Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our Bipartisan Corrupt Congress Is Choking On Lobbyist Bribes


Progressives were sickened to learn that #DebtTrapDebbie Wasserman Schultz had not just invited the lobbyists that Obama had banned back into the inner sanctums of the Democratic Party but that she was even putting some on the platform committee of the National Convention. That's another reason she just has to go. (Please help Tim Canova defeat her by contributing to his campaign here.) Corporate lobbyists are the scourge of honest government and they gravitate to the most corrupt politicians. You can always tell who are the worst and most dishonest members of Congress are by how in cahoots with K Street they are. Most DC insiders will tell you no one ever compared to John Boehner (R-OH) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) when it came to gross lobbyist corruption. But when it comes to flat out cash contributions, Hillary has taken more from lobbyists than any other member of Congress in history-- and by far.

Since 1990 lobbyists have given nearly a quarter billion dollars in campaign contributions-- $242,409,524. Think of the most notoriously corrupt members of Congress. Invariably they're the ones who always take the most money from the lobbyists and they;'re the ones who scream the most loudly that they would never, never, never trade a vote for the money they gobble up. These dozen corrupt politicians are all known for their chronic bribe-taking and for their coziness with K Street. America would be better off if all of them were in prison for soliciting bribery.
Hillary Clinton- $3,135,205
John McCain (R-AZ)- $1,934,713
Harry Reid (D-NV)- $1,765,601
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)- $1,395,110
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)- $1,364,244
Rob Portman (R-OH)- $1,069,470
Bob Menendez (D-NJ)- $1,038,690
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- $1,037,382
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)- $1,016,142
Roy Blunt (R-MO)- $966,813
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)- $943,689
Richard Burr (R-NC)- $917,266
Those are career long totals. Interested in knowing who's bathing in corruption today? These are the dozen most corrupt politicians getting the biggest bribes from K Street this cycle-- and, yes, America would be far better off if all of them were rotting in prison cells instead of infecting Congress with their corruption:

Chuck Schumer (D-NY)- $349,167
Marco Rubio (R-FL)- $329,746
Patty Murray (D-WA)- $257,159
Richard Burr (R-NC)- $244,813
Rob Portman (R-OH)- $225,897
Paul Ryan (R-OH)- $222,600
Roy Blunt (R-MO)- $216,713
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $212,273
Michael Bennet (D-CO)- $209,851
John Thune (R-SD)- $190,156
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)- $180,428
Patrick Murphy (D-FL)- $176,413
Lobbyists are far more helpful to corrupt politicians than can be measured just by the transfer of cash. Hillary's whole stinking campaign is staffed by lobbyists, as her administration will be. Lobbyists throw fund-raisers for candidates and raise many millions from their clients and business associates. Lobbyists may have only bribed McConnell to the tune of $1,395,110 but they've raised tens of millions for him over the years. Same for Hoyer, Schumer, Reid, Portman and the other egregiously corrupt members of Congress. And this week libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican, Thomas Massie, went on the record with another little trick lobbyists use to worm their way into the good graces of members of Congress-- using their influence with criminal leadership figures like John Boehner. Massie told the Cincinnati Enquirer that criminally-minded lobbyists approached him as soon as he was elected and taught him a lesson he's never forgotten.
Massie, a Republican who represents Northern Kentucky, said he was approached by a lobbyist who told him he could help the congressman raise enough money to get on the Ways and Means Committee. That's a powerful committee which oversees tax policy and is one of the most coveted panels in Congress. Massie declined to name the lobbyist but said he represents the medical device sector.

“He pulled me and my chief of staff into a meeting,” Massie told The Enquirer. “He offered to raise the money that would be required to get me on Ways and Means. This is a lobbyist telling me he can get me on Ways and Means.”

The unstated implication, Massie said, was that if the lobbyist succeeded in helping Massie get a seat on that panel, the congressman would return the favor with legislative goodies.

“It was one of the scummiest meetings I’ve ever been in,” Massie said. “I left just reeling, thinking about the implications for how this place works, when you realize that the lobbyists pick who goes on which committee.”

...Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, which supports campaign finance and ethics reform, said she had never heard an “explicit” proposal like the one Massie described. But it’s hardly surprising, she said, that a lobbyist would offer to help a lawmaker raise money.

She said the “dues” system puts enormous pressure on lawmakers to raise money for the party committees, and they naturally turn to lobbyists for help. Lobbyists have the ability to “organize and direct money” from their clients, she said, and it’s in their interest to help ambitious lawmakers secure positions of power.

“There’s an enormous amount of pressure on the K Street-type lobbyists to deliver, and if you don’t your clients get hurt,” she said. She and others said it’s also common for lawmakers to rely on lobbyists for advice and assistance as they try to move up the congressional ladder.

That was clear during last fall’s race for the gavel of the Ways and Means Committee between Tiberi and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. As they were campaigning for the post, both lawmakers quietly wooed a cadre of Washington lobbyists to support their respective candidacies.

Tiberi said he consulted with lobbyists, including one of his own former staffers, to get advice and support.

“It’s not something nefarious,” Tiberi said. They offered “some suggestions on marketing myself” to the steering committee, he said. And they had “relationships that I don’t have” with key lawmakers.

Others said it’s not unusual for lawmakers to ask lobbyists to weigh in with party leaders on their behalf for plum committee posts.

“You just can’t run (for a committee chairmanship) and say ‘I’m a nice guy and I should get this because I’m qualified’,” David Hobson, a former Ohio congressman who is now a lobbyist, said in an interview last fall. Hobson said lobbyists can make or break a committee chairman’s campaign by whispering nice or negative things into the right ears.

...AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, said: "Speaker Ryan gives zero thought to K Street's preferences for committee assignments."
And Hillary has never voted for anything a lobbyist asked her to vote for-- never. Neither have Harry Reid, John McCain, Chuck Grassley nor Chuck Schumer-- nor any of the criminals in congressional leadership positions. Never! I mean... never vote for any of them, no matter how lesser of two evils they try to sell themselves as in their next election. If you do... you're part of it too. Lobbyist-free zone:
Goal Thermometer

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At 11:45 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Go Tim! Win that seat. :-)

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Joshua Kricker said...

The very dirty dozen.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Joshua Kricker said...

The very dirty dozen.


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