of as good of land as a crow ever flew over, free and clear......said that they shouldn't just tax what's over 250K..THEY SHOULD TAKE IT DARNED NEAR ALL over 250K...like they did during the war, and build some things up or else there "won't be nothin'" for 2 or 3 generations.  Saying it all as a true and deeply commited tconservative.

 

Wanting to conserve something, I suppose. Man has a bunch of grandkids.

 

 

tomtoolbag
Veteran Advisor

Re: Politics as usual, tom....

  It's "being used like rented mules" in spades.

 

  LOL, that's a fitting and funny analogy.

 

  Am I the only one that thinks that article was a big middle finger directed, although subtly, at everybody to drive home who's really in charge or to send a warning to future office seekers as to whose music that you'll ending up dancing to??? 

 

  I wonder what will happen when the SHTF for real, and if the angry pitchfork crowd will direct their attention and anger at the proper people instead of who they've been convinced deserves their attention.

ollie2655
Senior Contributor

Re: Politics as usual, tom....

great post oh so not great one--- the years of incompetence of the dumocrats in the house and senate are finally showing through and i agree with you ---aint this fun

gough whitlam
Advisor

Re: Politics as usual, tom....

"I will bet ------"  Oooooooooh. Hairy chested words there Craig.

dagwud
Senior Contributor

Re: Politics as usual, but it's definitely time for campaign finance reform

So what you are saying Tom is both parties are bad but that Repubs are always worse?  I agree both parties are bad but don't see one party as always being worse then the other.  I tend to see the party in power as the party most likely to get caught with their hand in the cookie jar or improperly throwing their weight around simply because they are in power and have a better ability to do such things.

 

Look at who was on the list of  "friends of Angelo" getting sweet heart deals on loans including the Dem's chairmen of the Senate Banking Committee (Dodd saved $75,000 in mortage payments) and the Senate Budget Committee.  Also on the list was Nancy Pelosi's son Paul and 40 of the top people at Fannie and Freddie including the CEO's, directors, and vice presidents.  Be nice to see a Wiikie leaks on that story. 

 

Both parties will abuse their powers when they are in a position of power.  I just read about a case of it here in Iowa.  After the election where Iowan's choose not to retain the three state Supreme Court judges on the ballot we are now faced with having to replace  three new justices which are choosen by the governor from a list made up by a nominating committee of 12 people.  Six of the 12 on the committee are choosen by the governor and six are choosen by the state's bar association.  The law states that the members of the nominating committee are not be choosen based on political party affiliation but after the last 12 years of Dem governors in Iowa we find the nominating committee made up of 11 Dems and only one Repub.  Seems odd in a state where the general population is close to 50/50 Dems and Repubs.

 

Another example of abuse by the party in power was also revealed in the Des Moines Register recently.  The Polk County Board of Supervisors recently appointed two new county representatives to the board that runs the Praire Meadow Racetrack and Casino.  The two Repub supervisors were not asked to suggest names for the vacancies as the three Dem supervisors simply choose the replacements on their own.  As the Register points out the people of Polk county elected 5 supervisors to govern and not just 3.

 

By pointing these things out I'm not suggesting Dems are worse as I believe both parties will pull this type of crap.  I'm simply trying to show how the party in power is in the best position to abuse their powers.

 

tomtoolbag
Veteran Advisor

Re: Politics as usual, but it's definitely time for campaign finance reform

  If you read some of my other posts on this subject that wasn't the point at all. The point that I was trying to highlight is that although some or most of those campaigns have a small amount of debt in comparison to two well known candidates for office, if any big money came into the campaign late it went right out into ad time. The majority of the teabagger campaigns were run on a shoestring budget with the aid of a lot of volunteers and without the influx of big party money. But, the cost of those big campaigns hinders entry into politics by people because they can't compete. Then, again because of the outrageous costs they have to make themselves accessible to lobbyists to pay off the campaign debts and to help fund their re-election.

  Another thing that's pretty disgusting is how a political candidate or their campaign can go deeply into debt with no way to pay for it on the surface, and knowingly wrack up more debt. It's no wonder why we have a huge federal debt and budget deficits, when they spend more money than they have just to get elected.