So much for congressional lobby reform?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacNut, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #1
    So much for congressional lobby reform?
    House passes new rules, but campaign fundraising hasn't changed
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16490854/
    • Congressional ethics reform
    Jan. 5: Hours after changing House rules to reduce favors from lobbyists, it was back to business as usual in Washington. NBC's Lisa Myers reports on the $1,000-a-ticket party for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


    WASHINGTON — Democrats say they were returned to power in part because of corruption and ethical lapses of the Republican Congress. They promised to clean up the swamp and crack down on lobbyists.

    But hours after changing House rules to reduce favors from lobbyists, it was back to business as usual in Washington.

    Democrats threw a $1,000-a-person fundraising concert in Washington Thursday night, with Hollywood celebrities, big donors and those lobbyists writing checks to re-elect Democrats.

    “Tonight we are having a celebration!” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. "Democrats are back!”

    Congressional Republicans also had a pricey fundraiser with lobbyists after they assumed power 12 years ago.

    House passes new budget rules

    But Democrats promised to be different.

    “It sends a very mixed message to be on one hand saying that they're clamping down on lobbyists, but then raising money from those very same lobbyists that they say are part of the problem,” says David Donnelly, an ethics reform advocate with Public Action Campaign Fund.

    Democrats did get the new House to ban members from taking any gifts, meals or trips from lobbyists — which reform groups call an important first step.

    But most reformers say those are not the most important tools lobbyist use to influence Congress.

    “Lobbyists are most valuable to Congress by raising significant amounts of money for their re-election campaign,” says Donnelly.

    And neither party is doing anything to crack down on campaign money lobbyists give and raise. In fact, under the new rules, lobbyists can still wine and dine members of Congress as long as it's a campaign fundraiser.

    Some lobbyists say that politicians who trash lobbyists are hypocritical.

    “If you want to bash me in the press, bash me in the press, but don't call me the next day and ask for money,” says Paul Miller, president of the American League of Lobbyists.

    Speaker Pelosi's spokesperson says there were only about 200 lobbyists at Thursday night's fundraising concert, and that this still will be the most open, honest Congress ever.
     
  2. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #2
    Guess it doesn't matter who's in charge, Money talks in Washington.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #3
    Just another example of the need for publicly funded campaigns. Cut the lobbyists out of the picture, or at least reduce them to simply writing letters asking for change like the rest of us.

    On a side note, I see from Guiliani's lost playbook that he's looking to raise $100,000,000 by the end of 2007. That works out to a little less than a quarter million bucks a day that he has to go out begging for.

    You think he might owe a few lobbyists a few favors by the time that amount is raised?
     
  4. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #4
    And there is the U.S. Govts whole problem, 99.9% of our problems could be solved by removing lobbiest. As long as big Favors are paying for Campaigns, we are going to be shafted over & over & over by the next politician.
     
  5. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #5
    The Republicans said they'd be doing something similar when they took over back in the 90's. See how well that worked out. Frankly, I'll believe it when I see it.
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #6
    it's nice of ms myers to construct her own strawman and then take it down. i don't recall pelosi ever saying such fundraising dinners were, pardon the pun, on the table for rule rewriting.

    what did change yesterday, however, were new House rules which:
    the new House also:
    i guess ms myers missed that bit.
     
  7. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #7
    Well, they couldn't be worse than the last bunch.

    I hope...
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #8
    They'll get there I'm sure. The temptation to use tactics honed by the previous majority is going to be strong.

    I'm actually kind of sad now that the GOP didn't manage to eliminate the filibuster in the Senate. ;)

    On a side note, I wonder how the GOP will feel about giving everything in the Senate the consideration of "an up-or-down vote"? Anyone wanna bet that the GOP holds "an up-or-down vote" in the Senate in the same holy light now?
     
  9. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #9
    Yeah, but last time it took them a couple of decades. It takes the Dems forever to do anything. Even become corrupt. The Repubs did it a little faster.
     
  10. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a

    DZ/015

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    They may not be worse, but they will certainly be no better.
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #11
    Why do you say that? I may be cynical, but not that bad. They don't really have to do much to be better.

    Actually, I'm kinda hoping they don't do much of anything, which would be an improvement.
     
  12. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #12
    All politicians are the same, they all like money they just get it from different places. The Republicans get it from oil the Democrats get it from Hollywood. And they both get it from lobbyist.
     
  13. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #13
    what does hollywood get out of lobbying washington? we don't have a multi-billion dollar national entertainment policy ripe with kickbacks.

    i'd say the closest thing the dems had to the GOP and oil was organized labor, but that's been systematically weakened since reagan's days. trial lawyers would be my first choice for graft on the dems side.

    also, i'd add that most of the heavy donors donate to both parties, just to cover all their bases.
     
  14. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    i'm interested in knowing:
    1. details about these kickbacks
    2. what your sources are
    3. how this proves that all politicians are the same

    i like money, too. i don't see how that makes me like dick cheney.
     
  16. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #16
    and i'm asking how?

    the oil industry lobbies washington because washington regulates the energy industry. the government makes decisions that change the financial expectations of the oil industry.

    where is the corollary for hollywood? entertainment isn't regulated. media conglomerates lobby for less restrictions on consolidation, but that isn't "hollywood". the stereotypical "hollywood liberal" has pet issues like what? pacifism? international aid?

    i'm not saying that the dems don't get money (i said trial lawyers, organized labor), i don't see how the money hollywood donates gets back to hollywood.
     
  17. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #17
    Im sure the DMCA had lobbyist money written all over it.

    You don't think the RIAA and the MPAA give money to get things back in return.
     
  18. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #18
    of course they do. but who do the RIAA and MPAA represent? Sony. Viacom. Warner Brothers. That's the Media Giant lobby; not the Hollywood lobby.

    This might be semantics, so sorry if I immediately though "Ben Affleck" when you said "Hollywood".
     
  19. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #19
    no need to guess on who gives what to whom, it's all reported and in the public domain. 'nuts -- if you want to make the point that media companies give more money to dems than they give to the GOP, that's a true and valid point. the numbers are here.

    i'm just not sure what that proves. your original claim is that all politicians are the same, because they all want money. i think your conclusion is wrong. all politicians want money because it's expensive to campaign.

    if your point is that lobbyist money and contributions can influence how a representative votes, i'll grant you that. but you'll have to prove to me that leads to all politicians being "the same". in fact, i don't even know what "the same" means to you, so please define your terms.

    if your more specific point is that media companies contribute and then get 'kickbacks', you're, again, going to have to define your terms. because in my book, kickbacks, favors, and coincidence are all different things.

    but i think your grand point is that we cannot expect to see anything different in washington now that the dems are in control of congress. all your noise about trying to prove that is just that -- noise. allegations about congress slushing money back to viacom is something that you not only have to prove, but connect back to your original point.

    and in the end, neither you nor i will be able to work out some kind of mathematical/political proof that the dems will be different than the GOP was under bush. only time will tell that.
     
  20. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #20
    My main point is that they all have a price. Is it wrong yes, But just look at the people there, They are all rich and only care about themselves and not the little guy or what's best for the country. They may say otherwise but they are all on a power trip.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #21
    what the dems have done just in the past couple days flies in the face of what you're saying. no guarantee it'll be sustained, but i think you're being over-cynical.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #22
    Define "rich".
     
  23. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #23
    I would say above middle class. $100,000 and above.
     
  24. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #24
    i assume you mean per year, not net worth. either way, your definition of the middle class is somewhat... lacking. you might want to do some research and come back with some better numbers, including classifications such as "single" and "family of 4".
     
  25. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #25
    fwiw, i would define someone as "rich" when they have assets which safely provide a yearly income that allows them to live an upper middle class lifestyle for the rest of their life, without working.

    i'll say $150k/yr for a single person is my definition of "upper middle class", and twice that for a family of 4.

    w/o running the numbers, i'd guess that maintaining $150k/yr for one person would imply a net worth in the neighborhood of $4-$5 million. i.e. it's safe to peel off $150k/yr (in today's dollars) without negatively affecting the nest egg. note that the $150k figure will increase due to inflation.
     

Share This Page