I am in shock. I am in veritable shock. Somebody put together a parody of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecelia…”
…that actually scans.
Meanwhile, in other news: it’s just come out that Solyndra made a last minute lobbying effort to influence Congress’s investigation of the company. Didn’t work, of course – the Republican-led House is in no mood for shenanigans, particularly when they’re shenanigans that started during the Bad Scary Time – but I suppose that they had to try. But don’t worry: no taxpayer money (provided by a Democratic-led House) was actually paid out to try to influence a Republican-led House. Solyndra stiffed the lobbyists on the bill, you see.
Hi! This post is for the benefit of whomever, starting next January, is going to be in charge of soon-to-be Chairman Darrell Issa’s Oversight and Government Reform investigation team. I think that there’s a non-trivial chance that this New York Times report of the White House evading its own ethics rules by deliberately meeting with lobbyists off site (and thus, without having to to log in lobbyist visits) for ‘coffee’ may abruptly become not available after November, so I’m taking the time to reproduce the names of everybody in the article after the fold.
I believe that the technical term for this is “Oops.”
A letter that Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., is circulating on Capitol Hill expressing gushing support for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s controversial proposal to subject broadband to tougher regulation wasn’t written by the congressman.
How do we know? Digital fingerprints left by the author, Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, a media watchdog.
The Democrats currently run the government, remember?
Surely nobody actually believed that the Democrats were seriously going to cut back in the amount of lobbying that was done, given both that party’s a: natural predilections and b: habit of creating and passing ridiculously expensive and over-complicated legislation last year? The resultant explosion of lobbying cannot be a surprise…
Though the Obama administration has tried to put the squeeze on lobbyists, the president’s multifaceted reform agenda has had the unintended consequence of serving as a K Street stimulus, as industries seek to tweak policy.
Bolding (indicating exceptional stupidity) mine: I almost included ‘put the squeeze,’ except that the HuffPo author was actually right there. Admittedly, it was for the wrong reason: if you click the link, you’ll see that it’s actually a story about how the administration’s vaunted war on lobbyists has resulted in the lobbyists simply deregulating* themselves, then conducting business as more-than-usual. This was no doubt helpful when Democrats in Congress needed to put together those bills on health care and energy policy…
It’s not that I have any objection to industries and movements protecting their business interests through lobbying, provided that they do so in a transparent manner. And neither do I have an objection to the Other Side being heavily against the concept and practice of lobbying. What I do object to is the Democratic party’s hypocrisy in piously condemning lobbyists in public, while eagerly taking their money in private. Particularly when the Democrats also demonstrate that they intend to make up for lost time.
*Use of liberal obscenity done with malice aforethought, mostly because the author of the second HuffPo story was so assiduous in using the word ‘deregistering.’
This is via That’s My Congress, which is about to become very confused about why it’s getting traffic from a VRWC site. Here’s the list:
…and they have two things in common. First, they’re all Democrats. Second, they all have email addresses with Erickson & Company. And what is Erickson & Company? As That’s My Congress puts it:
Erickson & Company is not a lobbying firm. Instead, it helps set up events like the Heath Shuler’s BBQ, at which lobbyists and other people seeking special favors can come, check in hand, to pay for access to elected officials and their aides.
In other words, it’s a legal [and Democratic-aligned] money-laundering facility for lobbyists. Need to toss Heath Shuler some cash, but you’re a dirty lobbyist? Well, go to Shuler’s little BBQ (run by a go-between), drop a grand for a plate of food, and say hi! No fuss, no muss, no need for disclosure. Shuler’s happy: he’s getting his cut of your entry fee. The go-between is happy: it’s getting its cut of your entry fee. And you’re happy: this is a lot cheaper than a maximum campaign contribution would be.
So remember this, the next time anybody on that list – or, honestly, any Democrat – talks about the evil of lobbying: the sound you hear isn’t scorn towards those who would try to pay for influence. Nope. It’s scorn towards the rubes who don’t know how to tell when a Democrat is gaming the system.
Raising taxes on the overseas profits of American firms has been a central plank of Barack Obama’s agenda since his campaign for President in 2008. The proposal was featured in the President’s budget in February and was the focus of a May speech in which he said that corporations were “shirking” their responsibility to support his huge increases in federal spending through higher tax payments.
But as this newspaper reported Tuesday, the Administration appears to have shelved the plan to limit business use of the current deferral of taxes on profits earned overseas.
We should point out, however, that this policy reversal wouldn’t have happened without ferocious opposition by businesses exercising their Constitutional right to petition their government. The Administration likes to portray lobbying as a dirty business, but in this case it seems to have been educational in saving President Obama from an economically damaging blunder.
(Background here) Ouch. Tough luck, there. On the bright side, at least the President kept his promises when it came to…
Question: If you are a Senator who has spent the last week bashing lobbyists in a desperate attempt to look like a populist, would you or would you not attend an elitist DSCC retreat designed to put Democratic politicians and K Street checkbooks in the same room?
After distancing himself from lobbyists in campaign ads, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) was on Martha’s Vineyard this weekend meeting with some of the most well known names on K Street.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) hosted its annual retreat this weekend at the high-class getaway. Designed for candidates to meet with senators for campaign advice and policy guidance, several high-powered lobbyists also attend and network with lawmakers during the retreat.
Dodd’s attendance at the retreat follows a series of web videos his campaign released promoting his populist credentials and highlighting the frustration some lobbyists are feeling with the senator, including quotes from anonymous lobbyists in news reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky has promised to return money from donors with ties to a troubled lobbying group, but critics say his ties to PMA Group run deep.
The northwest Indiana congressman’s former chief of staff worked as a lobbyist for the firm, and Federal Election Commission reports show he received at least $100,000 in contributions from donors tied to PMA Group between 2006 and 2008. PMA Group was the top donor to Visclosky’s 2008 re-election campaign.
K Street’s economy appears to be on the rebound as a number of firms are reporting a sharp increase in new clients, a trend lobbyists attributed to the new president’s far-reaching agenda.
The combination of a deepening recession and the distraction of the 2008 campaign, which kept Congress out of session for much of the latter half of last year, were blamed for pushing lobbying revenues down in 2008.
Since Nov. 4, however, several top firms have signed new clients at a pace exceeding the growth periods that followed previous election cycles. Lobbyists credited the recently passed stimulus package and anticipated policy fights touching on the energy, healthcare and financial-services sectors for the uptick.