Chris Dodd Breaking Promise Not To Become A Lobbyist Just Weeks After Leaving Senate; Joining MPAA As Top Lobbyist

from the ah,-the-lies-of-politicians-and-hollywood dept

One of the worst kept secrets in DC and Hollywood over the last month or so is the news that former Connecticut Senator and failed Presidential candidate Chris Dodd is set to become the MPAA’s new boss (salary: $1.2 million per year). This came after a failed attempt to get former Senator (and failed presidential candidate) Bob Kerrey to take the role last year.

Assuming Dodd takes the role, he’s already proving himself to be perfect for a Hollywood job, because it makes him a blatant liar. Last summer, Dodd insisted that he would not become a lobbyist. He made this abundantly clear. When asked what he would do, he was explicit: “No lobbying, no lobbying.” Yeah, apparently a million dollar plus salary makes you a liar barely a month after leaving the job. Of course, technically, Dodd is also barred from becoming a lobbyist for two years after leaving the Senate, but there’s a kind of wink, wink, nudge, nudge trick that Dodd and others use to technically claim they’re not lobbyists while merely running one of the bigger and most high profile lobbying organizations around.

Of course, it’ll also be interesting to see if Dodd sells his soul and changes some of his professed principles. For example, he was a big supporter of “net neutrality.” But the MPAA has come out against net neutrality, claiming it would hamper its efforts to “fight piracy.” He was also against ISP data retention, which the MPAA has supported (again as a way to fight piracy). On copyright he was somewhat non-committal, but did talk about how fair use rights are important. I imagine that will disappear once he takes the role formerly filled by Jack Valenti — the man who once declared that fair use doesn’t exist.

Anyway, I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that a politician lied and went back on his basic principles in favor of a huge check from industry. It happens all the time. The real question is why anyone would take Chris Dodd seriously in this role going forward after proving that he’s in it for nothing more than the check.

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Comments on “Chris Dodd Breaking Promise Not To Become A Lobbyist Just Weeks After Leaving Senate; Joining MPAA As Top Lobbyist”

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72 Comments
ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Assuming Dodd takes the role, he’s already proving himself to be perfect for a Hollywood job, because it makes him a blatant liar.

He is a politician. Frankly, I would have been more surprised if he had actually kept his promise. As the old adage says, “How can you tell a politician is lying? Their mouth is moving.”

I have yet to meet a politician (I’ve met quite a few) who wasn’t a two-faced liar. Sure, they will offer you the world to get elected, but then they start breaking every promise they made (though, I think in some cases they honestly made a promise through naivety they eventually couldn’t keep, I think this is the exception, not the rule.) I always love hearing “we’ll look into that” from a politician…that essentially means “we don’t care, but we have to say something to make you feel like we do.”

Knowing this, I never vote for a politician based on what they say…I always use their record of action to decide whether to vote for them or not. Not that that makes a difference though, as the last election no one I voted for was elected because a majority of those in my state listen to what the politician says and not what they do, and then they get upset when the politician gets into office and fails to do what they said.

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Maybe...

Maybe Dodd will reform the MPAA. He will remain true to the ideas he expressed in the Senate and convince the MPAA that they need to abandon their obsession with piracy and concern themselves with other issues that desperately need attention if they are to survive.

Dang. I’m having those fantasies again. Now I have to call the doctor and have him increase my medications.

Yogi says:

Re:

I don’t understand why more people don’t vote according to record.

That would also do away with all the ridiculous campaigning: no more campaigns, just show us your record – what you voted for and against, laws you proposed or opposed, tax money you saved or wasted.

The election process could be so simple and rational. If only people were…

Nina Paley (profile) says:

not just the check

I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that a politician lied and went back on his basic principles in favor of a huge check from industry.

I’m sure he did it for more than the check. There’s also the status. Repping the MPAA means lots of schmoozing and photo ops with movie stars. I’m told politicians love that, even when they’re not being paid directly.

Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

Liars and politicians

All politicians are liars. So, we should be surprised by this turn of events? I have always said that lawyers become politicians so they can write laws that only they know the loopholes for, so when they “retire” from politics, they have an automatic expertise to gain income from helping companies exploit the loopholes they themselves wrote into the laws…
Quod erat faciendum

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re:

“That would also do away with all the ridiculous campaigning: no more campaigns, just show us your record – what you voted for and against, laws you proposed or opposed, tax money you saved or wasted.”

Why do you think so many Governors get elected President compared to Senators? The whole reason Obama was in such a rush to run when he did was because he was relatively without a voting record. He could claim whatever he wanted and there was an insufficient sample size to confirm or rebuke him.

W had the same deal, and Clinton, and Reagan. It’s a strategy, if you want to be President, to NOT have a federal voting record….

Anonymous Coward says:

Of course by Masnick’s logic no politician should get a job for at least two years after he leaves office, because then he’d be a “lobbyist”.

You’re so paranoid about your precious piracy being addressed by Congress and law enforcement that you throw these public tantrums that make you look like a 4 year old girl. You’re pathetic.

Scote (profile) says:

Re:

“Of course by Masnick’s logic no politician should get a job for at least two years after he leaves office, because then he’d be a “lobbyist”.”

And why would you say that? The MPAA is the lobbying group for the major players in the motion picture industry. Not really representative of all jobs in the US. I guess your argument isn’t a genuine one.

(Sorry, sometimes I can’t help feeding the trolls.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

I’m starting a new sport.

I will make it my mission to make your ridiculous posts become the funniest of the week (funny +1 submitted). My immediate goal will be to make a little “lol” appear in your post (thus, highlighting how dumb it was), but the real prize would be to make it appear in the top 4 of the week.

The goal is to highlight the fact that you generally have nothing useful to say other than “Masn1k is t3h king of t3h P1rat3s!!11111oneone” and insulting pretty much everyone that opposes you (freetard is a popular insult) without resorting to insults or feeding you.

Let’s see how it plays out. Perhaps you will win at something in life for once (oops, that one slipped by…).

Anonymous Coward says:

Reminds me of a joke I once heard:
Guy walks into a club and sees an incredibly beautiful woman sitting at the bar. He sits down next to her and says “You are incredibly beautiful and I am an extremely rich man, Will you make love to for one million dollars?” The Woman’s Eyes light up and she says “Sure!” The man says “Well?Will you make love to me for one hundred dollars” The woman got angry and said “What kind of girl do you think I am?” The man replied “We already know what kind of girl you are, now we are negotiating”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

“That would also do away with all the ridiculous campaigning: no more campaigns, just show us your record – what you voted for and against, laws you proposed or opposed, tax money you saved or wasted.”

The politicians passed a law that said you can’t do that before an election.

McCain/Finegold we got rid of the second now we need to get rid of the first.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

No, it’s an industry group that may have lobbyists on the payroll. Dodd isn’t hired as a lobbyist, is he? Nope. He is hired to run an association, that may have lobbyists working for it.

If he went to work as a lobbyist for the group, that might be different. This isn’t the same thing. Please Marcus, think past the end of Mike’s nose.

TDR says:

And you, AC29, stop splitting hairs that don’t exist. The MPAA is corrupt beyond redemption, and the only useful thing it can do now is collapse.

DISCLAIMER
Anonymous: “I am a lying industry shill with no sense of morality or even the pretext of a point. I fear change like nothing else and cannot comprehend living without extorting as much as I can from my clients and blaming the ‘losses’ on a nonexistent problem. I do not know how to address an argument or even present one. I just flame because I know I’m wrong and unable to prove a single thing I’ve said, and I’m terrified to admit it.”

Not an electronic Rodent says:

Re:

The War on Piracy has begun!

Excellent! Another sink-hole war like the “war on drugs” that the US can pour billions and billions of dollars of tax payers money into and get nowhere for decades….. a couple more of those and if the UK is smart enough to keep out of them we’ll be able to afford to buy back the US….. oh, wait that doesn’t work out too well either way really..

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re:

Part of his job is to direct lobbying efforts. That makes him a lobbyist in my book.

Not only that, but the *key* priorities of the MPAA — as stated in the very article linked above — are entirely based on lobbying. Calling it just an organization that also does some lobbying is false. It’s a lobbying organization, top to bottom.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re:

Interesting. So a pure lobbying group decides how movies are rated in this country? Gotcha.

Yes, actually. The only reason they rate movies is because the government was putting pressure on Hollywood to make movies more family friendly and were getting upset about sex and violence on screen. The MPAA’s creation of the rating system was solely a lobbying move, to avoid having new laws passed against Hollywood.

Surely, it helps to understand history before spewing nonsense.

The MPAA is a lobbying organization, top to bottom.

You’re still not explaining why Masnick is being such a baby about it. What is he afraid of?

I’m sorry, but can you explain how pointing out a politicians lies is “being a baby”?

It seems to me that sitting around while your band fails, while you advise it to do nothing to adapt other than to cry to the government for help, seems a hell of a lot more babyish.

In the meantime, when you grow up and want to actually learn how to succeed, give us a call. I’m still waiting. It’s kind of sad to watch you want to fail like this.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re:

I asked you a question. Why won’t you answer it? How is pointing out a politician lobbying “babyish”?

And, bonus question, isn’t complaining to the gov’t about how you can’t figure out how to adapt to a changing marketplace a lot more babyish?

What band is that, Masnick? LOL

You told us your band was failing.

And stories of your success with bands are all over the web, right?

There are plenty of success stories, yes. Rather than rushing to insult me, perhaps you should look around you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You made some backward comparison of how movie ratings came into being to try and say the MPAA is a pure lobbying group. Every industry group looks out for their members, and in a myriad of ways; they certainly are not exclusively lobbying groups. That’s just more of your silly pirate propaganda.

And the current ratings system came about in 1966 because Jack Valenti realized the previous self-imposed code the movie industry used since 1930 was out of date. It had NOTHING to do with “lobbying”. You’re so full of bs that it is mind boggling.

There are plenty of success stories, yes. Rather than rushing to insult me, perhaps you should look around you.

I’ve looked everywhere on the web. No one says you’re a success other than you and your merry band of pirate half-wits here.

Thomas (profile) says:

we get it..

politicians are corrupt. Politicians sell their souls just to get into office, assuming that they even have souls in the first place. They take enormous amounts of money while in office and vote the way they are bribed, and now they take up cushy jobs from the companies that paid them while in office. Nothing new here. If a senator votes in the MPAA’s favor while in office and then leaves office and becomes a puppet for the MPAA, is that simply payment for votes already made?

We castigate other countries where politicians take money openly, but here it’s almost as bad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Ummm, the tobacco, the booze, the car, the music, the airline, the import export, and even the orange juice producers all have trade and industry groups, and part of the work of those groups is to lobby.

Each of those groups has lobbyists. They also have receptionists and people working in the mail room. None of us assume for a second that the president of the group is a receptionist or works the mail room.

It is one part of what the MPAA does. Even by Mike’s own admission, they have panels in the area of anti-piracy (Mike is on a real anti-MPAA run today, they must have peed in his cornflakes this morning). There are more things than that going on.

Mike is just being nasty, attacking where none is merited. I have a feeling he is worried that this move will make the MPAA group overall stronger, than thus upset his pro-piracy business models.

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re:

Of course by Masnick’s logic no politician should get a job for at least two years after he leaves office, because then he’d be a “lobbyist”.

Wait, what’s your opinion about “no-compete” contracts?

And more to the point, why do you have a problem with the Law of the Land, what our Representatives Enacted into Law as the Will of the People?
Are you some kind of Anarchist?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

No, Mike did not just throw the “band” thing out there.

You were screaming and ranting about it not so long ago, all the while failing to realise you were damning your own argument. Too funny. You really couldn’t see it.

When Mike pointed out how you were contradicting your whole argument in his favour, you suddenly shut up and ran, and haven’t mentioned it since.

Now you’re pretending it never happened.

You have made yourself into a total joke on this site.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

They why do you constantly repeat every single piece of blatant bullshit from them?

Why do you never, ever, not once, think or admit they have done anything wrong, ever?

It’s intriguing. Maybe you’re a politician, simply trying to defend the outrageous racketeering the government has ALWAYS been involved in? Or are you a part of government “Public Relations”?

Rhetorical questions since, either way, you’re completely full of shit pal.

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