Lobbyists invited to the Republican retreat?

Oh yes, of course they are! From ABC:

The day after President Barack Obama urged members of Congress to be more transparent about their interactions with lobbyists, the House Republican Caucus headed up Interstate 95 for a retreat where they will be able to mingle privately with… lobbyists.

The annual retreat, sponsored by a non-profit group called the Congressional Institute, is meant to be a chance for members to escape the Beltway to talk about big ideas, hear from rising stars in the party, media pundits, and even visit with President Obama, who will address the caucus Friday.

In between these work sessions, though, there will be less formal gatherings involving several of the Institute’s 14-member board of directors. The vast majority of the Institute’s board is made up by top Capitol Hill lobbyists whose clients include leading drug manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and such major corporations as American Express and Verizon.

Institute Executive Director Mark Strand said the entire event has been scrubbed for potential ethics problems, and everything will be done above board. He explained it this way:

“The institute’s supporters, who include lobbyists, do not plan, attend or participate in any session of the annual conference. They are invited to a reception and dinner and depart the next morning,” he said.(emphasis mine)

“Such a courtesy for a tax-exempt organization’s supporters is commonplace and within ethical rules,” Strand added. “All members of Congress who participate in the conference pay their own expenses. The Institute does not employ a lobbyist nor does it engage in lobbying.”

Oh…and there will be no “transparency” during the reception and dinner, meaning the press will not be allowed to attend. Chew on these facts regarding lobbying Congress:

Last year Washington lobbyists netted $3.2 billion, a 13.7 percent increase from 2007, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, aka OpenSecrets.org

And it’s the industries most affected by the economic downturn that seem to be doing much of the spending: finance, insurance and real estate, the group found. 

Fucking carpetbaggers. Nothing turns my stomach more than lobbyists. Nothing. They are the hyena pack, ready to surround and consume whatever they see as a threat to their bottom line, regardless of the consequences to Main Street and the average Joe and Jill American. Below is a list from OpenSecrets of the top 20 corporations and what they spent to lobby Congress in 2009:

US Chamber of Commerce                                                    $73,899,200
Exxon Mobil                                                                           $27,430,000
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America                                $26,150,520
General Electric                                                                       $21,470,000
AARP                                                                                     $21,010,000
American Medical Assn                                                           $20,830,000
Chevron Corp                                                                         $20,815,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                            $20,067,939
Pfizer Inc                                                                                $19,669,268
National Assn of Realtors                                                        $19,477,000
Verizon Communications                                                         $17,820,000
FedEx Corp                                                                            $17,000,000
Boeing Co                                                                               $16,850,000
National Cable & Telecommunications Assn                            $15,980,000
Northrop Grumman                                                                 $15,180,000
Lockheed Martin                                                                     $13,533,782
Business Roundtable                                                                $13,410,000
ConocoPhillips                                                                         $13,382,079
American Hospital Assn                                                           $13,230,696
Altria Group                                                                             $12,770,000

Ain’t that some shit?  Makes me wanna beat someone about the head and shoulders with a Louisville Slugger.

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About Dusty, hells most vocal bitch

I am a..brown Cali bitch that is quite the opinionated,political, pain-in-the-ass, in your face kinda girl that also loves baseball and music to a fault. Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.--Albert Einstein-*

Posted on January 31, 2010, in Lobbyists, Republican spinzone. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. If anyone thinks after Obama met with these people on Friday that significant change if any will happen is living a delusion.

  2. I agree OF. Sad but oh so fucking true.

  3. Anything a Louisville Slugger can do, a shotgun butt can do better, IMO.

    ;>)

  4. DB!!!!! Good to see ya here sweet man. 😉 As for the shotgun butt vs the Slugger..A bat is cheaper than a shotgun. 😛

  5. I hate the US Chamber of Commerce.  Not only do they represent the most corrupt corporate interests, they lobby against civil rights laws.

  6. Yep, they are douche nozzles of the highest order Libhomo.

  7.  Anti working American groups all of them.    My biggest hatred is for the US Chamber of Commerce.  Those fuckers sell working Americans out more than any other organization.  I think they're a Chinese front organization.

  8. A closer examination of the open secrets data shows the dems get more lobbyist money than repubs.  Even moreso of wall street cash and especially hedge fund managers.

  9. Obama Hypocrisy Watch: Obama Rips Lobbyists, Then Gives Them Private Briefings This is what Obama said in the State of the Union address: We face a deficit of trust – deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years. To close that credibility gap we must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to give our people the government they deserve. From The Hill: A day after bashing lobbyists, President Barack Obama’s administration has invited K Street insiders to join private briefings on a range of topics addressed in Wednesday’s State of the Union. The invitation stated, “The White House is encouraging you to participate in these calls and will have a question and answer session at the end of each call. As a reminder, these calls are not intended for press purposes.”…A handful of lobbyists told The Hill on Thursday morning that they received the invitations and were planning to call in.

  10. No change is going to come from inside a corrupt system.  To me, it looks like we can suck it up or take it to the streets.  I've heard rumors of nationwide progressive demonstrations this coming July 4th, but I can't find any information except a letter between a rabbi and Howard Zinn.

    If there is a demonstration, I don't reckon there's any need to be particularly peaceful.  The president may have to be nice on account of he's got his own fish to fry, but we don't.  We're screwed already.

    I feel like setting things on fire.

  11. See, not long ago I would have asked, what exactly seperates this event from bribery? The amount that these guys “paid” to attend this event I'm sure was no where near what it cost (and where did they get the money they paid with from – taxpayer dollars? campaign war-chests, i.e., lobbyist money, anyway?).
    Now though, in the wake of Citizens United, I see that it's just a lot of free speech going on.  I mean, I'm sure that if I held a big dinner at my house, I too could get a bunch of congresspeople to show up, right? And the more that I think about it, the more I wonder just how long it'll be until the now-antiquated notion of “bribery” will be shown up as simply being yet another oppression of free speech.  If someone wants to express themselves with envelopes of $100 dollar bills, and the congressperson wants to express him or herself with a vote sympathetic to the expression of the envelope giver, then who are we to stand in the way of that freedom? Yep, I see things in a whole new light these days…

  12. blankfeins place in east hampton would be a good place to start…
    From Times Online:
    Goldman Sachs, the world�s richest investment bank, could be about to pay
    its chief executive a bumper bonus of up to $100 million in defiance of
    moves by President Obama to take action against such payouts. Bankers in
    Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF) told The Times yesterday they
    understood that Lloyd Blankfein and other top Goldman bankers outside
    Britain were set to receive some of the bank�s biggest-ever payouts. �This
    is Lloyd thumbing his nose at Obama,� said a banker at one of Goldman�s
    rivals.

  13. My main point is that transparency isn't what it's supposed to be when it comes to holding elected office and mingling with lobbyists should be done out in the open, with press allowed to attend.

    I am well aware of the fact that both parties take money from Corporate lobbyists.It's bribery, plain and simple.

    It's wrong no matter who gets the money..Dem, Repub, Indy. I want an end to Corporate lobbying once and for all. Lobbying is a dark, sinister action that rarely sees the light of day…aka transparency.

  14. I agree that the US CoC is the worst Truth101. Profits are their only concern, and if we (our government) try to regulate or limit them..the US CoC starts up their bullshit propaganda.

  15. Dude…This is more about transparency than who is getting what from the Lobbyists. Eight years ago it was the Repubes who were getting the most largesse from Corporate Lobbyists. The pendulum swings both ways.

  16. just gonna drop back in here in case anyone missed this…

    Dem. senators spent weekend with bank, energy, tobacco lobbyists – Twelve Democratic Senators spent last weekend in Miami Beach raising money from top lobbyists for oil, drug, and other corporate interests that they often decry, according to a guest list for the event obtained by POLITICO. The guest list for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's “winter retreat” at the Ritz Carlton South Beach Resort doesn't include the price tag for attendance, but the maximum contribution to the committee, typical for such events, is $30,000. There, to participate in “informal conversations” and other meetings Saturday, were senators including DSCC Chairman Robert Menendez; Michigan's Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow; Bob Casey of Pennsylvania; Claire McCaskill of Missouri; freshmen Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Begich of Alaska; and even left-leaning Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Across the table was a who's who of 108 senior Washington lobbyists, including the top lobbying officials for many of the industries Democrats regularly attack: Represented were the American Bankers Association, the tobaco company Altria, the oil company Marathon, several drug manufacturers, the defense contractor Lockheed, and most of the large independent lobbying firms: Ogilvy, BGR, Quinn Gillespie, Heather Podesta, and Tony Podesta.
     

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