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Meet the big lobbies: The people that really control Washington

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posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 09:11 PM
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Lobbying is the practice of influencing policy or campaigns through cash donations or other forms of "gifting." In a nobler age, this sort of thing was considered bribery, but lobbying in its current form is protected under the first ammendment in the US.

Why is lobbying important? Because, contrary to what they teach in school and on the evening news, these people have far more say in what goes on than citizens with their single votes. Since they give to both parties, understanding lobbying will give you a closer picture of the forces active in the government than a focus on Democrat or Repub ideology.

Who are the lobbyists? What follows is brief thumbnail sketch of some of the biggest in Washington today. Meet your real masters...


Financial Lobby


The biggest single area of contributions for politicians of every party and ideology. Their massive influence can be seen in the way these groups effectively lobbied for bailouts in the wake of the 2008 financial disaster.
What they want: Right now, an urgent agenda is to prevent financial reforms that would lower profitability.


Military Industrial Lobby


Defined by the so-called "Iron Triangle" of contractors, lawmakers, and lobbyists. Big names include Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics. With military spending at an all-time high, the military lobby remains strong, despite increasing criticisms
What they want: To keep the gravy train flowing, of course. More wars and measures to dig in against possible futute military budget cuts.

See Eisenhower warn the US about this clique:



Big Pharma Lobby


Another massive lobby, big pharma has more influence in the US than in any other nation.
What they want: A hand in healthcare reform and measures relating to everything from drug safety to drug prices


Agribusiness Lobby


This is a diverse group. Big names include large food manufacturers (i.e., Kraft and Unilever), agribiz giants like Monsanto, tobacco companies, biofuel producers, and logging companies.
Some numbers: Spends over $150 million each year.
What they want: Influence on laws governing the environment, food labeling, climate change, and biofuel production


Israel Lobby


An influential voice in Washington ever since the end of WWII, groups like AIPAC seek to influence elections and policies by rewarding and punishing candidates based on their positions on Israel. Thought to be the most powerful foreign influence in Washington today.
What they want: Strong and continued unilateral US support for Israel, and less criticism of Israel among the press and people.


Big Oil Lobby


The power of this group is obvious, with lawmakers having deep industry connections. The oil industry has emerged as a major backer of the Tea Party movement, in particular.
Some numbers: Spent nearly $150 million in 2010.
What they want: Improvement of industry image, less government intervention, influence in climate change legislation.


Tech Lobby


Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are the biggest spenders in this cateogory. Tech lobbying has increased massively over the last decade from a previously-minor field to a major influence.
Some numbers: $120 million in donations in 2010
What they want: Lower corporate tax rates, cybersecurity legislation, a less-free and less-private net


Mining Lobby


Not as well-known as some of the other big lobbies, the mining lobby has been a major player in Washington since the 1800s, when it worked to crush strikes and labor power
Some numbers: Nearly $100 million dollars spent in the last three years
What they want: A big push for so-called "clean coal" (scientists are skeptical), looser labor laws, and more business-friendly worker safety and environmental regulations.

Retirement Lobby


Mostly defined by the AARP, this lobby seeks to be a voice for older and retired Americans
Some numbers: AARP spent $22 million on lobbying in 2010.
What they want: health care and Medicare reform, Social Security protection, and legislation on retirement and age discrimination.

edit on 1/10/12 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 10:09 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 

I'm sorry to express any criticism of your very attractive thread, but without any mention of unions, the objectivity of the thread has to be questioned. And where is the trial lawyer's lobby?

Further, as we have seen with military cuts, the military industrial complex certainly doesn't control Washington.



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Unions..yes, good point.

Military industrial lobby is still enormous, the cuts are meaningless.



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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Do I blame the criminal that offers the bribe, or the policeman who takes the bribe?



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by METACOMET
Do I blame the criminal that offers the bribe, or the policeman who takes the bribe?


Blame both, but ultimately its a matter of systemic corruption, not personal blame.

In a corrupt system, you either go along to get along or you get squeezed out. The individuals doing this bear responsibility, to be sure. But I consider systemic reform more important than apportioning individual blame here and there.



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 10:50 PM
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How would the tech industry benefit from a ``a less-free and less-private net``? I know most companies like Google oppose SOPA and other govt interventions on the Internet.



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by Rockdisjoint
How would the tech industry benefit from a ``a less-free and less-private net``? I know most companies like Google oppose SOPA and other govt interventions on the Internet.



They want your personal info (less private ) to sell to marketers and to use for other purposes. They would ultimately like to have more control over the content on the intenet too (less free). They do stand opposed to SOPA, which is good...but it's not the whole story here.



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


I got the impression that the OP itself was apportioning blame. The legislature makes the laws which not only allow this to happen (USC Title 1, Chapter 1, Subsection 1 ) but in return make laws FOR the corporations... but only in return for a fat bribe of course. Our legislature is to blame, if anyone is. They make the laws, they take the money.

What sort of systematic reform do you suppose could fix the problem? Perhaps a "campaign finance CZAR"?


I don't like the corporations any more than the next guy. But let's be honest about this. Our government is a DIABOLICAL entity. It specializes in legalized theft. The corporations are paying the piper else they be legislated off the face of the earth, or swallowed by the "mother corporation" all-together.




edit on 10-1-2012 by METACOMET because: (no reason given)

edit on 10-1-2012 by METACOMET because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 10 2012 @ 11:01 PM
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reply to post by METACOMET
 


Government vs. corporations is a false dicotomy. So is left-right. I don't do knee-jerk "government bad companies good" stuff...or the other way around, either.

What we are seeing is a total blending of government and business. It is happening quickly and it is happening on a level above ideology, above party doctrine. Dem vs. Rep or govt. vs. business is a game for the little people.

Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- Benito Mussolini



posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 02:41 PM
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Great post but I would also like to see a list of the actual lobbyists and who they used to work for.

Also with so much collusion in our govt, I'd like to see a list of govt employees who have previously worked in the industry they are supposed to oversee and regulate. Doesn't make any sense to me how that is allowed.



posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by silent thunder
reply to post by METACOMET
 


Government vs. corporations is a false dicotomy. So is left-right. I don't do knee-jerk "government bad companies good" stuff...or the other way around, either.

What we are seeing is a total blending of government and business. It is happening quickly and it is happening on a level above ideology, above party doctrine. Dem vs. Rep or govt. vs. business is a game for the little people.

Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- Benito Mussolini


^Quoted for truth.

To think we "won" WWII and only brought about what Benny was talking after the Soviet Union fell apart. Why'd we spend all that money and those lives?

Derek



posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 11:39 PM
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PLEASE CHECK THIS WEBSITE

Opensecrets.org Heavy Hitter List

This links to a list of the 140 top "Heavy Hitters" in donations from 1989 to 2012. Look at the list for details, but 12 of the top 20 are unions, and only one of the top 20 even leans Republican. I was very surprised.



posted on Jan, 14 2012 @ 02:40 PM
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This web site gives a completely different list of campaign donors, and this list sounds a whole lot more realistic.

www.dailyfinance.com...

1. AT&T
2. Goldman Sachs
3. Citigroup
4. UPS
5. Altria, formerly Phillip Morris
6. Microsoft
7. JP Morgan
8. Time Warner
9. Morgan Stanley
10. JP Morgan

Here is another source that gives more detailed information

www.reuters.com...



posted on Jan, 14 2012 @ 02:48 PM
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Here is another link, which paints a more realistic picture as well.

www.npr.org...


Sunlight's report, "The Political One Percent of the One Percent," said these donors combined spent $774 million — 24.3 percent of all money from individuals that went to candidates, PACS, political parties and independent expenditure groups in the 2010 midterms, which swept Republicans into control of the House.

"It's the 1 percent of the 1 percent who account for almost a quarter of all individual campaign contributions," says Lee Drutman, a data fellow with Sunlight.

Looking at the absolute top tier, Drutman says just 17 individuals gave more than $500,000 each.

The biggest category, donors with corporate ties, gave slightly more to Republicans.

The much smaller categories, ideological givers and lawyer-lobbyists, tilted Democratic.


Hmm. so where are unions on the list of big campaign donors?
edit on 14-1-2012 by poet1b because: add last line.



posted on Jan, 14 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Might the discrepancy be due to the funding of Open Secrets org by the Rockefeller Family?

Ought to make one wonder.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 09:21 AM
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At least a couple were missed:

The NRA. The National Rifle Association is still one of the most influential lobbies and manages to have its hand in just about any conservation, wildlife, or firearm issue. Although it likes to call attention to its members as crime fighters, it frequently goes head-to-head with the real crime fighters, such as when it opposed efforts to forbid the sale of cop-killer bullets. Presently it is trying to paint Obama as a wild-eyed gun-grabber ... an effort made difficult by the fact that Obama has never talked about firearms legislation.

Arab Oil Money. An enormous amount of the money invested in American banks and corporations is from the oil-rich OPEC countries, and they definitely can swing that money around to demonstrate their muscle. The Bush Family was more obvious than some others to show its awareness of this fact.



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by Shoonra
 


We have essentially surrendered our sovereignty at this point to campaign donation and lobbying efforts.

Clearly we have the largest military in the world, but we can't defend our own borders. At what point does this reality sink in?



posted on Jan, 16 2012 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by Rockdisjoint
How would the tech industry benefit from a ``a less-free and less-private net``? I know most companies like Google oppose SOPA and other govt interventions on the Internet.


The Lobbyists have big influences on legislation.

There are lobby groups that may be influencing proposals also.

Get a proposal for legislation that pits two opposing views,

and you got yourself a double wammie.

The Lobbyists get rich from both sides.

And guess who pays.

It all starts with a bill proposal.

Then ..... BAM !




edit on Jan-16-2012 by xuenchen because: (no reason given)



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