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Legal Bribery in American Politics, The Career Politican, Part II

May 17, 2011
Money Changing Hands
Legal Bribery


            In my previous blog post, I began ranting about the problems of having “career politicians” in office.  This is part II of a series on politicians and corruption in American government.  I will try to make each part a stand alone post, but it is probably best to read this series in the order that it was written.

            When a politician is elected to office, sometimes even before, they are inundated with people and businesses that want to try to influence how they will vote on certain bills and issues.  Of course these people want the politician to vote in a way that is beneficial to their business or cause.  Beginning with the Industrial Revolution, American businesses saw tremendous growth in demand for products and the profits that that demand created.  No longer having time to meet with politicians one on one, these business owners hired liaisons or “lobbyists” to do their bidding for them.

            Webster’s New World dictionary defines a lobbyist as “one who tries to get legislators to support certain measures”.  In order to get what they want, these lobbyist need to offer the politician something that he wants.  What do all politicians, especially career politicians want?  They want to be re-elected and that takes money and votes.  So a lobbyist will propose that if a politician backs a certain measure, the company he represents will make a campaign contribution to that politician election fund.  Now, no matter what promises he made to the people that elected him, he has sold himself to a corporation and represents their interest, not the people.

     Power is a drug on which the politicians are hooked. They buy it from the voters, using the voters’ own money.

         – Richard J. Needham

            To complicate matters even more, we have politician A, who now represents corporation A and politician B representing corporation B.  Both politicians need to get their corporate bills passed, so they need additional support.  A says to B, “I’ll support your bill if you support mine.”  Both bills get passed, so the corporations got what they wanted; the politicians got campaign money, so they got what they wanted.  The people are the only ones that didn’t get what they wanted, and they were the ones that elected the politician in the first place.

            Money is not the only way to influence a politician; some can be bought with sex.  It has happened many times and a few politicians have been caught, but very few.  Voter influence is another way to buy a politician.  The corporation that I work for is union and on some vehicles in our parking lot are bumper stickers that state “U@W supports Obama”, this doesn’t guarantee the union members will vote as the union suggests, but it’s highly likely because union members support their union just as they expect their union to support them.  In order to get this support, a politician has to be able to offer something in return, ie, something that will benefit the union.

            This is the heart of our dysfunctional government.  These politicians lie to the American people, to get elected, filling them with false hopes of a brighter future.  Then prostitute themselves for money, sex, and votes.  This is nothing more than “legal bribery” in our political system and the worst part may be that the Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

    Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

         – Ronald Reagan

            I believe that all lobbyists and special interest groups should be illegal.  They have no basis or right for their existence except for the greed of the corporations they represent.  Any person or group offering a politician money, sex, or votes should be immediately imprisoned and the company they represent should be made to pay a fine that goes to reduce our deficit.  Any politician caught accepting a bribe from a lobbyist, should be removed from office and imprisoned for violating the trust of the American people.

            I realize that we probably can’t get rid of campaign contributions completely, but they should have a cap; whether corporate or private they should have a $250 maximum limit.  Anything above this limit should be considered bribery.  This money then should go into a federal campaign fund.  Also, to level the playing field for anyone to run for office, no candidate should be allowed to use their own money to campaign with.  This violates our constitutional principles of equal opportunities for all people in our nation.  If a candidate qualifies for federal campaign monies, then that is what should be used to run for office.  Otherwise, the candidate should hit the campaign trail just like everyone else has for the last 200 plus years.

           Whether you agree with my views for not, I invite you to leave a comment.  Tell me your ideas to improve our government system.  If you like my blogs, subscribe by email in the sidebar on the right, you’ll receive notice by email when I post, not spam.  Be sure to tell your friends about this site.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2011 1:41 PM

    You seam to tackle two issues in this post, lobbyists and campaign financing.

    First lobbyists. Unfortunately I think lobbyists have gotten a bad name and I believe that they serve a useful purpose. It is difficult for every American to be herd in Washington and lobbyists provide a source for groups to be heard.

    Yes, some groups have found ways to misuse the lobbyist system and some use it as a way to launder bribes. Because of this we do need to find a way to limit the power of lobbyists. Admittedly, I do not have an answer at this time.

    Campaign financing may be an even more difficult hill to climb. I do not like the idea of public financing for campaigns, but it is seaming like that may be our best option at this time to create a level playing field. The big problem is that there is no constitutional way to limit the influence of outside parties. As long as George Soros is willing to write the check, there is nothing to stop him from producing websites, TV commercials, radio spots, billboards, boots on the ground or any other way to back his favorite totalitarian in an election.

    To create way to limit the influence of corporations, unions or nefarious hedge-fund managers would be a an attack on free speech. The best way to limit their influence is to convince 1 out of 5 of those eligible voters that do not vote. Nearly 50% of Americans do not vote, 1 in 5 would give us an additional 10% at the polls and that would over come any main stream media candidate.

    Again, very good article. If we could get more people to discuss these issues and take action on those discussions we may see a revival in America. Keep up the good work.

  2. May 19, 2011 8:44 PM

    I kinda did tackle two subjects at once, but the way that I did makes them go hand in hand. That is campaign contributions from corporations through lobbyists and special interest. I not saying that these groups shouldn’t have a voice. I’m saying that their voice should not take preference over the American public just because they can contribute to a politicians campaign. I believe that any special interest or lobbyist should be heard, and the politicians decision should be based on facts and statistics not dollars. Freedom of speech is something that is guaranteed by the constitution and the speech of one over the other should not be based on how much money you can afford to spend to buy that right.

    I do agree that more Americans should vote, but they also have an obligation to investigate and select the best candidate for the job, and not base their vote on familiarity, looks, endorsements, or lies.

    The state of our government is not solely the fault of greedy corporations or career politicians; it’s as much to blame on the American public for being complacent, lazy, and not standing together and forcing the changing they complain so much about.

  3. FMOA permalink
    July 19, 2011 1:28 PM

    I agree with you I think its some bull that the people we vote into power use and abuse there power for themselves or a business they are affiliated with in some way. They don’t give a Shit about us they just wana get more money and more power at our expense

  4. Jim Kapellusch permalink
    January 9, 2013 6:55 PM

    In response to FMOA, it’s our own fault, we are hoisted on our own petard, so to speak. We keep believing the waste of rhetoric spewed out by the “purchased ” media outlets on the quality of candidates, in or out of office. And we, like the proverbial “lambs to the slaughter” keep reelecting these parasitic money digesters to positions of power.I am NOT a total cynic, there ARE good politicians out there however this system is broken beyond repair…TIME FOR A CHANGE……!!!!!

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