Monday, June 9, 2008

Conventional lobbyists get to Obama and McCain

It should be fun to see our presidential candidates wiggle out of this one. The parties are trying to get corporations to fund their conventions to the tune of $100 million-- more or less.

It's a loophole in the soft money ban John McCain co-sponsored. Barack Obama, of course, has very publicly shooed special interests away from his campaign and the Democratic National Committee.*

The parties swear the money is needed to supplement federal funds: $16.3 million apiece and another $50 million to both St. Paul Minnesota and Denver Colorado for anti-terrorism. That'll buy a lot of silly hats. (We can only hope they're not demanding an Improvised Explosive Device Hunt** with the Homeland Security dough.)

Soft on money

According to the Democrats:
“The 2008 Democratic National Convention will bring together a unique group of business leaders, high-level lawmakers, members of the national and international media and prominent academics,” said a brochure from the host committee. “This is a rare opportunity to play a leadership role in a substantive discussion on timely issues affecting your industry with company executives, scholars, elected officials and members of the media.” (New York Times)
And the Republicans? of the three co-chairmen of Mr. McCain’s presidential campaign, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, has taken the lead in soliciting corporations on behalf of the Republican convention in St. Paul, with promises, according to literature from the Twin Cities committee, of golf outings and private dinners with Republican leaders, including Mr. McCain and other members of Congress. (New York Times)

* A thought; give Hillary Clinton something to do.

** If you're a McCainite, don't get excited. That's IED's, not IUD's.


Saipan Writer said...

Lobbying is one-step away from corruption.

Dengre is beating up on McCain for his failure to really go after all the details/truth in the Abramaoff scandal.

Corruption--it's a tricky business. Starts small and almost innocently, disguised as politics as usual, or genorosity, and before you know it, people are ensnared in the give-and-take of it.

We need better education and an ethic that returns to (boring) hard work, not easy money and perks.


KAP said...

Dengre is great at research; it's why I read him regularly. I'm less influenced by his conclusions. Where I can see several possibilities, he focuses on one and runs with it.

McCain has been closely tied to lobbyists; they're running his campaign. On the other hand, he's one of the few Senators who has actively worked to reduce their influence.

I'm sure you've browsed through websites that list fundraising. It's amazing to see how many small governments have hired lobbyists.

With 500+ Senators and Congressmen and their legions of staffers, it's hard to be heard in Washington. I think lobbying is inevitable. The money is the problem in my view.