Elected Officials Asked To Return Hollywood Money Following Dodd's Threats

from the avoid-corruption dept

Late last week, we wrote about the ridiculous situation in which MPAA boss Chris Dodd publicly threatened elected officials who take Hollywood money, but who don't pass the laws that the MPAA wants. Of course, most people assume that everyone expects a quid pro quo, but actually stating it out loud and on television is really remarkable, and has resulted in calls for an investigation into Dodd. I'd argue that the focus should really be on the politicians. In fact, the folks over at Free Press are now calling on those in Congress to return campaign donations from Hollywood to show that Congress is not for sale:
"The MPAA is so brazen in its efforts to buy legislation with campaign cash that its leader, himself a former senator, sees nothing wrong with threatening legislators on national TV. We think it's time that Congress showed that its votes are no longer for sale. The first thing Congress must do is give back the MPAA's tainted campaign cash or give it to charity. Congress must make it clear to the world that it won’t be bullied into supporting censorship."
Of course, it's unlikely that anyone in Congress will actually do this, but it certainly would make a pretty loud and clear statement.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    vastrightwing, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:33am

    LOL

    Yea right. What is going on? First you had some newspaper publisher publically talking about offing the president and now big entertainment is asking for its money back? In public? Am I on the right planet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    The Logician (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:34am

    This does put Congress in a somewhat difficult position, so that can only be good for the populace. On one hand, if they do as they have been requested to, it brings them respect from the people and proves even more clearly the truth of Hollywood's corruption whilst angering Hollywood even further and possibly leading them into further irrational, desperate acts which could undermine their stability more than their current actions already have. If Congress ignores this request, it only proves the depth of their own corruption clearly enough that even the average citizen can see it and makes their ties to Hollywood transparent for all to see.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:38am

    Re: LOL

    Dodd wasn't asking for his money back, he was asking for his money's worth.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    I really think the donate the money to charity option is the best. Hollywood obviously did not need the money so they shouldn't get it back.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    Why would they give the money back when they need it to win in the elections against their opponents so they can stay in office and continue to make laws that protect their constituents from pirates? I don't think you've really thought this one through.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    Re: LOL

    Apparently you fail at reading comprehension.

    It is Free Press asking for congress to give the money back, not the entertainment industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:42am

    Re: Investment

    I could've sworn I heard somewhere that money put into lobbying usually nets return of about 22000% on the "investment".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    blaktron (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Investment

    Just in tax breaks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Of course, it's unlikely that anyone in Congress will actually do this, but it certainly would make a pretty loud and clear statement.
    It would only take one and there would be a stampede to get rid of the tainted funds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    I'm going to lean towards Congress being more worried about angering Hollywood more the the general public. Despite the protests, the public has yet to show any teeth in actually removing people from Congress.

    And even if they do show some bite, so long as Democrats and Republican keep getting replaced by other Democrats and Republican, the basic status quo is still maintained. Not until Congress or the White House start being replaced by independents or independent parties I doubt they are going to be too concerned with what the public thinks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Killercool (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re:

    Here's the thing: Until November, there is no way TO "show teeth" with regard to removing Congressmen/Senators. Recall elections are not possible at the national level, so until we CAN vote them out, we can't, well, vote them out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    then Congress needs to make it known to the world that it supports the people that voted for them to get into office in the first place, not corporations.

    more chance of landing a man on the Sun and him surviving!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re:

    Independents & independent parties are unlikely to behave any differently. The problem isn't the parties as such. It's the corruption, which is systemic and unaffiliated with any given party (or lack of it).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Jeffhole (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    No

    We think it's time that Congress showed that its votes are no longer for sale.


    That's the thing, votes are for sale, have been for a loooong time and it's gonna stay that way until we start putting them in prison for life for the shit. Senators and congress critters suffer no real consequences for these things.

    We need to set an example. We need to string one up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Some states do have recall rules available.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Re: No

    I'd vote for that for a dollar!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    RE

    Now, NOW NOW is the time for a 5 million flash mob in DC, March 1 is too far away

    The time is ripe, OWS, tea party, Pirates, Freetards, Unite.

    Show the world what we really think of SOPA/PIPA

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Investment

    Yeah, I remember hearing that. I wish I knew of a way to get 22000% returns on investments. I would be a very rich man now instead of having to go to work each day to make just enough money to eat and pay off student loans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: REally...?

    Yep, nothing like getting all the dissenters together in one convenient location so the FBI/CIA/Army/Police/SWAT/whatever can first push them into defined "free speech zones" (which are always out of sight of the camera crews) and later--after some illegal jail time in which nobody was charged with an actual crime--the "leaders" of the movement will just disappear into some sort of (now legal*) indefinite detention as they've been deemed 'possible' terrorists.

    So long as the wolves are pretending to be shepherds, all the sheep are in danger.

    BAAAH!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    You know for an industry "decimated" by piracy and loosing kajillions of made up dollars, they sure seem to have plenty to throw around.
    Maybe they are confusing their "donations" with "piracy losses".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    You are right - see what happened after the MPs' expenses scandal in the UK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Re: LOL

    If this works, maybe we can ask them to resign next time?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    You know for an industry "decimated" by piracy and loosing kajillions of made up dollars, they sure seem to have plenty to throw around.

    That's a structural instability in our system of auctioning off laws to the highest bidder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Maybe the studios wouldn't be so hard up financially if they invested that money in creating content, hiring back out of work filmmakers that they are so concerned about all the time, and stuff that generally relates to what they are in business for rather than paying the MPAA to buy politicians. I bet they could hire lots of grips and best boys for what they waste on Chris Dodd!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:41am

    Re: LOL

    yeah, what politician would give back money.....its like asking a used car salesman to be honest...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    which states? I could do a website in a couple hours that allows people to print out petition forms and return envelopes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    Well Dodd was supposed to be their best boy, he was going to have a tight grip on Congress to get them the laws to roll the internet back to the days of telegrams.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Beta (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:47am

    I owe you nothing

    I'm actually opposed to this idea, for two reasons:

    1. Returning the money is tantamount to saying "your legislation enacted or your money back!" To keep the money and not vote for these bills is a much more effective way to discourage future bribery.

    2. Returning the money is almost an admission that it was accepted as a bribe, with the understanding that it would buy a vote that would otherwise go the other way. I would stand my ground and say "I vote as I think best, that's what you get when you elect me, that's what you pay for when you support my campaigns; if they thought they were buying my vote they were wrong, and if you think so you're wrong too, either way I will not give back the money". (Of course, that attitude is exactly why I will never be elected to any kind of high office.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you look at the pirate party in the EU and the Tea party in the US, you see they are sticking to their guns. If we could find politicians that would do the same things on issues we care about, we wouldn't need to find independents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Investment

    Now this is a scary though, they spent 90+ million on pushing SOPA forward. 22000% return on that is a big number.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Investment

    I could've sworn I heard somewhere that money put into lobbying usually nets return of about 22000% on the "investment".

    Mike covered that in December. Jack Abramoff thinks that number is too low.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111224/01031317187/jack-abramoff-explains-return-investme nt-lobbying-22000-is-surprisingly-low.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re: I owe you nothing

    Exactly. Those calling for a return of this money have not thought this through. It sets a horrible precedent and lends legitimacy to the current corrupt system. The best outcome we can expect from congress is to take money from everyone and then vote however they please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Altaree, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Why return?

    Keep the money and publicly say you can't be bought when you vote against your contributors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Investment

    You do know how to get that return.
    Invest heavily in congress critters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Investment

    Whatever the number is, people have certainly figured out that they can vote themselves money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Anyone calling on Congress to give Google's money back? Oh right, that's different.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: I owe you nothing

    I have to agree with this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Re:

    Why would they? Congress hasn't decided to shelve any Google-written legislation.

    Oh wait. There hasn't *been* any Google-written legislation, my bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    RE Google

    they sue Google, no need for "contributions"

    Besides, isn't Google the net anyways?? (now)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Re: RE Google

    The intergoogles?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Chris Dudd, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    WH Petition 2 Investigate Dodd/MPAA

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    A Monkey with Atitude, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your problem is the instant 20% lead both parties get on an independent. That is the first huddle. Also most PAC's and organizations that are seen as a potential source of funding, generally will not even meet with an Independent until they can show poll results of them being ahead or very very close.. And the polls cost about 10K for a House seat (small district) and up to 500K for a medium state.

    I dislike "party" politics but the system is so tilted toward them at this point breaking in a 3rd or independent party is difficult at best.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I know Wisconsin does: I think VA, NV and CA do, the rest I'm pretty sure don't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: REally...?

    I Predict a Riot
    I predict a Riot

    I Predict a Riot
    I predict a Riot

    And if there's anybody else in here
    That doesn't want ot be out there

    I predict a Riot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Re:

    I have, and still do. Bribery has no place in politics.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Chris Dudd, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    MPAA bribes

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Jan 25th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    "Hollywood obviously did not need the money..."

    They could use it to pay the artists.

    Nah, just kidding! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sorry to chime in here as anonymous, but the tea party movement seems to be being co-opted by the republican establishment does it not?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Alaska
    Arizona
    California
    Colorado
    Georgia
    Idaho
    Illinois
    Kansas
    Louisiana
    New Jersey
    Nevada
    North Dakota
    Michigan
    Minnesota
    Montana
    Oregon
    Rhode Island
    Washington
    Wisconsin

    http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections-campaigns/reca ll-of-state-officials.aspx

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

    Re:

    And if they don't give the money back, people will refuse to vote for them as a result of bribery.

    I don't know about you but there should be a lot more average citizens than Chris Dodds to vote.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:22pm

    They already got elected, so what's the point?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2012 @ 11:24pm

    Re: I owe you nothing

    "To keep the money and not vote for these bills is a much more effective way to discourage future bribery."

    In that case they should donate it to charity. Or maybe even the pirate party or the EFF.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 1:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are looking at the wrong thing, the Tea Party showed the way in America of how to get people you want in power.

    What they didn't had was a law prepared for those they voted in, that is the problem with them right now, they don't have a clear vision of what they want yet.

    Now if you take their example and do it yourself surely one can create their own root movement, the thing is people need to start thinking in terms of laws and not "directions", they need to get into the dirty stuff and start reading the laws they have and use those as templates for the laws they want and then voting people in to pass those laws, repealed the ones the people don't like reform something, but people need to agree on a plan since the idiots in congress apparently can't hold off their addiction to campaign money is up to the public to take them out and do something about the laws themselves instead of asking politicians to do it for us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 1:48am

    Re:

    The point is pressure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 2:04am

    Re: Well Dodd was supposed to be their best boy, he was going to have a tight grip ...

    “Best boy” ... “grip” ... are we making movie-production-crew puns, now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 2:05am

    Re: Why return?

    Do you know what “bite the hand that feeds you” means?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    There is really nothing new in this. Generally whenever large sums of money are contributed to politicians there is usually some kind of expected quid pro quo. This is true whether it is political pacs, political parties, all lobbyists or other interest groups. The Tea Party has told conservative members of Congress that if you are not "conservative" enough we will not only not support you but we will pump large amounts of money to your opponet to defeat you, and have been successful doing so. The only real question is not about where the money comes from but whether and to what exgtent members of the Government, in fact, are selling their votes to those interests and generally that is a very difficult thing to credibly ascertain

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    LC (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:08am

    I honestly can't think of a stronger way to get the message across. This move will really restore some of my faith in the US government.

    Alas, one can only dream.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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