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US President Barack Obama called on Congress on Saturday to pass reforms limiting the influence of special interest groups on US elections, saying the integrity of US democracy needed to be protected.
"What we are facing is no less than a potential corporate takeover of our elections," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "And what is at stake is no less than the integrity of our democracy."
The appeal came after a recent US Supreme Court ruling that gave corporations, lobbyists, other special interest groups -- foreign and domestic -- the power to spend unlimited money to influence the outcome of US elections.
* Eric Holder, attorney general nominee, was registered to lobby until 2004 on behalf of clients including Global Crossing, a bankrupt telecommunications firm [now confirmed].
* Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture nominee, was registered to lobby as recently as last year on behalf of the National Education Association.
* William Lynn, deputy defense secretary nominee, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for defense contractor Raytheon, where he was a top executive.
When is a ban on lobbyists in an administration not a ban on lobbyists in an administration? When you need a lobbyist who knows how the Pentagon works to help run the defense establishment.
That's the situation the new Obama Administration finds itself in. Obama nominated William J. Lynn III as his Deputy Defense Secretary in a role that would require Lynn to essentially be the chief operations officer in that mammoth bureaucracy.
But Lynn was among, other things, a lobbyist for Raytheon Co., one of the nation's largest defense contractors.
To not violate the new executive order the president signed yesterday, Lynn would require a waiver from the new administration.
That would seem to violate the spirit of Obama's ban, something which numerous people, including the Project on Government Oversight, are now pointing out...
We project that the plutonomies (the U.S., UK, and Canada) will likely see even more income inequality, disproportionately feeding off a further rise in the profit share in their economies, capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity, and globalization.