Do Edwards and Obama take "Dirty Money" too?

John Edwards and Barrack Obama have made a big deal about how they don't take "dirty" political money from registered lobbyists.  But, what they dont tell you is that they are more than happy to take big checks from DC's most inside insiders.

If they actually believe that the big problem in Politics is "big money" , why is there this blatant hypocritical double standard for whom they will take money from?

All of the major Democratic candidates are getting over half their fund raising money in checks of over $1000. (and yes, this includes Barrack Obama, who has made it seem that he has raised most of his money in $5 bills.)

From my experience in politics, (and in my earliest days - I worked as, everyone does in the beginning, as a fundraiser at times) many, actually, most of these donors will - sometime call on the member or politician...for something. (Not that this means that they are asking for bad things, often its for tickets to something, a Capital flag or for a meeting for a fine and civic cause) It is completely misleading for those in power, like Edwards and Obama,  who clearly know this - to draw this artificial line.  I know big time and very higly paid Washington insiders, none of whom are registered lobbyists, who are helping Barrack, Edwards...and also, Dodd and Biden...or ALL of the major candidates.  These people are paid by clients to influence politicians, this does not mean that they lobby on legislative issues.  Explain to me please, the big difference between the two.  Please understand, the majority of the biggest money makers in DC and on K street - arent lobbyists - they live, thrive and prosper under the vaguest of insider titles...they are the "consultants".

I looked at Obamas list and there were a slew of DC consultants and corporate reps there that I knew.  It is well known that Barrack's fundraisers have met with some of K Streets biggest players and asked them for their own personal fundraising contact list and solicited these lobbyists to get checks from their spouses and other family members because they were going to make "an issue" about "refusing" lobbyist contributions. The insincerity of those actions led to a couple of stories in the Wash Post and Chicago Tribune early in this campaign.(Plus, if you wanna see big money at play, look at Obama's list of his Chicago and Illinois supporters...)  On Edward's list there were some of the biggest and richest (and smarmiest) lawyers in all of Washington, DC. (Remember, that Edward's own Trial Lawyers Assoc. worked - hand in hand - with the health Insurance Assoc of America to kill health care reform in the 90s)

If you think that Hillary is dirty here, whilst Obama and Edwards are clear....well, I think you ought to learn more about how the political system really works in this age.

This "new" attack by Edwards and Obama and their fans is nothing but the oldest type of politics. Attacking another's morality and character for doing something that the attacker knows, perfectly well, that they are doing themselves.

By the way, in effort for full disclosure, I myself have been a registered lobbyist.  I lobbied for labor rights in new legislation for a member union of the AFL CIO.  That is nothing to be ashamed of.  Rather, I am quite proud of our work and efforts.

I sure wouldn't feel that way if I was one of the slew of Edward's campaign contributors who worked with the Trial Lawyers Association to kill the Health Care Initiative in 1993. They did this just so they could have the "right" to make tens of millions of dollars in fees in the very lucrative medical malpractice industry.

It seems that my idea of who's dirty and who's clean differs greatly with two of the multi millionaires who are running to be the nominee of our Democratic Party to be President of these United States.

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Hillary Tells Obama/Edwards Lobbyists Work for "Real Americans"

I think the only news over the weekend was the difference of opinion on Lobbying.

I see this as Hillary's first Gaffe of the primary. Are americans in Iowa and New Hampshire going to believe lobbyists work for them? No doubt, HIllary will be looking to distract the public on this by some opposition research.

I can't wait to see Hillary defend the powerful social workers lobby against defense contractors' and pharma lobbies.

The nurses and social workers lobbies in 2006 spent several hundred thousand. The Pharmaceuticals and insurance companies over $300 million - more than 10% of all lobbying money.

If anyone from the Edwards or Obama campaign reads this forward on to your supervisor to get that high quality video (at least NBC has it of Yearly Kos) of Hillary saying "Lobbyists work for real americans".

It's already going to be fun watching the Youtubes.

http://www.youtube.com/v/Tyj9KJWGWMA

here's a really interesting clip showing that if the republicans accept DC lobbyist money the democrats can easily frame themselves as the party of the people

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The Policemens Lobby is Not Equal with the Chamber of Commerce Lobby

It's absolutely insane to say that the policemen and environmental lobby have an equal say with the Chamber of Commerce Lobby.

It's absolute nuts.  Yes everyone can lobby or start a PAC but the fact is the total amount is heavily biased.  On this Obama and Edwards seem to agree.

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobbyists/ind ex.asp?txtindextype=s

on the top spenders list this is what you see.


Total

US Chamber of Commerce

$317,164,680

American Medical Assn

$156,375,500

General Electric

$137,770,000

American Hospital Assn

$129,114,026

Edison Electric Institute

$105,642,628

AARP

$105,332,064

Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America

$104,302,000

National Assn of Realtors

$97,530,000

Business Roundtable

$97,060,000

Northrop Grumman

$95,682,374

Blue Cross/Blue Shield

$84,156,418

Freddie Mac

$81,884,048

Lockheed Martin

$80,206,965

Boeing Co

$77,898,310

Verizon Communications

$75,836,522

Philip Morris

$75,500,000

General Motors

$71,158,483

Fannie Mae

$70,957,000

Ford Motor Co

$67,670,808

US Telecom Assn

$65,280,000

General Electric alone spent $137 million on lobbying over an 8 year period.

This does not include campaign contributions of high ranking executives to the RNC, DNC ,  various PACs and individual campaigns.

It's almost impossible to know exactly how much money employees of general electric and the company have spent influencing legislation in congress but it's a lot.

I would imagine that this list underestimates certain sectors.  If you notice the "business roundtable" and "chamber of commerce" are listed as separate lobbying industries but I bet they both lobby congress to not increase the minimum wage.

You'll notice all three military contractors - Lockheed Martin, Boehing and Northup Grummon all made the list.  Want to know why we have  needless wars and spend so much on military hardware?

In 2006, $2.55 BILLION was spent on lobbying.  Again this doesn't even include PACs or political contributions to campaigns.

You want to know why you can't raise fuel economy standards?  See Ford and GM on the list.

Want to know why the government agreed never to negotiate drug prices.  See PhRMA.

etc...

It's nuts to argue lobbying is fair cause the sierra club can lobby too.

You can read read about lobbying firms that create astroturf campaigns to build support for certain bills or release fake Youtubes attacking Al Gore.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06215/710 851-115.stm

In the video, Mr. Gore appears as a sinister figure who brainwashes penguins and bores movie audiences by blaming the Mideast crisis and starlet Lindsay Lohan's shrinking waist size on global warming. Like other videos on the popular YouTube site, it has a home-made, humorous quality. The video's maker is listed as "Toutsmith," a 29-year-old who identifies himself as being from Beverly Hills in an Internet profile.

In an email exchange with The Wall Street Journal, Toutsmith didn't answer when asked who he was or why he made the video, which has just over 59,000 views on YouTube. However, computer routing information contained in an email sent from Toutsmith's Yahoo account indicate it didn't come from an amateur working out of his basement.

Instead, the email originated from a computer registered to DCI Group, a Washington, D.C., public relations and lobbying firm whose clients include oil company Exxon Mobil Corp.

A DCI Group spokesman declines to say whether or not DCI made the anti-Gore penguin video, or to explain why Toutsmith appeared to be sending email from DCI's computers. "DCI Group does not disclose the names of its clients, nor do we discuss the work that we do on our clients' behalf," says Matt Triaca, who heads DCI's media relations shop.

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Obama, Climate Crusader-NOT

We now have substantial proof that a politician can say absolutely anything, regardless of truth.

Unless of course, when they refer to him as a Climate Crusader, it's like one of those Bushism's in projection.  I guess it is fair to say he is crusading climate, but he didn't claim to improve it.

UPDATE Video of Al Gore discussing this very problem of Coal Pushing Lobbying and Subsidizing with Harry Smith from CBS's Early Show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbNImXTEkNA&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edailykos%2Ecom%2Fstory%2F2007%2F6%2F2%2F222114%2F7934

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Obama's Auto Plan Neither New Nor Bold

Cross-posted at Democratic Courage blog.

Barack Obama got huge coverageyesterday for "standing up" to the auto industry by calling on them to accept tighter fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks - and doing it in their own backyard in Detroit. Although it's encouraging anytime a candidate calls for increasing fuel economy, we have to ask:  is Obama's proposal really anything to coo about?

The core of Obama's plan is raising fuel efficiency standards to 40 miles per gallon by 2022 - and paying off American auto companies for doing this by funneling $3 billion in taxpayer subsidies to the big auto companies in exchange, primarily to alleviate their high health care costs.

Two problems: first, Obama's plan doesn't move anywhere near fast enough to address the twin challenges of global climate deterioration and reliance on oil. His plan is about the same as that proposed by the Bush administration (although the administration's plan includes huge loopholes that Obama's doesn't). The 2022 deadline is at least ten years behind what is technically feasible and at least that many years behind what is climatologically essential. The latest international climate report concludes that urgent action is needed to avoid mass extinction, melting ice caps, famine and disease. "We don't have the luxury of time," said Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  What's more, research by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows that currently available technology could raise fuel efficiency standards to 40 miles per gallon by 2012, while still producing net savings for consumers.

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