by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
chris dodd, influence, investigation, lobbying, politics


Public Petitions The White House To Investigate Chris Dodd & The MPAA For Possible Bribery

from the quid-pro-quo dept

Late on Friday, we posted a story about how Chris Dodd at the MPAA appeared to be directly threatening politicians who had taken money from Hollywood, but refused to pass SOPA/PIPA. Of course, pretty much everyone expects pay-for-laws type of corruption in politics these days, but it's quite rare for the head of a major lobbying trade group to be so explicit about it. That story went viral in a major way over the weekend -- becoming the most trafficked story on Techdirt... ever. I would doubt that whatever Dodd/the MPAA did reaches to the level of legally actionable... but others aren't so sure. In the comments there's an interesting discussion of the nature of "quid pro quo" in determining if something is considered a bribe. Some point out that Dodd appears to be highlighting the "quo" part, which is where things get dicey.

Pretty soon after the post went up, a We The People petition showed up on the White House's site, asking for a federal investigation of Dodd and the MPAA to see if they were "bribing" public officials. That petition has been gathering an awful lot of signatures all weekend, and it seems quite likely that it will soon reach the required threshold, requiring a comment from the White House. At the very least, I would be interested to see how the White House responds...

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  1. icon
    Joe Publius (profile), 23 Jan 2012 @ 1:08pm

    To answer a glib question seriously

    What about Dodd's freedom of speech?

    I know this was more of a flip question aimed at his statement on TV, but this question can also be aimed at the larger issue about lobbying, and money in politics that deserves a comment.

    Currently money in politics is protected expression, and honestly I don't have a major problem with that. The money is supposed to buy advertising time, and if the average TV watcher votes for a politician based off an ad that doesn't even have ten percent of the charisma and persuasion of that Slap Chop commerical, than we get what we deserve.

    On the other hand, which was the point of the original article and this is why I think the petition is important,the speech (money) does not behold the receiver to obey. In demanding that MPAA contributions should lead to instant compliance, he showed his, and the MPAA's hand. And what a dirty set of cards they were carrying!

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