Will Dems put their special-interests money where their special-interests mouths are?

Top Democrats have been demonizing lobbyists, special interests and shadowy outside groups ahead of next week’s election.

So here’s a question: How many of the 50-plus Democrats about to leave Congress involuntarily will pledge not to go to work as lobbyists or other representatives of special interests or shadowy outside groups?

Anyone? Anyone?

76 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

October 27th, 2010
6:55 am

As it is written Amendment one alledgedly allows for further restricting employees from changing jobs to a competing company if they have a non-compete clause in their work contract. What if we place that restriction on ALL legislators, keeping them from becoming lobbyists/ working for a PAC for at least 3 years after they leave government? Right now, I’d have to vote No on the amendment.

Joel Edge

October 27th, 2010
6:57 am

How many will pledge not to go to as lobbyist? Is there a lower number than zero? They’ll probably drag some aides and relatives with them.

DJ Baby Bok Choy

October 27th, 2010
6:59 am

Will Republicans repudiate attack ads paid for with money that came from foreign terrorist organizations?

Anyone? Anyone?

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

October 27th, 2010
7:05 am

LOL…The Dems are now stuffing their pockets with cash, computers, autos, SegWays, running up expense accounts, obtaining new cell phones etc all in the Grand Ripoff of the American People.

stands for decibels

October 27th, 2010
7:40 am

Top Democrats have been demonizing lobbyists, special interests and shadowy outside groups ahead of next week’s election.

Given that this appears to be the first time you’ve brought up the topic in recent weeks, could you explain why you appear to find this line of attack distasteful?

Jefferson Jackson

October 27th, 2010
7:51 am

Let’s not confuse principles with realpolitik.

stands for decibels

October 27th, 2010
8:09 am

Well, I’ve got to run for awhile but I will check back later.

Any other means by which surrender-monkey Democrats should unilaterally disarm that you’d like to propose, Mr. Wingfield, I’m sure will be given exactly the consideration it deserves.

Question Man

October 27th, 2010
8:40 am

Shouldn’t your throwdown challenge apply equally to Republicans?

Port O'John

October 27th, 2010
9:02 am

Hey Question Man — the answer to your question is: no, only democrats misuse special interest funds. If a GOP group issues ads (like saying Obama put death panels into the health care reform bill) they are just patriotic americans using their constitutional rights.

Its kinda like how a big snowstorm is PROOF that global climate change is not happening and that human activities cannot affect the environment — but record hot summers for the last 8 or 10 years cannot be accept as evidence that climate change is real.

You see. Only facts that conform to Kyle’s worldview can be discussed on this forum.

carlosgvv

October 27th, 2010
9:05 am

Both political parties are owned by the special interests. Money is the driving power in politics today and the interests of the people are a distant second priority. The people will have to vote in an entirely new political system to correct this.

jconservative

October 27th, 2010
9:07 am

For every ex Democratic legislator turned lobbyist there is an equal and opposite ex Republican legislator turned lobbyist.

Isn’t this some kind of natural law?

Ayn Rant

October 27th, 2010
9:11 am

“Lobbyists, special interests, and shadowy outside groups” should be demonized by Democrats, Republican, and voters. Why address only Democrat politicians in questioning insincerity? Has rational thought been eliminated in America? Is politics the only reality?

Kyle Wingfield

October 27th, 2010
9:58 am

jconservative: True. But I’d call this the flip side of the Republicans who claim to champion family values and then get caught with their pants down.

CJ

October 27th, 2010
10:11 am

Who cares about pledges? We need legislation!

I’m voting for the guys who do NOT believe that corporations (i.e., paper entities run by cabals having unlimited access to stockholder funds) are persons with constitutional rights…as the Reagan/Bush/Bush activist judges seem to believe.

@@

October 27th, 2010
10:13 am

I know of one Democrat who’s broken the pledge already.

Tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials

“No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration.”

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/240/tougher-rules-against-revolving-door-for-lobbyists/

HOPE for CHANGE!!??!!

Thbbpppbt

Ragnar Danneskjöld

October 27th, 2010
10:26 am

I thought Bob Barr’s essay was the funniest, but this may top it. We all know the answer already, but it would be funny to see the losers asked.

Cutty

October 27th, 2010
10:27 am

How about an over/under. Compare the number of send who become lobbyists, to those repubs that did the same in 2008. As much as u bash dems, u somehow exclude the corporate party that is the GOP when they do the same.

@@

October 27th, 2010
10:28 am

Allow me to serve up a healthful serving of crow to the left-wingers.

The revolving door spins faster on healthcare reform

Don’t forget to use your napkins.

Will

October 27th, 2010
10:37 am

I am so tired of tired of politicians who use what I call the “third grade playground defense”. You remember, when confonted with misbehavior on the playground, nine year old children often claim, “he did it first” or “you didn’t say anything to him when he did it so he can’t punish me for doing it”.

That’s what politicians do also. republicans and democrats alike, when boxed into a corner, often justify their frequent hypocrisy by claiming the other side does the same thing or the other side did it first.

Sure, democrats are hypocrites for demonizing “special interests” while accepting donations from “special interests” but what’s your point? Because democrats do it, it is okay for republicans to do it? You would think republican newspaper writers like you would want republicans to adhere to a higher standard.

The third grade playground defense does not work for nine year olds and should not work for politicans.

WillieRae

October 27th, 2010
10:44 am

Pretty amazing given the news reports and the propoganda to learn that the democrats have spent more money in this election cycle than the republicans. They have been taking foriegn money for years. They took more money from big wall street bankers than the republicans.the biggesst banks are bankrolling Barney Frank after he “reregulated” them. Obviously they are delighted with the outcome. Goverment employee unions are the largest giver to any party (almost all to the democrats).

signs, signs--everywhere a sign

October 27th, 2010
10:47 am

On the road leading to Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC there’s a 10′ x 11′ road sign touting a runway improvement project funded by the federal stimulus. The project cost nearly $15 million and has created 17 jobs, according to recovery.gov.

Woo Hoo!

Jefferson

October 27th, 2010
11:03 am

Sure they will.

joe

October 27th, 2010
11:12 am

Latest Gallup poll numbers nationwide show voters casting for GOP 57% to Dems 43%. If that holds true, Dems will lose both houses next week.

Linda

October 27th, 2010
11:27 am

Port O’John @ 9:02, You don’t get it. It’s because there’s still a majority of Americans who are not heathens & suckers.

George W

October 27th, 2010
11:35 am

Great article, you bring a very interesting point. BRING ON NOVEMBER 2nd!!

George W

October 27th, 2010
11:37 am

Quiet in here today.

CJ

October 27th, 2010
11:50 am

Pretty amazing given the news reports and the to learn that the Democrats have spent more money in this election cycle than the republicans.

Dems have raised more money from individual contributors than Republicans. On the other hand, Republican front groups not subject to donation limits have raised and spent more money, tens of millions more, from mega-wealthy individuals and corporations than Dems. And, overall, money is being spent on behalf of Republicans at something like 9-to-1 over Dems.

Thanks to the Reagan/Bush activist judges on the Supreme Court (i.e., Citizen United v. FEC), our transition into a plutocracy is nearly complete.

Dave

October 27th, 2010
11:55 am

Question should be: How many family members work as lobbyists? Harry Reid for example who three
sons are registered lobbyists. Obama gave special breaks to Unions on his health care over the American people, are Unions and their money not considered as special interest?? If you make your living in print then give both sides of the story.

No More Lobbyists

October 27th, 2010
11:58 am

Make it illegal for former Congressmen, Senators, or any former government employee to EVER lobby any branch of the government. The penalty should be Life in Prison for violation of my proposed law.

RGB

October 27th, 2010
12:09 pm

Thanks to the Reagan/Bush activist judges…

That’s the laugh of the day. Ever hear of original intent?

Lib judges have force everything from abortion to healthcare to gay marriage down our throats (sorry).

When our millions of votes are invalidated by a lone activist judge, it’s time to crank it up.

Let’s go vote.

Linda

October 27th, 2010
12:16 pm

RGB, & don’t forget the “separation of church & state” which appears no where in the constitution or elsewhere.

CJ

October 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

Ever hear of original intent?

Yes.

So where is the evidence that the founders (more specifically, authors and advocates of the Fourteenth Amendment) intended to give corporations (paper entities) rights under our Constitution?

CJ

October 27th, 2010
12:28 pm

Linda: “RGB, & don’t forget the “separation of church & state” which appears no where in the constitution or elsewhere.

“…a variety of constitutional principles we all know and recognize aren’t literally referenced in the text. Americans’ “right to a fair trial” is well understood, but the exact phrase isn’t in the Constitution. “Separation of powers” is a basic principle of the U.S. Constitution, but it isn’t mentioned, either. More to the point, you can look for the phrase “freedom of religion” in the First Amendment, but those three words also don’t appear.

Ultimately, if you’re relying on extremist candidates and right-wing media personalities for constitutional scholarship, you’re going to be deeply confused.”

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_10/026211.php

Linda

October 27th, 2010
12:34 pm

American corporations & businesses are merely groups of individuals. They are owned by, managed by, hire, borrow from, sell to & represent we the people. We are the shareholders, managers, employees, creditors, customers & clients. They are us: the American people.

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

October 27th, 2010
12:43 pm

Linda

October 27th, 2010
11:27 am

Gosh lets hope so!

Intown

October 27th, 2010
12:49 pm

Generally, whichever side has been outmaneuvered on raising cash from shadowy groups is the one who complains. This year it is the Dems. Although, I have to say, the Republican groups seem far more cynical and shadowy than any Dem group. The Dem groups are often more traceable to an actual organization with real people in it like MoveOn.org

CJ

October 27th, 2010
1:05 pm

American corporations & businesses are merely groups of individuals. They are owned by, managed by, hire, borrow from, sell to & represent we the people.

Nonsense.

When we go to work for a company, purchase stock in a company (usually via mutual funds), or purchase goods or services from a company, most of us are not authorizing or intending that its Board or executives speak or spend for us in the political realm. I don’t care how many pair of socks I purchase from Wal-Mart, Michael Duke (who is compensated more in one hour than most of his employees earn in a year) does not speak for me.

Linda

October 27th, 2010
1:13 pm

CJ @ 12:28, The Declaration of Independence states that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” They come from God, not the government. It also references “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” The US was founded on religious principles. The first amendment was to prevent the government from the establishment of a particular religion as well as prohibiting our rights to exercise our religion.
Our seal, the Statue of Liberty, our national anthem, our money all proclaim the name of God.

CJ

October 27th, 2010
1:43 pm

Linda,

My 12:28 was to point out the silliness of the argument that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. It’s a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson to describe the principal behind the Establishment Clause. “Freedom of religion” was written into the Bill of Rights either, but is shorthand for the principal behind the Free Exercise Clause.

Also, I agree that our seal, Statute of Liberty, national anthem, and currency reflect our values. But they aren’t legal documents (not to be confused with legal tender). The Constitution is the law of the land, and any laws passed, including local laws, must comply with the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses in the First Amendment. That means, for example, that students can and do pray in schools (usually as the test is being handed out), but that teachers (government employees) can’t proselytize or lead them in prayer.

CJ

October 27th, 2010
1:45 pm

correction: “Freedom of religion” was not written into the Bill of Rights…

Linda

October 27th, 2010
1:48 pm

CJ @ 1:05, Nonsense. If you disagree with with speech or politics of certain corporations or businesses, you have the right to sell your interests, quit your job, refuse to loan to, petition, protest &/or refuse to patronize such companies.
Should I invest my life savings for my retirement into the stock market & a sports franchise, such as the Atlanta Falcons, I hope that the boards of directors & the general manager & coach hire the best CEOs & players & base their compensation packages on the fair market value for their services & talents. If I envy their income, I will ask for forgiveness for my greed, not theirs.

retiredds

October 27th, 2010
2:04 pm

How about this, Kyle: All (Democrats, Republicans, independents) politicians pledge not to become lobyists until out of office at least 5 years.

And while we’re at it, how about you doing an investigative piece on the GA Public Service Commission. Seems like there is not a rate hike it won’t approve. Seems like the word “Public” ought to be changed to “Power and Gas Companies” because over the last few years the “public” has been royally shafted by the Commission.

Linda

October 27th, 2010
2:16 pm

CJ @1:43, Many state constitutions specifically stress religion. For example, that of Massachusetts, written primarily by Samuel Adams, in the Declaration of Rights, states, “It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly & at stated seasons to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator & Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested or restrained in his person, liberty or estate for worshiping God…”

http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/Constitution#cp10s00.htm

The term “separation of church & state” is a myth. The Founding Fathers were divinely inspired & the constitution should be interpreted as they intended.

CJ

October 27th, 2010
2:19 pm

First Linda, you can’t disagree with the politics of a corporation, because a corporation is a piece of paper.

Second, since I have no idea what hundreds or thousands of companies that I’m invested in through my mutual funds, then it’s impractical for me to know what the politics of their executives are.

Third, even if I tried, there is no requirement that the Board or executives tell their investors or customers what their politics are.

Fourth, there is no requirement that the Board or executives disclose how they spend money on behalf of candidates, parties, or issues.

In short, the premise of your assertion is that I can somehow know how Boards and executives use stockholder funds to advance their personal political agenda. That premise is false and impractical.

By the way, contrary to popular opinion, money isn’t speech. It follows from this illogical belief that the more money one has, then the more speech one has (e.g., rich people can afford television, radio, and billboard ads, the middle class and poor cannot). Again, I challenge the “original intent” crowd to find where the founders “intended” for money to fall under the definition of protected free speech.

carlosgvv

October 27th, 2010
2:28 pm

Linda

If you really beleive that, I have some good oil well stock in Snellville for sale.

CJ

October 27th, 2010
2:33 pm

Our founders were divinely inspired? Are these the same founders who included the following in the Constitution, “The Migration or Importation of such Persons [i.e., slaves] as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress…”

Speaking of divinely inspired founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

Really Linda, you have nothing to stand on with this Church & State stuff other than your fantasies about the one-dimensional goodness of people who owned slaves, and slaughtered, raped, and pillaged from those who were here before us. We’re not in grade school anymore. We can take the truth.

barking frog

October 27th, 2010
2:40 pm

But…but…Democrats lobby for the good of the people,
Republicans for the good of the Corporations…..

get out much?

October 27th, 2010
2:42 pm

Well, Kyle, they will have to work hard to top what former Senator Trent Lott did. If case you forgot, he resigned his Senate seat so that he could become a lobbyist after serving just over a year in his second term.

Linda

October 27th, 2010
3:00 pm

CJ @ 2:19,
1. You CAN disagree with corporations. My husband is incorporated & I disagree with him all the time. He’s not a piece of paper. All corporations are made up of real people.
2. What I said & still say is that you have the right to disagree & you also have the right to research & decide on the practicality.
3. & 4. Political contributions by corporations are public & usually easy to find.
We are in the stock market & I can assure you that we’re not backing the companies I’m personally boycotting.
Corporations are not allowed to use stockholder funds to advance their political agenda.
The Supreme Court has ruled that money is speech & that corporations & unions can place their money where their mouths once were. It’s called freedom of the purse, pocketbook, wallet, mattress or checking account.
The middle class can choose not to work for or invest in & the poor can choose not to buy from these loud companies.

Not So Casual Observer

October 27th, 2010
3:08 pm

To paraphrase Shakespeare:

“First shoot all the lawyers, then the lobbyists and then liberals.”

If we do not the current administration will drive this country into the abyss.