Lobbyists As The New Celebrities? Cheering On Those Who Abuse The System

from the the-greedconomy dept

In the first half of this decade, the press liked to cheer on those hedge fund bosses, who abused the financial system to great wealth. These days, of course, with the economy in the tank, the press needs to find some other class of system-abusers to cheer on. As Copycense notes, it looks like DC lobbyists may be getting the celebrity treatment these days, similar to the hedge fund batch a few years ago. It's as if the press gleefully looks for those who abuse the system for greed to celebrate. What a shame.


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    identicon
    zenasprime, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 3:25am

    disgusting

    This is the kind of thing that make me want to just pack up and get out.

     

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      SteelWolf (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 4:08am

      Re: disgusting

      Me too. Then I wonder where I would go.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 5:57am

        Re: Re: disgusting

        Me too. Then I wonder where I would go.

        People used to go off to the "new world" and start their own country. Of course, even that wasn't so good for the natives already living there.

         

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        zenasprime (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re: disgusting

        Well that is the question isn't it. Luckly, despite our brainwashing, there is an entire world outside of the USA. I'm wondering that perhaps the problem lies with our size. Living in an empire sure makes things impersonal so my first guess would be to try a country that is a little bit smaller, where people can't get away with being an asshole so easily because eventually, when you've been an asshole for long enough, mostly everyone knows you are an asshole and they stop putting up with you. What do you think? ;)

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2009 @ 8:40am

          Re: Re: Re: disgusting

          Well that is the question isn't it. Luckly, despite our brainwashing, there is an entire world outside of the USA.

          Yes, but it is all claimed by other countries and those countries all have immigration restrictions. It's not like you can just move to anywhere or any country you want.

           

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    senshikaze (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 4:34am

    wow...

    well, that was depressing.

     

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    ..., Oct 5th, 2009 @ 4:53am

    Well

    We have the best politicians that money can buy

     

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    Pwdrskir (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 5:03am

    70-1

    I’ve seen reports estimating there are 44 lobbyists for each member of congress. That figure is expected to rise to 70 “stimulated” douche bags per greedy politician in the near future. The Ken Burn’s series, The National Parks segment on the Grand Canyon is a perfect metaphor for what is about to happen to the US. We need to prevent those who are willing to destroy us for personal monetary gain.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 5:39am

    If the hedge fund bosses did it...

    So the DC lobbyists are going to be the next group of people to put us into a recession?

    Actually, I can see it. I can also see them throwing us into another civil war.

     

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    NullOp, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 6:00am

    Better off...

    This country would be MUCH better off if lobbyists were illegal. Our government does not need someone representing an industry with a huge financial stake in the outcome to help them "understand" the implications of legislation. The industries with large lobbyist support are simply greedy, plain and simple.

     

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      zellamayzao, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 6:53am

      Re: Better off...

      But without lobbyist where would the senators and representatives make all their money? You cant seriously think that they can survive off of the money they are paid to represent the interest of their constituents?

      There is no such thing as a good lobbyist. They all need to be dragged out back and put out of OUR misery. Its ashame that they are the ones actually running this country and have more sway when it comes to getting legislation passed than we, the people, do.

       

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        Matthew, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:24am

        Re: Re: Better off...

        This is simply false. The lobbyists that most people hear about are typically corrupt, but in principle, it's a useful and reasonable profession. Ideally, lobbying is not about bribing politicians, but about informing them. There DO exist lobbyists who gather relevant information and present it to representatives and senators in a digestible form, while making a persuasive argument about how best to act on that information.

        Citizens can form lobbies too. You might say, "My representative should be serving my interests without me having to spend money and time to keep him in line." How does he even KNOW what you want, though? If you write him a letter, how does he know that enough people agree with you? One possible answer is that you and your like-minded friends pool your money and pay for one of your own to act as your in-person liaison with your representative. And you know what that person is called? A lobbyist.

         

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          zenasprime (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Better off...

          ideally he would be in contact with his constituents through the use of various communication tools available to him. He would make regular appearances in is constituency where he would LISTEN rather then tell people his opinion. He would take the time to correspond with each letter writer personally as it is is job to represent all of the individuals within his district, not corporations or other special interest groups who don't really represent any of his constituents but rather just happens to make sure he get's his wallet padded.

           

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          zenasprime (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 11:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Better off...

          "Citizens can form lobbies too."

          The representative IS the citizens lobby.

           

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    Mechwarrior, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    Honestly, the only way to end lobbying is to replace humans with machines. Computers dont care about money, just heat-capacity and cubic centimeters of air flow.

    The double edged sword of Democracy shines under the rays of human self interest.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Why are corporate lobbyists allowed to bribe politicians in the first place? Isn't this illegal?

    The American people should be outraged, and lobbyists should be arrested.

     

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      zellamayzao, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 7:28am

      Re:

      Its not a "bribe" its a donation, or a gift. You cant make gift giving illegal or donations outlawed. Then Santa would be in jail for eternity and charities would disappear. Thats how they get a way with it.

      Oh and forgetting to file your taxes and not telling the truth on them if you do is a good way to get around it as well. But dont you dare think about doing that, the IRS will be at your door so fast for that extra hundred bucks you earned helping your neighbors cut their grass but its okay for senators and representatives to lie on their taxes. They represent the people.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re:

        "You cant make gift giving illegal or donations outlawed."

        Of course you can. It's done all the time! If you're a restaurant, it's illegal to give gifts to health inspectors. Hell, it's illegal for you to give a gift to your mailman!

        A big part of the problem is that the courts maintain that spending money == free speech. This is legalization of bribery, nothing more, and until we solve that, nothing else can be solved.

         

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          zellamayzao, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 8:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well as it turns out the people doing the problem solving are the ones receiving the cash to keep the problems just at arms length to make it seem like we are making progress.

          I say that we limit the time in office for the senators and representative to 2 terms just like the President. If you cant get your mission accomplished in 8 (possible) years then its time for the next guy/girl. No more of this career law makers because they just get used to all the lobbyists and money flinging they lose sight of what they actually went to Washington for....THE PEOPLE. I think before each elected official takes office they should be made to watch "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" and write an essay about what the movie meant to them.

           

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 7:32am

      Re:

      "Why are corporate lobbyists allowed to bribe politicians in the first place? Isn't this illegal?"

      They are, but most get threw a loop hole called "campaign contributions". It allows massive amounts of money to be funneled into a bank account right out in the open without question.

      "The American people should be outraged, and lobbyists should be arrested."

      Most, who know about it, are, but the lobbyists won't allow that anger to be seen by the politicians (so they don't get arrested).

       

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      Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 7:48am

      Re: AC #12

      Welcome to TechDirt, where people come to be educated. Well, some people, anyway.

      Who makes the laws?
      Who benefits most from the lobbyists' generosity?

      See the pattern?


      For further edification, and possible extra credit, try answering the following questions:

      Where do industry lobbyists get the money with which they seek to "influence" the politicians?
      What does the term "pork" refer to in a political setting?
      What do politicians need most to get elected? (Hint: It's not votes, surprisingly.)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 7:06am

    The AMA is second in money spent as a lobbyist. AARP is 5.

     

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    Coughing Monkey (profile), Oct 5th, 2009 @ 8:37am

    as i see it it is the press who is manipulating us because only through sensationalism may they (the press or journalists) become rich and famous. so after the revolution as we line up the lawyers in front of the politicians for the firing squads i suggest we line all these sensationalistic journalists and the rest of the press out in front of the lawyers.

     

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    TDR, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    What we need is a Congress of actual, everyday Americans of moderate means, not these superrich idiots that probably can't even tie their own shoes. Income requirements for political campaigns need to be done away with, so that anyone of any income level will have a good, realistic chance of being elected if they enter the race. Term limits should be put in place, as well, 1 term max and 1 term for the Pres. I know it's cutting things back, but it also takes away the re-election incentive that drives much political corruption.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 10:52am

      Re:

      Term limits should be put in place, as well, 1 term max and 1 term for the Pres. I know it's cutting things back, but it also takes away the re-election incentive that drives much political corruption.

      That would take away the incentive to please the people and get reelected. The only incentive then is to be as corrupt and make as much money as possible in your one term. I mean, you aren't going to be reelected anyway, right?

       

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        zellamayzao, Oct 5th, 2009 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re:

        Thats why I went with a 2 term limit. I think you could be right in thinking that they would just think they need to do whatever they can in their 4 years to get themselves richer. Maybe with 2 they might think of the children a little more? And its not like they have to quit politics in 1 term or 2 terms they just need to find another way to make themselves useful and relevant in the part of the country they represent

         

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