An Amendment to Ban Lobbyists from our Government.

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posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 09:48 PM
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We need the Supreme Court to do what it's intended to do.

Allow changes that are beneficial to the American people, not corporations or individuals.




posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by David9176
Campaign Finance Reform.

Make campaigns publicly funded...with tax dollars. Keep corporate and special interests out of and get the criminals to start supporting the general public again!



Nothing more need be said - well done.

This is it in a nutshell - let their campaigns speak for themselves - let he audience seek out their words - rather than wait for them to be brought to them in the spin of corporate shill.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by Blaine91555
 

Right.

A lobby group giving money to a candidate is not the problem. For example, if I was a dairy farmer, I would want "pro-dairy farmer" candidates to win, so I would want the Dairy Lobby to give those candidtaes money for their campaigns. That's just free speech and the freedom to help a candidate get elected.

...The problem occurs when there is a "quid pro quo" agreement.



[edit on 12/28/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:06 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 





I wonder how many of you American taxpayers check off that "Presidential Election Campaign Fund" box on your tax return (the one that puts $3 of your money into the general election fund available for some Presidential candidates to use).


I'm sure my 3 dollars will easily outdo the MILLIONS received from corporations. Campaign Finance Reform would be mandatory and wouldn't cost much at all. With the money being spent in Washington right now...you wouldn't think this would be a difficult thing to do.

People do not check off that box because they think it's a waste of money...and for the most part they are right.

Corporations have the rights of a "human being" in this country. This has to be changed. A corporation is not a human being and does not have the same rights as an individual person....although Federal Law states otherwise which is why they are easily able to flood campaigns and corrupt politicians.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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Originally posted by David9176

Corporations have the rights of a "human being" in this country. This has to be changed. A corporation is not a human being and does not have the same rights as an individual person....although Federal Law states otherwise which is why they are easily able to flood campaigns and corrupt politicians.


Why shouldn't a corporation or any collective group have those rights?



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:13 PM
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reply to post by Blaine91555
 





The problem never was lobbyists. Its is dishonest elected officials taking and giving kickbacks as they scratch each others backs. The problem is the dishonesty and lack of character.


Campaigns require money. It's not going to matter as the masses will be flooded with 2 choices. Money wins which is why it needs to be taken out of the equation where elections are concerned.

A corporation or special interest group can give millions to campaigns..and in return..if that politicians wants to stay in office...he WILL have to cater to those same people.

You can make the explanation as large and as elaborate as you want it to be...but that doesn't change the fact that it has to be changed...for the good of our country.

Lobbyists do not need to be banned....but their money NEEDS to be. A politician should also NEVER be allowed to lobby for any corporation or special interest group after leaving office...which happens CONSTANTLY now and is a major problem. They leave office and then work for the same people who gave them millions in campaign contributions...and then profit millions afterwards from the same contributors.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:15 PM
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Too bad this couldn't have been done and implemented before the health care reform bill, under these new laws the bill would have been less than 10 pages and contained common sense changes that everyone would have agreed on.




posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 





Why shouldn't a corporation or any collective group have those rights?


We have individual rights....human rights. A corporation is not an American citizen nor a human being. A large portion of corporations in the USA aren't even based in the USA anymore...yet they pour millions of dollars in campaign contributions...and lobbying...to get what they want...which by the way...is usually NOT the best interest of Americans as most of their employees are now in OTHER countries.

Want to fix this country?

1. Campaign Finance Reform.
2. Increase Tariffs on imports and reform our terrible trade laws.

That's a great start right there.

Please dont' defend large corporations that have done nothing but shift countless good jobs to other countries only to profit more...and it was done through lobbying to neuter our trade policies making it more profitable to move jobs overseas. American wages aren't protected anymore because our tariffs are too low. This is why we are all broke and going into debt and trying to sustain what once was.

Thank Reagan, both Bushes, and especially Clinton....for destroying the greatest middle class that has ever existed in human history. It's pretty much gone now.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by David9176
We have individual rights....human rights. A corporation is not an American citizen nor a human being.


You still haven't answered the question. Why should any group, be they a corporation or an interest you support, be denied the right to free speech, petition the government and use their money to support the candidates of their choice?


Originally posted by David9176
yet they pour millions of dollars in campaign contributions...and lobbying...to get what they want


How terrible...a group petitioning the government to get what they want. I guess it's a terrible thing only if it's a group you don't like.


Originally posted by David9176
Please dont' defend large corporations


I'm not defending corporations. I'm defending my basic Constitutional rights. Because it won't stop with just the people you want silenced.

[edit on 28-12-2009 by DoomsdayRex]



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:46 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 





Why should any group, be they a corporation or an interest you support, be denied the right to free speech, petition the government and use their money to support the candidates of their choice?


It's money. I don't know how I can elaborate any further for you. A corporation or special interest group can hold enormous power because of the money they have. The average person cannot. Ever tried calling a politician on your own? Good luck. Offer him thousands in campaign funds...well then I"m sure he'll find some time to listen to you.

No one should ever be denied the right to free speech or the right to petition...you are missing the entire point. It's the money. MOney is power. In case you haven't noticed...most Americans are in debt. I'm not going to go on further..as I could go on forever. There are many things wrong.

Government is corrupt. I know that. You know that. We all know it.

Why.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
reply to post by Blaine91555
 

Right.

A lobby group giving money to a candidate is not the problem -- for example, if I was a dairy farmer, I would want "pro-dairy farmer" candidates to win, so I would want the Dairy Lobby to give those candidtaes money for their campaigns. That's just free speech and the freedom to help a candidate get elected.

...The problem occurs when there is a "quid pro quo" agreement.



As long as we pay people to lobby for our cause, there will always be a "quid pro quo" people do not contribute through lobbyists without an expectation of something specific in return.

Lobbying is free speech, lobbying though giving money, or providing accommodations expecting something in return is bribery.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 





I'm not defending corporations. I'm defending my basic Constitutional rights. Because it won't stop with just the people you want silenced.


Are you kidding me? The only people who are silenced right now are people like you and me.

Do you think average people are giving you the news each day? No. Corporations own them with their own interests. Most news anchors and reporters themselves are millionares. They dictate public opinion. They can fling support in their favor. They can change/distort the truth. Whether you believe it or not...they dictate most everyone's opinion..even those on ATS...whether they admit it or not.

I'm off to bed...tired..and luckily still have a job to go to tomorrow.



posted on Dec, 28 2009 @ 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by DoomsdayRex

Originally posted by David9176
We have individual rights....human rights. A corporation is not an American citizen nor a human being.


You still haven't answered the question. Why should any group, be they a corporation or an interest you support, be denied the right to free speech, petition the government and use their money to support the candidates of their choice?


Originally posted by David9176
yet they pour millions of dollars in campaign contributions...and lobbying...to get what they want


How terrible...a group petitioning the government to get what they want. I guess it's a terrible thing only if it's a group you don't like.


Originally posted by David9176
Please dont' defend large corporations


I'm not defending corporations. I'm defending my basic Constitutional rights. Because it won't stop with just the people you want silenced.

[edit on 28-12-2009 by DoomsdayRex]


I do believe the individual and corporation are distinguishable, well defined. You could also skin the cat the other way, by banning civil servants access to agents of the private sector, conflict of interest - done



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 12:49 AM
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Thank you all for the replies.

What I would like to see is something that stacks the deck in favor of the citizenry of this country more than special interest lobby groups. The problem as I see it is that special interests have more influence over our government than the average citizen.

I don't have a problem with special interest groups existing. The problem comes when those groups have more say so than the individual. If 10,000 individuals demand from their representative to vote one way, and a special interest lobby pays that representative $10,000 to his campaign fund to vote another, doesn't it seem unfair that the representative vote the way of the special interest over his constituency?


US Chamber of Commerce $527,473,180
American Medical Assn $212,602,500
General Electric $191,270,000
AARP $169,752,064
American Hospital Assn $168,880,431
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $161,638,400
AT&T Inc $151,040,816
Northrop Grumman $144,414,935
National Assn of Realtors $132,797,380
Exxon Mobil $131,786,942
Edison Electric Institute $131,305,999
Business Roundtable $129,870,000
Blue Cross/Blue Shield $128,818,703
Verizon Communications $128,444,841
Lockheed Martin $118,735,633
Boeing Co $115,398,310
General Motors $106,261,483
Southern Co $100,970,694
Freddie Mac $96,194,048
Securities Industry & Financial Mkt Assn $95,353,143


Source: www.opensecrets.org...

Is it equitable for a national corporation to outspend and therefore have more weight with our government than the citizens of the representatives state?

Top Lobbying Firms


Patton Boggs LLP $341,072,000
Cassidy & Assoc $299,685,000
Akin, Gump et al $278,965,000
Van Scoyoc Assoc $224,258,000
Williams & Jensen $164,474,000
Hogan & Hartson $150,094,162
Ernst & Young $143,286,237
Quinn Gillespie & Assoc $130,733,500
PMA Group $115,940,578
Greenberg Traurig LLP $115,038,249
Barbour, Griffith & Rogers $114,550,000
Holland & Knight $113,469,544
Dutko Worldwide $98,186,766
PriceWaterhouseCoopers $97,824,084
Alcalde & Fay $94,470,660
Carmen Group $92,695,000
Verner, Liipfert et al $88,595,000
Clark & Weinstock $84,695,000
PodestaMattoon $81,165,000
Ferguson Group $80,792,291


Source: www.opensecrets.org...

Have any of you actually heard of any of the above people? These are the top lobbying firms in the United States. They are the ones that companies hire to approach our lawmakers and in essence bribe them to vote a particular way. In theory, if I had enough money, I could hire one of the above firms to lobby for me to tell our representatives to pass a law making it legal to horse whip employees of Goldman Sachs on Mondays within the city limits of New York. Obviously employees of Goldman Sachs probably wouldn't like to be horse whipped on Mondays, so they could write, call or email their representatives:


New York
Ackerman, Gary, New York, 5th
Arcuri, Michael A., New York, 24th
Bishop, Timothy, New York, 1st
Clarke, Yvette D., New York, 11th
Crowley, Joseph, New York, 7th
Engel, Eliot, New York, 17th
Hall, John J., New York, 19th
Higgins, Brian, New York, 27th
Hinchey, Maurice, New York, 22nd
Israel, Steve, New York, 2nd
King, Pete, New York, 3rd
Lee, Christopher J., New York, 26th
Lowey, Nita, New York, 18th
Maffei, Daniel B., New York, 25th
Massa, Eric J.J., New York, 29th
McCarthy, Carolyn, New York, 4th
McMahon, Michael E., New York, 13th
Maloney, Carolyn, New York, 14th
Meeks, Gregory W., New York, 6th
Murphy, Scott, New York, 20th
Nadler, Jerrold, New York, 8th
Owens, Bill, New York, 23rd
Rangel, Charles B., New York, 15th
Serrano, José E., New York, 16th
Slaughter, Louise, New York, 28th
Tonko, Paul D., New York, 21st
Towns, Edolphus, New York, 10th
Velázquez, Nydia M., New York, 12th
Weiner, Anthony D., New York, 9th


Source: www.house.gov...

Even though I don't live in New York, my lobby firm could give generous donations to these peoples election campaigns in exchange for a yes vote on my horse whipping bill.



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 03:10 AM
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reply to post by whatukno
 


Yes, the good ol' free market and lobbyists "rights".

Welcome to capitalism or what some may call, corporate socialism.

You know I supported the bail-outs of the auto giants. I supported the bailouts of the bankers. Most folks, here especially, get them mouths wet by the sound of the term "bail-out". To me, having friends, relatives, and even myself working in those factories, so dependent on our jobs, or better yet our two month payments when we get sacked, is more important than letting those companies die. Its gotten to this point where folks like myself have become so damn dependent on there corporations that have grown beyond size, and in a sense, its like we can risk them collapsing, and yet these CEOs are getting away with crime, gettin away the politicans.

admittedly the lobbyists have got folks like myself on a string... working class folk. When dump them out, everything collapses, and even if a coming depression may do good for ending the state dependent corporation, to me I couldnt risk it for my family. Its a catch 22 if folks know what I mean.

[edit on 29-12-2009 by Southern Guardian]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 05:57 AM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


you call that free speech ??? let me laugh !!!
that is not free speech but free corruption !!! you pay someone to vote in some way you want it, not on the base of democratic representation ( quantity of people in favour or not ) but on the base of quantity of $$$$$$$$ you can use to buy that vote, that voting corrupt senator or .... !!! are you not understanding the difference ???? poor man, I think you will need lots of $$$$ to become a little bit more intelligent and democratic !!!
that is NOT democracy !! that is just the same as in Africa where you can give $$$ to corrupt customs officers or policemen to get favours or what else ....
poor USA democracy, poor system where the power of $$$$$$ is stronger than the power of the normal people who have NOT the money to buy some voting results !!!!!! what would you say if this was also the case ( I think it surely is the case but .... ) in SPORT ??? I give some people lots of money so that your favorite team wins the game ??? ok ?? what would you say ?? it's just the same !!! CORRUPTION !!!! anti-democracy !!! maffia !!



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 06:13 AM
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Originally posted by David9176
It's money. I don't know how I can elaborate any further for you.


Then it's a pretty weak argument. You don't think someone should have the same rights as you because they have more money than you.


Originally posted by David9176
A corporation or special interest group can hold enormous power because of the money they have. The average person cannot.


You're making a great case for special interests. Of course a politician isn't going to listen to just one person; but a group pooling there resources is going to have more say.

Of course, what you won't admit is "special interests" is whatever cause you don't agree with.

What causes do you believe in? You pro-life? Pro-choice? Anti-gun rights? In favor of increased cancer research? Which of those are special interests and which aren't? Should your interests be denied access as well, or just those you don't like?


Originally posted by David9176
Government is corrupt. I know that. You know that. We all know it.

Why.


And your solution is to violate the basic rights of every person, just because there are people you don't like that have access.


[edit on 29-12-2009 by DoomsdayRex]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 06:20 AM
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Originally posted by David9176
Most news anchors and reporters themselves are millionares.


LOLWUT?

Maybe the network and cable anchors. But most anchors on the local level and most reporters national and local, are not millionares.


A University of Missouri Journalism School study estimates anchors in the 25 biggest TV markets are making an average of $130,000 this year. But the overall average is $47,000, and most of the jobs are in small markets where the average is $26,000.
Source

But I suppose you're going to tell us that reporters shouldn't have access to politicians either. The only people that should have access are the people you agree with, right?

[edit on 29-12-2009 by DoomsdayRex]



posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 07:19 AM
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reply to post by DoomsdayRex
 

it seems you are equating corporate with individual, we have a common law framework that is able to create distinction between these things. Just like a doctor is not allowed to
sell your medical information for profit, even though said doctor is still an individual,
protected by the bill of rights and the 1st.

Our politicians are employees who's salaries are funded with public money.
They are elected by individuals and their job implies that they are of service to the public, not the private instruments of the public. Currently we have NON American
interests that garner control of our CIVIL SERVANTS thru this process.




Noun

S: (n) bribery, graft (the practice of offering something (usually money) in order to gain an illicit advantage)


wordnetweb.princeton.edu...

At the end of the day, this practice undermines the framework put in place, just on practical merit alone, I would say we the ANTI LOBBY, LOBBY
have a strong case
and a justifiable motivation for ending this practice. Wether or not access is criminalized from the politicians action, lobbyists initiation or both should not be an issue.


We do not allow the public to pay police officers to perform tasks while on duty do we? Same diff IMO

On another note, do you actually think a living individual and a creation of business is the same? Please explain if you would...

ADD* I forgot, people create corporations to distinguish their individuality, from their business, as a protection to their individual finance. They also establish, to provide legal protection from legalities brought forth against their business's. This add is also very important, a corporation is a legal way to separate ones individual self from ones holdings.
So why should they have it both ways then?






[edit on 29-12-2009 by Janky Red]


Ex

posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 07:27 AM
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I have long thought that the legislative branch of our government
was just bought and paid for, and that every four years the
administration changes, but the old cronies in the house
and senate just keep on filling their pockets with the help
of said lobbyists getting them reelected.

Not a Democracy anymore folks, it's a war!
Rich against Poor....and guess who's gonna win....





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