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Lobbyists

What should be done with lobbyists?

  • Leave them the way they are

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • Add small restrictions

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Add large restrictions

    Votes: 7 50.0%
  • Illegalize/Eliminate

    Votes: 4 28.6%

  • Total voters
    14

Skip

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Just looking for opinions on lobbyists. I'd like to see some response before I post my own opinion, so ... vote in the poll!
 

Indy

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I see no reason that they should be allowed to be legal. In essance, its bribery of elected officials.
 

jamesrage

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MidwestLiberal said:
Just looking for opinions on lobbyists. I'd like to see some response before I post my own opinion, so ... vote in the poll!

I am against lobbyist.They should have no place in politics.The only people elected officials should be listening to is the voters/tax payers.
 

128shot

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jamesrage said:
I am against lobbyist.They should have no place in politics.The only people elected officials should be listening to is the voters/tax payers.



With this said, you know businesses pay taxes. Corporations are supposed to be taxed, and their owners pay taxes.


So now busninesses (which are taxed) have a voice, which is seen as a problem with lobbyists isn't it? Businesses controlling the lobby?
 
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Given the Constitutional right to petition the government and the utter impossibility of a system in which the politicians directly hear the views of a significant number of average citizens, I can't see a way to justify their sudden unemployment.

I do, however, support restrictions on their power. I picked small rather than large not because I don't advocate sweeping changes, but rather because lobbying itself is not a fundamentally flawed practice. Change the methods, by all means (greatly limit the size of gifts, campaign donations, perhaps the number of dinners; skew things so that the system favors, insofar as that is possible, citizens rather than businesses, et cetera), but do not do away with the one thing that allows Americans to make their will known to the government when an election isn't looming.
 

jamesrage

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128shot said:
With this said, you know businesses pay taxes. Corporations are supposed to be taxed, and their owners pay taxes.

Corporations do not owe any alligiance to this country,look how some of them have outsourced.

So now busninesses (which are taxed) have a voice, which is seen as a problem with lobbyists isn't it? Businesses controlling the lobby?

A business is not a individual entityThe owner of that business is a individual therefore his vote and voice should have just as much say as any other tax payer/voter,he does not need a lobby group.
 

stsburns

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Their are lobbiest's for all sides of the political spectrum. Getting rid of them is like taking out the gossip in the News. :rofl
 

LeftyHenry

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corporations shouldn't be allowed to have lobby period. Unless the donate 30% of there revenue to Doctors without borders.

especially tobbaco and oil industries.
 

128shot

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jamesrage said:
Corporations do not owe any alligiance to this country,look how some of them have outsourced.



A business is not a individual entityThe owner of that business is a individual therefore his vote and voice should have just as much say as any other tax payer/voter,he does not need a lobby group.


I think your idea of what a busniness is and isn't is skewed, but that is not what we are here to discuss, unless of course you want to.


anyhow, you said tax payers/voters. Corps pay taxes, believe it or not. So they have their voice too. Its all legally justified.
 

earthworm

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jamesrage said:
I am against lobbyist.They should have no place in politics.The only people elected officials should be listening to is the voters/tax payers.

Here we agree 100%....But does this mean that industries should not be allowed to petition their representatives ???
It seems as if the present system is working, I think .. ????
 

jamesrage

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earthworm said:
Here we agree 100%....But does this mean that industries should not be allowed to petition their representatives ???
It seems as if the present system is working, I think .. ????

Industries are not loyal to this country.They use politicians so they can sell us out for cheap labor.
 

jamesrage

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My_name_is_not_Larry said:
what are lobbyists for anyways? whats there purpose of having them in the first place?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobbyist
The Oxford English Dictionary contains various references to the use of the word "lobby" and even "lobbyist" in reference to people and acts related to the influencing of political figures, which date from earlier periods.

Lobbyists in the United States target the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and state legislatures. They may also represent their clients' or organizations' interests in dealings with federal, state, or local executive branch agencies or the courts. Lobbyists sometimes also write legislation and whip bills.

In July 2005, Public Citizen published a report entitled "The Journey from Congress to K Street": the report analyzed hundreds of lobbyist registration documents filed in compliance with the "Lobbying Disclosure Act" and the "Foreign Agents Registration Act", among other sources. It found that since 1998, 43 percent of the 198 members of Congress who left government to join private life have registered to lobby. The Washington Post described these results as reflecting the "sea change that has occurred in lawmakers' attitudes toward lobbying in recent years." The paper noted that

Congressional historians say that lawmakers rarely became lobbyists as recently as two decades ago. They considered the profession to be tainted and unworthy of once-elected officials such as themselves. And lobbying firms and trade groups were leery of hiring former members of Congress because they were reputed to be lazy as lobbyists, unwilling to ask former colleagues for favors.

But starting in the late 1980s, high salaries for lobbyists, an increasing demand for lobbyists, greater turnover in Congress, and a change in the control of the House all contributed to a change in attitude about the appropriateness of former elected officials becoming lobbyists.

Former lawmakers are eagerly hired as lobbyists because of their relationships with their former colleagues as well as other contacts. The Public Citizen report included a case study of one particularly successful lobbyist, Bob Livingston, who stepped down as Speaker-elect and resigned his seat in 1999 after a sex scandal. In the six years since his resignation, his lobbying group grew into the 12th largest non-law lobbying firm, earning nearly $40 million by the end of 2004. During roughly the same time period, Livingston, his wife, and his two political action committees (PACs) contributed over $500,000 to the PACs or campaign funds of various candidates.

The increasing number of former lawmakers becoming lobbyists has led Senator Russ Feingold (D, WI) to propose paring back the many Capitol Hill privileges enjoyed by former senators and representatives. His plan would deprive lawmakers-turned-lobbyists of privileges such as unfettered access to otherwise "members only" areas such as the House and Senate floors and the House gym.
 

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Lobbyists shouldn't be allowed to buy votes. This is the real concern here. Groups, industries and businesses need spokesmen for their interests. If lobbyists use facts and information to influence policy, then so be it.
 
H

hipsterdufus

jamesrage said:
Corporations do not owe any alligiance to this country,look how some of them have outsourced.



A business is not a individual entityThe owner of that business is a individual therefore his vote and voice should have just as much say as any other tax payer/voter,he does not need a lobby group.

In 2004 Walmart claimed that class action lawsuits violate their "Civil Rights" This is another attemp at corporate personhood. Nike climed it had the right to lie.

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart/claims_dueprocess_rights.php
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0101-07.htm
 
H

hipsterdufus

AndrewC said:
Lobbyists shouldn't be allowed to buy votes. This is the real concern here. Groups, industries and businesses need spokesmen for their interests. If lobbyists use facts and information to influence policy, then so be it.

Here's an interesting idea to totally eliminate the lobbyists altogether, while eliminating the need for our elected representatives to fund raise as much as they do now.

First, we raise congressional pay big time. Pay 'em what we pay the president: $400,000. That's a huge increase from the $162,000 congressmen and senators currently make. Paul, especially, has been a critic of congressional pay increases. But he is willing to more than double politicians' pay in order to get some of the corrupt campaign money out of the system. You see, the pay raise comes with a catch. In return, we get a simple piece of legislation that says members of Congress cannot take anything of value from anyone other than a family member. No lunches, no taxi rides. No charter flights. No golf games. No ski trips. No nothing.

And when it is campaign time, incumbents would be under a complete ban on raising money. You read that right. No president or member of Congress could accept a single red cent from individuals, corporations, or special interests. Period.

Challengers, on the other hand, would be allowed to raise money in any amount from any individual American citizen or political action committee. No limits, just as the free-market conservatives have always wanted. But here is the catch: Within 24 hours of receiving a contribution, the challenger would have to report it electronically to the Federal Election Commission, which would post it for the public to see. That way, if you want to accept a million dollars from, say, Paris Hilton, go for it. But be prepared for voters and reporters to ask what you promised her in exchange.

The day after you disclose Paris's million bucks, the U.S. Treasury would credit the incumbent's campaign account with a comparable sum—say 80 percent of the contribution to the challenger to take into account the cost of all the canapés and Chardonnay the challenger had to buy to raise his funds as well as the incumbent's advantage. So if Paris gave the challenger a mill, the Treasury would wire $800,000 to the incumbent. It couldn't be much simpler. You might even call it the flat tax of campaign laws.

The penalties for violation would be swift. If an incumbent accepts so much as a postage stamp, he loses his seat. If a challenger doesn't report contributions, he loses his shot. If you cheat, you are out on your ***.

What if the incumbent wants to spend her own money? After all, the Supreme Court has made it clear that the Constitution does not allow restrictions on how much money a candidate—challenger or incumbent—can spend. No problem. Uncle Sam would write the challenger a check for an equivalent amount. Unlike today, no one would have the upper hand simply because they were loaded.

What if a sitting congressman wants to run for senator, or a senator wants to run for president? Would he be allowed to raise funds? Sure. He'd just have to do what Bob Dole eventually did—resign his Senate seat and hit the campaign trail like a regular citizen. If you want to run for higher office, you have to get off your current pedestal first.

The idea is to fundamentally change the role and responsibilities of incumbency. Under our plan, incumbents have to live by Thomas Jefferson's maxim: “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.” (We know, we know, the language is archaically sexist, but we are not going to edit Mr. Jefferson.) Once you assume an elected office, you achieve a new status. You are no longer a campaigner. You are a public servant. As such you should not be in the fundraising business. You should be in the exclusive business of making policy.

Today more than 90 percent of all senators and representatives are re-elected. Under current law, incumbents almost always have a huge money advantage. Our wager is that a majority of incumbents would be willing to give up that advantage in exchange for higher pay and no time spent fundraising. Think about it. Not only would they be bringing in a much larger salary, they'd also never have to kiss up to another rich donor. You should never underestimate how much these folks hate spending half their time—or more—sniveling for money. Nor should you underestimate how damaging and distorting it is to require federal office holders to spend that time raising money. No wonder they vote on so much legislation without ever reading it. And what about the public? We haven't seen the final data for 2004, but in all the federal races in 2000—congressional, senatorial, and presidential—candidates spent a total of $1.6 billion. Half of that, which is what taxpayers would have had to shell out under our plan, would be a lot of money: $800 million. But that is nothing compared to what the current system costs us. Those special interests who pour money into politicians' campaigns get something in return. Actually, they get a lot in return. Special tax breaks, special loopholes, special funding of pork-barrel projects, maybe even a no-bid contract or two. The energy bill passed in 2005 handed $2 billion in subsidies to the ethanol industry—you know, the fine folks at Archer Daniels Midland. It gave the makers of the controversial fuel additive MTBE another $2 billion. And another $8.1 billion in tax breaks for oil, coal, and electric utilities. In all, that one bill cost you $80.8 billion.

All of a sudden $800 million—one percent of the cost of one bill—doesn't seem like very much money, does it?
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0603.carville.html
 

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hipsterdufus said:
Here's an interesting idea to totally eliminate the lobbyists altogether, while eliminating the need for our elected representatives to fund raise as much as they do now.

I'll agree with that.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0603.carville.html

First, we raise congressional pay big time. Pay 'em what we pay the president: $400,000.

Considering they are the only employees in the world with the ability to give themselves pay raises,I do not think that is a good idea.

That's a huge increase from the $162,000 congressmen and senators currently make.

Boo Hoo they only make $162,000.
In return, we get a simple piece of legislation that says members of Congress cannot take anything of value from anyone other than a family member. No lunches, no taxi rides. No charter flights. No golf games. No ski trips. No nothing.

They make a $162,000 a year they don't need anyone to pay for their taxi rides,lunches,golf games,charter flights, and ski trips.With a $162,000 a year they should be paying for those things out of their own pocket.
And when it is campaign time, incumbents would be under a complete ban on raising money. You read that right. No president or member of Congress could accept a single red cent from individuals, corporations, or special interests. Period.

I like that idea.
 

afr0byte

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jamesrage said:
Corporations do not owe any alligiance to this country,look how some of them have outsourced.



A business is not a individual entityThe owner of that business is a individual therefore his vote and voice should have just as much say as any other tax payer/voter,he does not need a lobby group.

A corporation is legally an individual person. I'm not saying that the law is correct, just that it's the law currently.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/Corporations
 

Indy

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hipsterdufus said:
Here's an interesting idea to totally eliminate the lobbyists altogether, while eliminating the need for our elected representatives to fund raise as much as they do now.


http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0603.carville.html

I agree 100%. Although I think that 80% of what the challenger is making goes to the incumbent seems a bit high. How about 60%? That seem to be enough to debunk any lies the challenger might be spreading as well as engough to campaign what they have doen with their time in office.
 

alphamale

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Lobbyists are protected under the first amendment - nobody is going to illegalize them.
 

Indy

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alphamale said:
Lobbyists are protected under the first amendment - nobody is going to illegalize them.

True, but that is a sad fact indeed. I don't mind the idea of lobyists per se, but I just get irritated when they abuse the system and overstep their bounds by bribing gov't officials.
 

Indy

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Perhaps we could add some major restrictions on them?
 
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