Ever since the moment that our founding colonies ratified these words, “Governments instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and established that we the people were endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, namely “freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” Americans have been using a myriad of mechanisms by which to do just that - to “lobby” their elected representatives.The second fact is that all of those mechanisms are varying forms of “lobbying.” When one seeks to lobby elected representatives, he/she has several choices as to how to go about that task.They can…Send their money directly to the representative they hope to influenceSend their money to a political party in an effort to influence the entire partySend their money to a PAC (issue driven Political Action Committee) to influence the issuesSend their money to a 527 organization that shares their interests in certain policiesSend their money to their union, who will use it to collectively influence policy decisionsSend their money to a hired spokesperson, a lobbyist to speak on their behalf
Make no mistake… EVERY penny spent on politics or politicians, no matter the method, is a penny spent in an effort to influence policy decisions. So, when we discuss “lobbying” we must discuss all of the many ways Americans seek to influence public policy, as all of them are lobby efforts. They are all means by which the people use their free speech to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The Lobby Firm
Since Washington DC is largely run by lawyers, it should come as no surprise to anyone that lawyers and law firms find themselves the hired communicators of the politically active. The Top DC lobby
firms reads like a who’s who of the Bar Association.If one truly seeks to stop all hired lobbying in Washington DC, one should begin by not sending any more lawyers to Washington DC.So far in 2008, hired lobbyists have reported spending more than $88.7 million to influence Washington policies. The top 20 lobby clients
focus on numerous issues and they spend money on both sides of the political aisle. Where the money is spent only depends upon two factors… (1) Who has the power to make a difference? (2) Who is sympathetic to the cause?Whichever political party is in power is who will receive the lion’s share of the lobbyist funds. People who hire lobbyists expect results and you can’t get those results by spending money on people without power.If you are looking to follow lobbyist money, you must also follow the money of lawyers and law firms. So far for 2008, lawyers and law firms are the second largest private lobby in Washington DC giving more than $24.8 million, 75.7% of it to the Barack Obama campaign.
Individual Lobby Efforts
Individual private contributions make up an even larger portion of the overall lobby effort. To date in the 2008 presidential race, more than $149.3 million has been invested in the two remaining presidential candidates and again, every penny is an effort to influence public policy.$97.5 million (or 65.3%) has been invested in Barack Obama while $51.8 million (or 34.7%) has been invested in John McCain.Here’s a factual glimpse at where all that money is coming from and who is getting it. (This is only the Top 24 lobby groups.)
Securities & Investment
Civil Servants/Public Officials
Printing & Publishing
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing
The next time you are pondering the leftist bent in the print media, note that the people working in that industry give 100% to the leftist candidate.If you wonder how leftist ideas get woven throughout the TV shows and movies you watch, note that the very politically active entertainment industry gives more than 85% to leftists candidates and causes.Note also that while retirees are the nation’s largest lobby group, they are only the largest lobby group for John McCain. Lawyers are the biggest lobby group for Barack Obama.There are some other interesting trends in the numbers above, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from these facts.
The PAC Method
The Top 20 PACs have thus far invested more than $34.4 million in the 2008 election. Again, Obama wins with more than 70.5% of these funds, compared to McCain’s paltry 29.5%.Here’s the list of the Top 20 PACS and whom they support…
National Assn of Realtors
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Operating Engineers Union
American Assn for Justice
National Beer Wholesalers Assn
American Bankers Assn
National Auto Dealers Assn
Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union
International Assn of Fire Fighters
National Air Traffic Controllers Assn
Air Line Pilots Assn
Service Employees International Union
Credit Union National Assn
Sheet Metal Workers Union
United Parcel Service
American Dental Assn
The 527 Organization Option
The McCain-Feingold effort to get “funny money” out of the political system only changed how that money is funneled into the political system. The ill-advised legislation brought about the advent of the 527 organization before the ink was dry on the bill.527’s have thus far invested more than $53.3 million in the 2008 cycle. Is there any doubt who wins in the arena of 527 sludge money? Can you say “George Soros?” Here’s the Top 20 list… you guess whom they are funding.
Service Employees International Union
Soros Fund Management
Oak Spring Farms Llc
Las Vegas Sands
United Brotherhood Of Carpenters
Fund for America
United Food & Commercial Workers Intl Un
America Votes 2006
Friends of America Votes
Sheet Metal Workers Union
National Assn of Realtors
Trust Asset Management
American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees
Internation Union of Operating Engineers
American Financial Group
More than 80% of these funds support Barack Obama and other left leaning causes.
The “Bundler” Alternative
McCain-Feingold also ushered in the practice of “bundlers,” and although when push comes to shove for open campaign disclosure, the campaigns will name the “bundlers,” they never name the individuals where the money originated. This is the slickest trick I have seen in years!We have NO idea where this money is coming from. While the “bundler” is eventually named under duress, we still have no idea where the “bundler” got all of that money.We know for certain that foreign (sometimes enemy) states and organizations have funneled funny money into the system, because we have watched several Democrats return millions of illegal campaign contributions once caught accepting illegal contributions. The practice of bundling provided the much desirable escape route for politicians caught taking, say, $800,000 in illegal funds from the Red Chinese government, like Hillary Clinton did.When caught, they simply blame the bundler, return the money in question, and walk away O.J. free to accept more blind bundled money tomorrow. If Bin Laden, Red China, the EU or Iran wish to help America decide who our next president will be, they need only send money to a “bundler”. What a great racket!Since the old Clinton Clan, who has been caught in this act and forced to return money several times now, is largely in charge of the Obama campaign and Obama has set world records in fund raising, much of it via “bundlers,” many are reasonably asking
for a trail to where all of that money is coming from. But don’t expect an answer to this reasonable question until after the fall election. In fact, don’t even expect the mainstream news media to demand an answer until after their guy is president elect…
The Candidate of NO Lobbyist Money?
I know what you are thinking. This started out reading like a fact based piece on real lobby money in the political system and ended up reading like a hit piece on Barack Obama. You’re thinking that this is what you should have expected from a biased right-winger like JB Williams, and you’re right.Like every other political writer or reporter, I do indeed have my own personal views and that alone makes me biased.I am indeed very biased towards the hard facts. Unlike my little leftist friends who blindly follow their charismatic leaders like sheep, or allow their left-wing ideology to drive their facts, I allow the facts to drive my ideology. I am unabashedly biased in favor of cold hard facts and every number presented in this piece is cold hard fact!So, you tell me… Do the facts matter?Every penny invested in politics is a penny spent in an effort to influence policy. Since Barack Obama is the clear hands down winner in every category of lobby efforts, is he the candidate of NO lobbyist money?If you look close, you will note that McCain lists “lobbyists” as his 18th largest contributor group, giving a reported $736 thousand dollars, and that Obama shows lobbyists nowhere on his list, as if he has never taken a penny from lobbyists.But look closer at the $1.5 million “other” column on Obama’s list and then write a letter to the Obama campaign and ask how many “lobbyist” wives have contributed to the Obama campaign…Oh yeah, don’t forget to ask for a detailed list of individual contributors donating through blind “bundlers.” The most interesting story of the year could be hidden in those bundled funds!Or, do you find the cold hard facts to be offensive and unfair?