Lobbying in Washington
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Along with America’s permanent war agenda, lobbying is practically the national pastime, undemocratic Dems as complicit with influence-peddling and seeking lobbyists as Republicans.
Studies show lobbying works. Money spent produces huge returns, the more spent, the greater the bottom line result.
Individuals involved include former politicians and administration officials well-connected to current ones, easing access to them.
In his inaugural address, Trump said “(f)or too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”
“Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth…That all changes, starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you.”
Straightaway in office, his pledge went out the window. Dirty business flourishes like always.
For time immemorial, notably since the neoliberal 90s, his predecessors operated the same way, serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of ordinary Americans, abused and exploited.
Obama promised change, a new course, sweeping government reforms, addressing people needs, and “ensur(ing) that the hopes and concerns of average Americans speak louder in Washington than the hallway whispers of high-priced lobbyists” – the same ones who bought and owned him throughout his tenure.
Promises made while campaigning are broken once in office – the way things in Washington work.
It’s longstanding practice in America, dating from the early days of the republic. Ulysses S. Grant reportedly met with favor seekers in Washington’s Willard hotel.
Lobbying in the nation’s capital began long before his administration. It’s defined as a form of advocacy, intending to influence government decision-making.
What went on long ago pales in comparison to current corrupt practices. Human rights groups and other advocates for ordinary Americans can’t match the power of monied interests, spending whatever it takes to get what they want.
During one of his fundraisers, Obama lied saying “(w)e don’t take a dime from DC lobbyists or special interest PACs – never have and never will.”
Attorney Joseph Sandler was an American Bar Association task force member involved in recommending changes to federal lobbying laws to improve disclosure and reduce conflicts of interest.
He explained “(t)here’s a lot of activity that ordinary people would think of as lobbying that doesn’t trigger the obligation to register as a lobbyist under federal law. Strategic advice is one of those kinds of things…”
Lobbying occurs in various forms, serving client interests. Obama thrived on so-called “bundlers,” raising millions of dollars for his campaigns – individuals involved from Wall Street and other predatory corporate interests. None were registered as federal lobbyists.
Paying to play is how the dirty game works, the more paid, the greater the return.
On January 21, the NYT headlined “Lobbyists Romp in Trump’s Washington,” citing information from Public Citizen, advocating for ordinary Americans.
It documented dozens of examples of lobbyists seeking to influence his administration’s decision-making.
The Times: “(W)hat is clear is that Mr. Trump and Republicans in Congress have been doing corporate interests’ bidding…”
It’s “clear” that his predecessors operated the same dirty way. So do House and Senate members now and earlier.
Washington’s swamp is too corrupted to change. The only solution is grassroots revolution. Nothing else can work, voting a waste of time.
Elections when held are farcical. They all turn out the same way. Dirty business as usual always wins.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”