POLITICAL PARTY POOPER

WE WON'T BE SAFE WHILE POLITICAL PARTIES ARE LEGAL

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Who Does Tom Petri Represent?

Posted by politicalpartypooper on March 10, 2011

Congressperson Tom Petri (R-WI) sits on the leadership committees for Transportation and Infrastructure.

In 2010, all five of his largest supporters came from groups that would directly benefit from legislation that Petri had influence in.  Those largest industries were as follows:

Top 5 Industries, 2009-2010, Campaign Cmte

Industry Total Indivs PACs
Air Transport $108,450 $250 $108,200
Railroads $47,500 $2,000 $45,500
Transportation Unions $39,500 $0 $39,500
Construction Services $38,500 $0 $38,500
Building Trade Unions $23,000 $0 $23,000

At first glance, it would seem that the Republican distrust of unions is only relevant when unions are not giving them money.  Otherwise, unions are just fine.  Our second glance shows some very disturbing data.  First, of all of Petri’s fund raising efforts ($737,000 for 2010), over 70% of it comes from PACs.  That’s special interests, in case you were wondering.  Who would have a special interest in Petri?  Why, transportation and infrastructure, of course!  The very sector that he helps oversee.

Why would industries within the Transportation and Infrastructure be so “interested” in Petri?  Why would would they shower him with campaign money?  Is it because he’s a good guy?  Is it because they believe in his politics, and want to show their undying support of him?

Hardly.  They bestow these gifts upon him in an effort to influence legislation that he has oversight on.  Of course, Tom Petri would never admit that.  It’s amazing that Petri can hold a straight face while he tells Wisconsin that he’s going back to Washington to make sure we are well represented.  That list of owners…ahem…donors, indicates otherwise.  It indicates that powers outside of Wisconsin’s 6th District have more of Petri’s attention than the State that sent him to Washington.

Whatever shall we do about that?     Ω

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Rep. Tom Petri (R) Will Have a Formiddable Opponent In 2012: Me

Posted by politicalpartypooper on August 3, 2010

I live in Wisconsin’s sixth district, and am represented by Tom Petri, Republican.  It’s just about time to end that.

I don’t want to be represented by a Republican who believes that Supply-side economics works, or that tax cuts create jobs.  I don’t want to be represented by the special interests that he has collected; groups like the Railroad Industry in Wisconsin, or the Air Transport Industry, Attorney Groups, Public Worker Unions, Boeing, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, amongst a slew of others.  In essence, I don’t want to be representd by a career politician who has never held a real job in his life, and has sucked off of the public teat for too long.

I don’t want to be represented by a man who:

* Voted NO on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation, but voted yes on it two years prior. (Jul 2009)

* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)  Are you kidding me, Tom?  Are we living in Afghanistan?

* Voted NO on regulating the subprime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007)  We see how well that turned out, don’t we, Tom?

* Voted YES on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013. (Jun 2008) Now you can see how all that railroad money really came in handy.

* Voted YES on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. (May 2000)  Free Trade has destroyed our economy.  Thanks, Tom.

* Voted Yes on every Free Trade agreement, and also voted yes on ‘Fast Track’ authority for trade agreements.  Can’t wait to betray American workers, can you, Tom?

If I can get the required signatures, and save and raise a small amount of cash to begin an effective, responsible campaign, I’ll be running against Tom Petri in 2012 as the Wisconsin State Representative for our Sixth District, as an Independent.  I’ve had enough.  So have the people of my district and of Wisconsin.  It’s time to end the shipping and outsourcing of American jobs to places where the employee has no rights, earns almost nothing, and has no protection against the American corporations exploiting them.  Goodness, I thought we cleared all of this up in the early 1900’s, when we got rid of sweat shops, the seven day, sixty hour work week, asbestos and a whole host of other things that Petri apparently wants to resurrect. How about we resurrect some American jobs, Mr. Petri, instead of shipping them overseas as fast as we can?

For the people of my beloved sixth district , start asking Tom Petri one question and one question only; Where are the  jobs?

“Why, they’re overseas, where I sent them” He’ll respond.

It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.     Ω

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Bailed Out Bastards Busy Bribing (ahem, “contributing” to the campaigns of) Elected Officials

Posted by politicalpartypooper on July 31, 2010

I was just browsing around today at Open Secrets. org when I noticed that Citigroup has contributed $853,930 to PAC’s and Individual Campaigns for 2010.  Citigroup; the bank that American taxpayers bailed out to the tune of $45 Billion, only $31 Billion of which has been paid back.  So let me get this straight; I bailed them out because they didn’t have any money.  I know that’s simplistic, but stick with me.  They were bailed out because they could not meet their obligations as a bank..translation: had no money.  But for 2010 they have $850,000 to use to influence legislation.  Sounds logical.  I hope if I ever owe The Feds $14 Billion that they’ll look the other way while I try to bribe my favorite elected officials.

It gets worse.  In 2008, the year they “discovered” that they needed a bailout, they spent $4,898,038 on bribing elected officials.  Isn’t that sort of like going on a shopping spree with every credit card you have  after you’ve discovered that you have to file for bankruptcy?  Am I missing something?  Oh yeah, Democrats received over 60% of that Citigroup money, so the next time a Democrat tries to tell you that they are the party of responsibility and morals, laugh at them and cite this statistic.  Don’t forget to laugh; that’s important.  An Elmer Fudd-like Barney Frank laugh will do nicely.  “I’m bugewwing smaw fuwwy woodwand kweechoes..hahahahahahah”.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also begun to bribe elected officials, again, after taking a one year hiatus in 2009.  Freddie Mac has contributed $21,250 while Fannie Mae dished out $17,241.  I know, those seem like small amounts, but still, can you afford to give that much?  Combined, Fannie and Freddie received almost $150 Billion in bailouts.  To date, NOT ONE PENNY has been paid back.  We believe that an additional $150 Billion may be required for Fannie and Freddie to meet their disastrous mortgage-backed-security obligations in the future.  Did you catch the part about “to date, NOT ONE PENNY has been paid back”?

Okay, maybe I was too hasty with Citigroup.  They at least made some effort to pay their debts.  Fannie and Freddie have made no effort, nor do they even have the ability to do so.  Will someone please tell me what the fuck either one of them is doing “contributing” to political campaigns and PACs?  That any one of our elected officials would so much as accept a dollar donation from either of these two deadbeats says more about that elected official than it does about Fannie or Freddie.  Scum.

Here’s a link to a website that does a bang-up job of tracking the bailouts; who received how much and what they’ve paid back.  AIG is on there, having received $70 Billion in bailout money, having paid NOT ONE RED CENT back, and having donated $33,202 so far in 2010.  Seventy Billion Free Money.  Paid not one red cent back.  But has enough money to bribe elected officials.  Yup.  Makes perfect sense.

Do you want me to go on?  Or have you had enough, yet?  Is your blood beginning to boil?  Here’s more:

General Motors, received $51 Billion, only paid back $7 Billion, donated $10,918 for 2010.

Had enough?  Me, too.  This is sickening.

May the elected officials who have accepted money from these bailout bastards rot in hell.  There is no excuse…none, for this type of behavior from our elected officials.  I ask you; who but a party hack elected official would think it’s kosher to accept money from firms that are using taxpayer money to bribe them?  Get on the horns, people; it’s time to damage some eardrums.     Ω

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The DISCLOSE Act: Well…Not EVERYONE Has to Disclose…Just Certain Groups We don’t Like

Posted by politicalpartypooper on July 27, 2010

The DISCLOSE Act…I ask you…

The “Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections” Act was passed by the House in late June, and is now up for debate or consideration in the Senate.  The bill is a Democratic response to the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v FEC (Federal Elecetions Commission).  I was vocal about that decision and shaken by how silly the Court’s opinions were over the matter; in essence calling corporations citizens and having the same rights as citizens, such as free speech.  What it all boils down to is money.  Corporations want the same rights that charities have to influence elections through contributions and ads.  The DISCLOSE Act aims to force any person or corporation to identify themselves as the contributor behind the ad or donation. Republicans, surprise, surprise, have decided to filibuster.

Democrats are screaming bloody murder, and if I hadn’t paid attention, I would be, too.  But Republicans are crying foul, and it turns out, they have a point. What Democrats aren’t telling America is that non-profit organizations, AARP, and the NRA are all exempt from the provisions within the bill.  In other words, anyone Democrats want to exempt get exempted, while corporations and individuals don’t.

It’s politics as usual.  This bill should have been a slam dunk…a simple exercise, and instead, Democrats turned it into a political nightmare.  That Republicans are claiming the Democrats are trying to rig the game comes as no surprise; they say that about everything.  But in this case, it looks like they have a point.

Here’s where I rant.

What the fuck?!  If shedding light on campaign spending is your goal, why in the world are you exempting ANYONE?

ANYONE!!!

Do you know what it looks like?  It looks like favoritism, corruption.  What in the hell were Democrats thinking?  They want to exempt non-profits and charities from disclosing where their contributions went?  Why???????!!!  What’s the fucking point of that?  Don’t they see how this looks?  Are they really that brain-dead?

President Obama, shame on you!  How can you call this bill the DISCLOSE Act and allow exemptions from it?  How can you support such a hacking of the political process?  This looks no better than the Citizen United decision.

Seriously; that’s how bad it looks.     Ω

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Republicans, Democrats Share The Blame For America In Wonderland

Posted by politicalpartypooper on July 13, 2010

We got us some anger issues in this country.  We got Democrats hating Republicans, conservatives hating liberals, and both groups blaming each other for every ill that ever occurred…ever.  We got both sides stretching the truth or outright lying, using fear to manipulate their constituents, and demagogic rhetoric to stir up tensions.

You see?  This is what you get when you allow political parties to run your country.  Sooner or later, political parties always devolve into demagoguery.  The tug-of-war for power is so consuming that over time, that fight for power becomes the most important thing between two opposing ideologies.  And the things that get lost in that fight for power are the things that matter most.  Here’s a list of things that have exited in the last ten years:

1. The truth.  No one could call what both parties regularly podiumize (new word: to stand at a podium and preach ideology) about the truth.

2. Civility.  Needs no explanation, except to say that if we continue down the road we are on, a second civil war is not out of the question.

3.  Credible Press coverage of just about anything having to do with politics or what’s best for America.  The demagogues get most of the air time now, and there are two cable news networks almost totally dedicated to attacking the other party and protecting their own ideological favorite.  And Americans are supposed to make informed decisions from this unprofessional delivery of “news”?

4.What’s actually best for America.  Instead of rolling sleeves up and doing actual work, politicians now roll sleeves up because it looks good on camera…apparently.  Washington has become a prize, and both parties could give a damn about what is best for America so long as they win the majority of seats in Congress.  Once they do, the opposing party immediately sets to attacking and destroying their “agenda”, rather than compromising and setting to work to do what’s right for America.  They can say they don’t really want their opponents to fail until they are blue in the face.  Their actions speak far louder, and it is those deeds that say, “hell yes! we want you to fail so we can win!  We don’t care if it destroys America too!  Just so we get to be in power!”

5.  Hope.  Got some?

6.  The little guy.  Today in America, if you can’t give your elected officials thousands upon thousands of dollars, you are not important in the political process.  Party hackery devolves into corporate welfare while hundreds of millions of Americans are told to stop whining.  Take the Financial Services Reform bill, for example.  How many “little Americans” had any say in what was included?  Now ask yourself, how many wealthy Americans and banks-too-big-to-fuck-with had plenty to say about what was in it?  Follow the money and look at the end product.  And the Democrats will celebrate the bill as a  “sweeping overhaul of our financial services industry and a major victory for Main Street, America”.  In three, two, one…

There’s more, but I figured I’d let you add your own, if you are willing.   There’s plenty to write about here with America in Wonderland.    Ω

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Barney Frank Sells America Out Again.

Posted by politicalpartypooper on June 24, 2010

Barney Frank, henceforth to be known as Elmer Fudd, is trying his best to grenade any meaningful derivatives reform from his seat as the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.  Here’s why:  In 2010, he has received $127,800 from the Securities and Investment sector.  That money was meant to buy something, and now we know what.

Barney Frank, you are a despicable, miserable excuse for a human being.  From someone who knows the derivatives sector, and knows that meaningful regulation is necessary in order to avoid yet another Wall Street bailout, I’m telling anyone who reads this blog that what Frank has proposed will guarantee that banks will continue to hide behind the government when they make large bets that they suddenly can’t cover.

Atta boy Barney Frank!  Congratulations on selling real Americans out yet again.  You’ll win the Oscar this year for sure for your FAKE anger at Wall Street in 2008.  Now go and take your fake anger and your fake compassion and shove it.  When America has friends like you, who needs traitors?     Ω

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It’s Time To Prosecute Elected Officials For The Gulf Oil Spill

Posted by politicalpartypooper on May 23, 2010

One quart of oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of drinking water.  With the ongoing diarrhea of Deepwater Horizon, a former Oil Platform that exploded and spewed uncontrolled amounts of poop into the ocean, operated by British Petroleum, the amount of fresh water that stands to be contaminated is reaching the incalculable level, especially if you consider that every drop of rain that hits the poop-like sludge that has become the Louisiana wetlands will be instantly contaminated before it ever hits the water table, polluting  everything it touches on its way down.  Groundwater aquifers in the Gulf States will be completely polluted for longer than man will be around.

I think it’s time to hurt BP like they’ve hurt our nation.  Anybody interested in doing a little bit of naked short selling on their stock?  Seriously, I think that kind of tactic is the only thing that will get their attention, along with our elected officials attention.  Make no mistake, BP is only guilty because they manage platforms according to the lowest common denominator, which is basically, “Whatever the EPA lets us get away with, we’re going to do.”

In the end, it is our government; the EPA, and every last one of our elected officials who suck the cocks of big oil.  Democrats get special consideration for being the Party in power while the shit was allowed to spill into the Gulf, but Republicans also get special attention because they typically receive twice the amount of money from Big Oil as Democrats do, with far fewer elected officials.  Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln received the most money to date from Big oil.  In Congress, it was Democratic Congressman Dan Boren as the deepest throat.

Deepwater Horizon and the Gulf Oil Spill is just one more thing to lay at the feet of the two political parties in our nation.  Even a gas-fired boiler has to have two fail-safe safety valves in the gas train that feeds the boiler, according to national regulations.  But somehow, the EPA and every last one of our elected officials failed to see the necessity for a back-up fail-safe system on an oil rig that could potentially destroy the entire freshwater supply of every coastline area in the Gulf for thousands of years to come.  Oversight?  Not likely.  Not when you consider how much money Big Oil gives our elected officials and the two Parties each and every year to keep things as unregulated as possible.

You can go ahead and blame BP if you want, and believe me, there’s plenty they can be blamed for. But they were only doing what the Federal Government allowed them to do, willingly.  This isn’t an oversight.  This is criminal neglect by every Federally elected official in America.  Who of them will actually be prosecuted?

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The Most Vanilla Audit Ever; Scoping Out The Fed.

Posted by politicalpartypooper on May 12, 2010

From the Huffington Post:

The amendment to open the Fed to a one-time audit of its lending between December 1, 2007 and the present passed 96-0.

Good.  We’re auditing the Federal Reserve Bank.  One time.  From December 1, 2007 until today.  Awesome.

While this represents a small step in Fed transparency, it doesn’t come close to what The People asked for, which was an audit that went back to the mid-nineties and was ongoing.  I am sure we will see a few things that most citizens won’t like, but I am also sure that the Fed and its Wall Street friends have more than enough money to buy the “proper” spin from both parties.

I have questions.  Who does the audit?  Congress?  If so, then we might as well not audit them at all.  If you want a real audit, it has to be done by independent accountants, and preferably not by a huge accounting firm that gives millions to Washington, but by individuals hired to sit a commission; accountants without ties to Washington or politics.  Accountants who will know fraud, waste, and abuse when they see it, and whose first call won’t be to the Fed or to the sitting Congressional chairman, but to his superior, who will call the District Attorney (or Attorney General, whoever has jurisdiction).

The measure passed 96-0.  When I see votes like that, I immediately think “political posturing, photo-op.”  This is a populist issue, and Congress can read tea leaves.  But you just know that they have already figured out how to make this audit the most vanilla audit ever.    Ω

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A STRONGLY-WORDED LETTER TO MY ELECTED OFFICIALS

Posted by politicalpartypooper on December 24, 2009

The Senate has just passed its version of the Health Care Reform Bill.  This would be the perfect moment for them to start work on the next most important legislation; Lobbying, PAC, and Campaign Finance Reform.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  “Yeah, but Pooper, shouldn’t we have tackled that before we attempted health care reform?”

Bingo!  And why should we have done so?  Because watching this health care reform process was like having all of your teeth pulled under the influence of a sensory enhancer, while being seduced by Greta the five hundred pound gorilla.

Headlines could have read like the following:  Public option on!  Public option off!  Reform has enough votes!  Reform Dead!  Death Panels…oh noes!

The statistics for lobbying influence are staggering, but one statistic rises above all others:  In the last year, over $870,000 was spent a day by lobbyists and special interest groups trying to influence AMERICAN health care reform.  If the average health insurance premium was $12,000 per year for a family of four, 105,850 people could have received free health insurance for a year.  Instead, insurers spent that money finding ways to prevent those people from ever receiving health care.

But don’t blame the insurers, or the lobbyists, or the special interest groups, or the PACs.  It’s not their fault.  Criminals will generally do whatever they can get away with.  You see, your elected officials let them do this.  In fact, they invite it, welcome it, and foam at the mouth at the mere mention of ending it.  “That’s how business is done in Washington!”, they say.

So I wrote this letter to a few of our elected officials, to try and explain how real Americans feel about the way business is done in Washington.

Dear Senator Sellout,

It  came to my attention today that you helped pass a health care reform bill for America.  Congratulations!  I hope you are able to sleep better this Christmas eve, as you brag to your constituents about how you helped enable needed reform.  If you are a Republican, ignore that last.  I know you have no problem sleeping with a guilty conscience.  Sweet dreams, asshole.

I’d like to take this time to implore you to pass our next bit of badly needed reform; which, if you would allow me the honor of naming it, shall be called, “The American Act of Ending Congressional Corruption and the General Prostitution of its Members.”  Subtitled, “End the Bendover”

If you would also please allow me to explain why Americans feels  this is so necessary, I can sum it up in nine words:  We think all of you are on the take.  And it isn’t just a few of us who believe that.  All of us think it.  Do you get that?  Do you even understand the difference between “a few” and “all”, you dumbass?

Before you send me that form letter via email, please take some time to think about an actual response.  You see, Americans have been screaming at you for several decades to stop being whores.  We’ve been trying to get your attention, but apparently, voting you out of office every six years isn’t getting the job done.  So we’ve decided that some plain language is needed.

Senator, when are you going to stop bending over for Special Interests?  Don’t you even realize that what you are allowing when you accept soft money or lobbying dollars looks like outright bribery?  Wouldn’t it be better if all Americans had a reason to stop calling you a slut?

Which brings me to my next point.  One hundred percent of Americans who actually don’t have a lobbying job, or aren’t a CEO or a Congressperson, or have a twenty million dollar check of their own to buy legislation want you to end this assfucking.  It’s not fifty percent, it’s not fifty-one percent, or even sixty percent.  It’s one hundred percent, as in, all the rest of us.  So please, when drafting your response, do not use the excuse, “We are doing everything we can, but at this moment, public support for such change is softer than my pre-Viagra dick.”  I can assure you, Mr. Elected Official, if there’s one thing Americans have a Stiffy for, it’s corruption.

Now, recently, we saw how the health care reform bill was affected by all of that special interest money.  To which I can only ask, wouldn’t it have been easier to pass this bill without the mafia sending you offers you could not refuse?  I understand that you only make $170,000 a year, and that a cushy lobbying job paying you easily twice that much is yours so long as you never enact needed reform, but seriously, Mr. Elected Official, could you at least try to make it look like you aren’t a crook?  Would you please make one attempt, one pitifully small effort, at the very least, to introduce legislation ending the bending over?

You see, in the last three decades, you haven’t even tried.  Oh, you talk about it every time you run for office, because hey! That’s what Americans want to hear!  You kiss the babies, and recycle the same issues every two to six years.  Pardon me, Mr. Senator, but I don’t want you kissing my daughter with the same lips that just sucked the cocks of the entire board of Blue Cross/Blue Shield.  Could you at least disinfect them with Boric Acid?  I realize that I am implying you are an insect when I suggest you use an insecticide to disinfect yourself, but really, cockroaches shouldn’t have feelings, and neither should cocksuckers.

So the general gist of my letter to you, Mr. Elected Official, is that we, real Americans, know what you are.  You aren’t fooling us.  We aren’t stupid, even though you treat us like we are.  We call a spade a spade, and a cocksucking whore a cocksucking whore.   What part of “End the corruption in Washington!!!!!” don’t you understand?  Why do you insist upon making us call you names, like whore, cocksucker, crook, slut, traitor, bastard, liar, swindler, prostitute, butthole, buttfucking motherfucker, Nazi, Judas, Jesus-jumped-up-fuckstick, baby-kissing-antichrist, or just plain stupid?  Why?

We want to love you!  But you make it so goddamned hard!  You make us want to lynch you, instead.  Even using  plain language, like “Goddammit!  How could you take the side of the special interests who CAUSED our most recent recession” doesn’t seem to get your attention.

We want change.  We want it now.  All it takes is for you to get some balls, and stop relying on your sugar-daddies for your lovin’.  We already pay for your health care insurance, as well as your salary AND your complete retirement pension.  In exchange for that, you give us a continuous assraping that a Catholic Priest would be proud of.

And don’t tell me that Congress just won’t have the time to take up this type of reform for 2010, an election year.  You had the time to pass legislation naming 2009 as the International Year of the Reef.  Important legislation, I am sure, but I ask you…really?

What the fuck do you think we are?  Stupid?  You must, because you keep accepting bribes, and you never, ever even attempt to explain yourselves to the American people.  Do you know what that’s called?  Let me spell it for you.

I-L-L-E-G-A-L

As in, unconstitutional.  Nine-tenths of you passed the bar exam; I am sure you understand what I-L-L-E-G-A-L  means.  And if you don’t, maybe we ought to revisit just how difficult we make the aforementioned bar exam.  We like to think we send our best and our brightest to Washington.  I guess it’s turning out we really only send our biggest idiots there.

Well, Mr. Elected Official, we are sick of it.  We are tired of being told to bend over and take it up the ass while you fly away on your lobbyist-sponsored junket to the Bahamas.  Trust me, they don’t want you there.  And they don’t want you in Vegas, or Hawaii, or Iraq, or Mexico, or Vale, or anywhere else for that matter.  What they want is you, in Washington, doing your fucking job without your lips around the cock of the nearest lobbyist.  Do you get that?  We want it finished!  Do you need me to spell that, too?

N-O   M-O-R-E   C-O-C-K-S-U-C-K-I-N-G   O-F   L-O-B-B-Y-I-S-T-S   B-Y    O-U-R    E-L-E-C-T-E-D     O-F-F-I-C-I-A-L-S  !!!

Besides, it’s unsanitary.

Mr. Elected Official, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this, but if you’ve gotten this far, you probably already know that you ought to be thanking me for not doing what I really wanted to do, which was to send you a gun with one bullet, and an attached note saying, “Do the right thing”.  You see, I have a heart, too, plus, I couldn’t trust that you would understand that kind of note…I thought you might be tempted to use it on one of your staff instead.  And don’t act all indignant because I just called you stupid.  The evidence of your asininity is overwhelming; you haven’t understood what the American people have been telling you for decades.  Need I say more?

Indeed not.

Have a nice day.

Yours truly,

Politicalpartypooper

Ps:  The paper this letter was written on is ninety-two percent recycled.  Just before putting it in my printer, I wiped my ass with it…just in case you were wondering what that wonderful “bouquet” was.

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE AND CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS EXPOSES HOW ENTRENCHED LOBBYISTS INFLUENCED HEALTH CARE REFORM

Posted by politicalpartypooper on December 21, 2009

An article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune by Andrew Zajac yesterday illustrates why Lobbying Reform is so necessary.  Entitled How Health Lobbyists Influenced Reform Bill, the article highlighted many of the reasons why Americans believe their government no longer listens to them.  Amongst some of the eye-popping statistics were these:

The lineup of insiders working for clients with health care interests includes at least 14 former aides to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and at least 13 former aides to MontanaSen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee and a key overseer of the health care overhaul.

and

At least 166 former aides from the nine congressional leadership offices and five committees involved in shaping health overhaul legislation — along with at least 13 former lawmakers — registered to represent at least 338 health care clients since the beginning of last year, according to the analysis.

Their health care clients spent $635 million on lobbying over the past two years, the study shows.

How can normal people compete with lobbying firms that dish out hundreds of millions of dollars to influence legislation that impacts all Americans?  Why should Americans believe that their elected officials are representing them, when all evidence points to the contrary?  Even more importantly, why are our elected officials not doing anything about this?  Why is legislation that has been influenced by millions of dollars the norm?

Earlier this year, the Christian Science Church hired a former Kennedy staffer, Carolyn Osolinik, and three of her colleagues at the Mayer Brown law firm, all veterans of Capitol Hill. The firm has been paid at least $110,000 so far to push a provision requiring insurers to consider covering Christian Science prayer treatments.

Phil Davis, a senior official of the church, said the church wanted access to decision makers. “The noise level goes sky high. It’s hard to get in to talk to people,” he said.

Now we have churches hiring lobbyists so that prayer treatments can be included in a bill?  What’s next?  Will Vegas lobby Congress to include Federal dollars for oddsmakers to predict the final vote?  Maybe that’s a stretch; then again…maybe not.

Your Senator and Congressperson is being influenced by big money.  What this article shows is that not only does legislation bear the markings of bribery and cronyism, but that the revolving door between Congress and lobbying has been one of our nation’s most effective jobs program.

Kudos to the Chicago Tribune for including this link showing who the biggest offenders were.

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