Run on the K Street Project

For a long time, Republicans have run against Democrats by claiming that Dems were the party of "special interests." In fact, according to the July Democracy Corps memo on the two parties, the negative characteristic the electorate most commonly associated with the Democratic Party was that it was "putting special interests ahead of the public interest." Of course, over the past decade, the Republican leadership has actively run a campaign to make themselves the party of special interests. This campaign is known as the K Street Project: The K Street Project is a project by the Republican party to pressure Washington lobbying firms to hire Republicans in top positions, and to reward loyal GOP lobbyists with access to influential officials. It was launched in 1995, by Republican strategist Grover Norquist and House majority leader Tom DeLay.

K Street in Washington DC is where the big lobbying firms have their headquarters and is sometimes refered to as the fourth branch of government. Lobbying firms have great influence in U.S. national politics due to monetary resources and the revolving door policy of hiring former government officials. It is common practice for politicians to request money for lobbying firms for an exchange in better access to officials and to buy favoritism in policies.

Historically, K Street hires top ex-politicians from both major parties since party in power can vary between elections and among the legislative and executive branches in government.

During most of the George W. Bush administration, the Republican party had majority control of both houses of Congress, in addition to control of the White House. Thomas D. DeLay of the House, Rick Santorum of the Senate, and Grover Norquist took this opportunity to expand the K Street Project by pressuring major lobbying firms to hire only Republicans in any new or open positions.

In political circles, there is nothing particuarly secretive about this project. In additio0n to siezing control of the national policy agenda and expanding the corporate welfare state, the basic goal is to funnel as much money as possible to Republican operatives, and to simultaneously thin out the bench of Demcoratic politcal operatives as much as possible. However, that basically the entire Republican leadership in Washington is overtly trying to make the profession of lobbying as Republican domianted as possible is not well known the the public at all.

I can't imagine that the electorate would develop a more positive impression of the Republican Party if it knew they were trying to do this. The word "lobbyist" is not exactly the most popular term with the electorate. A national advertising and media campaign to publicize the Republican K Street project would go a long way toward branding Republicans as the party of "special interests" and "lobbyists," putting them on the defensive in one of their strongest areas of attacks against Democrats. It would actually be a brilliant, ironic twist: use one of Rove's main tactics, attack your opponent's strength, against one of Rove's most successful projects, the K Street project. Such a sweeping attack would generate a lot of free meida, and force Republican to respond. And even thoguh they tend to not discuss it with the press, it's not like Republicans are secretive about this campaign, so it would be, um, hard for them to deny they are doing it.

Branding ourselves is obviusly important. Branding Republicans won't hurt, however, and this will go a logn way toward accomplishing that goal. Even better, it is a type of reform agenda that will attract the main swing voters in this country, and that we can all agree to run on. Let's use it.

Tags: Republicans (all tags)

Comments

27 Comments

Uh...
That reality does not correspond with your hypothesis "the Great Backlash narrative, which identifies liberalism as an oppressive, status quo force in control of academia, the media, the entertainment industry, and the judiciary".

On the contrary the Republican 1994 sweep to power was due to CLINTON forcing through NAFTA the first half of his first term to the detriment of the Democratic party. 1994 saw the first time Democrats losing controlled of both house at the same time since almost 50 years...

by Parker 2005-09-19 08:53AM | 0 recs
Really,
Do you think that NAFTA (and may I add: Welfare to Work) fractured the Democratic Party? I for one was not thrilled about this legislation. Did Clinton engage in too much "triangulation" - which provides position but no direction?

How is it possible to get back these voters? Are elections now going to the guy who spends the most money attacking their opponent? I see through this but am I in the majority?

by leftofcenter 2005-09-19 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Really,
Do you think that NAFTA (and may I add: Welfare to Work) fractured the Democratic Party?

These were two reforms that were passed by a minority of Democrats crossing over to vote with a majority of Republicans... Before that Republicans had been dying to do this but could not get passed the Democratic "special interest" groups... like the ones that stick up for the poor. Not only that Clinton actions only strengthened Reagans "Welfare Queen" frame.

How is it possible to get back these voters?

Act like Democrats not Republicans... Clintons policies pushed Democrats into the arms of Nader... well you know the history after that.

It is DLC historical revisionism that the base and special interest are at fault... The only way that are at fault is because the wanted to be represented which is the farthest thing from the DLC agenda. The DLC DOES have special interest but they are corporations, military industrialist and religious fundamentalist... I personally prefer the old ones, labor, women, minorities, gays, poor etc...

by Parker 2005-09-19 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Really,
So, grass roots efforts to get out the vote for canidates who truly believe in social justice and equality is a viable plan?

Is it true that votes get you through the times of no money better than money gets you through the times of no votes?

by leftofcenter 2005-09-19 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Really,
It is a start... frankly I can't see how electing more "Judas Iscariots"... is going to change anything since they intend on favoring the GOP positions... and in the end do more harm than good because they give the GOP "bi-partisan" cover.
by Parker 2005-09-19 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Really,
What motivates these elected officials and canidates to behave in such a way? Do they think that they are in desperate need of the financial backing of less that altruistic special interest groups?
by leftofcenter 2005-09-19 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Really,
Actually, I do think that is how they got "hooked"... but corporate money is like crac and before you know it, you are given blow jobs to MBNA.
by Parker 2005-09-19 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Really,
Is it all about money to win an election these days? i would like to think that this is not true. Am I stupid to even entertain this thought?
I'm thinking that money, power and influence will become the conservative's backlash narrative.

The frame of Republicans = corruption & greed can't be too far away from getting significant traction.

by leftofcenter 2005-09-19 11:43AM | 0 recs
A DLC publication????

we can all agree to run on.

No... you, Al From and LIEberman may agree to this but I doubt the rest of the party agrees... since the DLC has had catastrophic results so far.

by Parker 2005-09-19 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
A brilliant strategy. Let's not do somethign because the DLC thinks it is a good idea too.

And when the DLC reversed itself on Social Security, and opposed privatization, we should have reversed ourselves as well, and supported it.

You have a ridiculously exaggerated view of the strength fo the DLC. The notion that From, Lieberman and Reed have somehow crafted our strategy over the past several years is utterly laughable. They don't have much influence at all.

by Chris Bowers 2005-09-19 09:05AM | 0 recs
"Judas Iscariot"...
Well certainly Schumer thinks so...

"Judas Iscariot"...

Schumer said he believes that he is making progress with Lieberman on sticking with the caucus but said that he was terrified Lieberman was going to strike a deal on Social Security before Katrina.  He said it was not easy dealing with "Judas Iscariots."  Those were his words, but he hastened to add that he was not referring to anyone in particular with that appellation.

ditto for tying the Democrats hands on the filibuster... oh... but you thought that was a victory.

by Parker 2005-09-19 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
I concur with you on the major point (running against K- Street Cronyism and Corruption)

and the minor point (Just because the DLC agrees with us on a point, doesn't mean its bad). I don't like the DLC much either, but let's not shoot ourselves in the foot and ignore a good idea.

by molly bloom 2005-09-19 09:11AM | 0 recs
Chris,
could you please post this on dKos too. It is really important to get this info and the K-street project on everyone's minds.

thanks

by NeoLiberal 2005-09-19 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
And were you to ever say I am in bed with From and Lieverman to my face, I have a feeling the cops would eventually become involved.
by Chris Bowers 2005-09-19 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
pick a day buddy...
by Parker 2005-09-19 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
Why do you come to this blog? What purpose do you serve here? How many flame wars do you have to start before you are happy? What actions ro campaigns have you ever started here?
by Chris Bowers 2005-09-19 09:26AM | 0 recs
by Parker 2005-09-19 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
I come to get answers
by Parker 2005-09-19 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
I have no reason to give you any.
by Chris Bowers 2005-09-19 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
I see your method is to threaten violence.
by Parker 2005-09-19 11:03AM | 0 recs
You know...
Chris and yourself are on the same team.
It does not matter who "started" it. What's important is that the good in people triumph over the bad in people. Just a thought.
by leftofcenter 2005-09-19 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
And yours is to come on someone else blog, lay out the worst insult you can think of to that person, and then play the victim.
by Chris Bowers 2005-09-19 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: A DLC publication????
Gee, linking a DLC article and then being questioned on it... how insulting. Threatening violence against a woman because she questioned you...
by Parker 2005-09-19 12:51PM | 0 recs
Relax
No offense, but your are acting ridiculous.  
by Eric11 2005-09-19 02:54PM | 0 recs
K Street Project
Just helps to forge the union of:
Republican = Greed Over Patriotism.

This is the material that will be handy to throw come next election. Thank you! Excellent frame.

by leftofcenter 2005-09-19 12:01PM | 0 recs
Also,
I agree with NeoLiberal.
Post this on Daily Kos.
by leftofcenter 2005-09-19 12:04PM | 0 recs
The Merits of Taking a Jog on K Street
Excellent post. The Washington Post's Mike Allen wrote a great article about a different aspect of the "K-Street Project" back in June.

"The House expects to hit its goal of $14 million. The Senate side, led by Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), expects to exceed its $8 million goal by $1 million. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (N.C.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the lead committee for the dinner, set goals of $25,000 to $750,000.'

"Of the House's $14 million, $10 million is expected to come from lawmakers' fundraising and a Washington program aimed at K Street, run by former House members Bill Paxon and his wife, Susan Molinari. The remaining $4 million is expected to come from NRCC mail and telemarketing. An individual can give as much as $26,700 to national party committees in a calendar year, so could buy as many as 10 tickets."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/13/AR2005061301726.html

by The Big D 2005-09-19 05:39PM | 0 recs

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