Have you ever thought that the actions of your Representative in the House or by your Senators defy reason? Have you ever wondered why Congress can’t act on clear cut initiatives? Have you ever wondered why the voice of the people appears not to be heard? Well, here is why.
Welcome to Lobbying 101!
There are 22,000 registered government lobbyists. Tom Daschle (Barack Obama’s campaign co-chair) , his wife, and his son are registered lobbyists. These lobbyists do not just lobby Congress. They also lobby The White House, and all White Houses offices, including the Office of the Vice-President, and all Executive Departments. Incredibly they even lobby The White House’ National Security Council. These lobbyists not only saturate Capitol Hill, they also lobby the numerous Government Agencies reporting to Congress. Here is a partial list of the number of lobbyists by client industry:
- Agriculture / Agronomy – (corn ethanol included here) 453
- Banking / Finance 755
- Energy / Electricity 685
- Environment / Conservation 691
- Foreign Relations 685
- Governments and Government Related (this included your city and state) 896
The lobbying information was courtesy of http://www.lobbyists.info/
The Government and the Government Relations lobbies are my favorite. Congress and the Executive Branch are so tied up by lobbyists, your tax dollars have to pay for 896 lobbyists hired by your city, county, and state with your tax dollars just so you can be heard in Washington D.C. Just how mixed up are we?
My second favorite is the lobby of the National Security Council – these NSC folks make recommendations to the President on matters of National Security – just what does a lobbyist do here and why are they entitles to interfere. Again, just how mixed up are we?
Just how much money do these 22,000 people and their firms give to Senate and House campaigns every two and six years? How much pressure against your best interest comes from the lobbyist when they, their family, and their firm have contributed to your Representative or Senators? How much are your Representative or Senators selling their soul when they very subtly point out to a lobbyist that they did not see their name on the campaign donor list? You see it is illegal to ask a lobbyist directly for campaign contributions, while in government buildings or on government property. Are we sure that some of the very plentiful quasi-secret earmarks are not going to lobbyist projects to pay the lobbyist back for a contribution? Rest assured your Senators and Representative are literally selling their services. The good ones have no choice but to partake because they must keep up with the corrupt ones to stay in office. They are on a never ending fund raising carousel.
If we are to ever take our country back from the special interests represented by these lobbyists, we must take the money out of the lobbyist’s game. The Federal Elections Commission website lists individual contribution limits as follows:
|To each candidate or candidate committee per election||To national party committee per calendar year||To state, district & local party committee per calendar year||To any other political committee per calendar year||Special Limits|
|$5,000||$108,200* overall biennial limit:|
For more from the Federal Elections Commission on limits click here.
Based on this chart, if each lobbyist gives the maximum to each candidate, then combined all candidates would receive $939 Million. Each lobbyist is restricted to giving a combined $42,700 to all candidates and more if spouses were not registered lobbyists. Of course, all lobbyists are not going to give to all candidates and all spouses are not going to give. However, let’s consider the Banking and Finance lobby. This lobby can give each member of the House Committee on Financial Services and the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking $2,300. Combined, assuming that only one third of the Senate committee is up for election, the 77 committee members up for election might receive $134 Million or $1.7 Million each ($2,300 x 755 lobbyists x 77 members). Ask yourself why we are in a mortgage crisis?
The only solution to reigning in the Federal Government and our lost representation is to take the money out of Congressional election campaigns. This will need to be done with two or more Constitutional amendments.
The first would be the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment, which stripped the States of their right to have a say in the Federal Government. Senators, until 1913 were elected by your state legislature and not by the people. This meant that the U.S. Senators answered to your state house and not lobbyists on your behalf.
The second would be to severely restrict ALL House campaign contributions to INDIVIDUALS PRIMARILY RESIDING in the district for that campaign. Only individual constituents, you, may contribute. You will not be competing with any influences from outside your district. All candidates will have to dip into the same pool, whether it be a wealthy or a poor district. When your Representative gets to Congress, you will have that person’s undivided attention.
Contact your state representatives and ask them to have your state legislature require Congress to call a Constitutional Convention to consider these changes. When two thirds of the states request the Convention, the amendments can be ratified by a three fourths vote at the Convention or a polling of the states and Congress will have nothing to say about it.
Read more about the proposed amendments and why we need them at: Why Is Congress The Way It Is?
We can either take back our Congress or continue to watch this nation’s ruination. We no longer have representation in Congress – it was not supposed to be like this. In the interim, you might start by NOT voting for any incumbents, no matter how good you might think they are. This will place 468 new fannies into the House and the Senate – it is a start.