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A well-oiled influence machine

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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:07 AM
Original message
A well-oiled influence machine

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/KI17Aa01.html


-long snip of facts and figures and money re: lobbyists such as:

An opposition that knows no limit
The sheer presence of lobbyists cannot be underestimated. Case in point: the legislative battle over health-care reform. As of mid-August, there were six lobbyists trying to influence health-care legislation for every single member of the House and Senate, Bloomberg News reported.

-snip-

And the biggest spenders in health-care lobbying aren't doling out their largesse to just anyone. Take Senator Max Baucus (Democrat - Montana), the chairman of the influential Senate Finance Committee, leader of the bipartisan "Gang of Six" spearheading the Finance Committee's health-care negotiations, and architect of that committee's much anticipated health-care legislation. He's also one of the top five recipients of health industry-related money in Congress, pocketing $2.9 million in his career. For his 2008 re-election campaign, the unassuming Baucus took in $1.2 million from health industries, $690,050 of which came from health-related political action committees, the most for any Washington politician. Not that the six-term senator needed it: He steamrolled his opponent, an 85-year-old serial also-ran who'd lost 14 elections in 44 years and campaigned on a platform to turn the US into a parliamentary system, by 48 percentage points.

-long snip with more states to blow your mind-


If the president's sprawling agenda has revealed anything, it's the extent to which private industries and their foot soldiers on K Street and Capitol Hill influence - and in some cases dictate - American policymaking. Right now, about 12,500 federally registered lobbyists make their trade in Washington, but believe it or not, they're only a small slice of the pie. James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, tells TomDispatch that the number of people in the political advocacy business who aren't registered - the astroturfers, public relations firms, and strategy groups, among others - number anywhere from 90,000 to 120,000. Conservatively speaking, that adds up to 168 influence peddlers for every member of Congress.

-snip-
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which shows that the US isn't broke. its just that all our money is in the hands of the rich (corporation Barons).

its the middle class and poor who are broke and scammed - in more ways then one.

there IS money for health care for all. we just have to get that money (our money) away from the Barons.
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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. kicking before I go


I know, stats are so boring to read
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