Now that Democrats control Congress, lobbying firms are scrambling to hire new people to try to influence (and eventually pimp) Democrats.
This is the corrupt lobbying system that has hijacked American democracy over the last few decades. And it is the same corrupt system that eventually helped to bring down Republicans in Congress (at least for the time being). It is also the same currupt system that Nancy Pelosi said she would clean up. But I have a feeling that Democrats (like the Republicans) will be seduced by all of the money that Corporations and special interests groups will throw their way. I suspect that the 110th Congress will be business as usual, because K Street has become an integral part of the American political system. Why? Because politicians now rely on the money that they receive from Corporations, mostly through campaign donations, but also from kickbacks for contracts, or through favorable media airtime. Corporations are heavy influences on media, including news media. How do the major news networks stay in business? Through corporate advertising or sponsors. If a major corporation or group of companies wants favorable airtime for "a friend" or they want to prevent unfavorable information from getting out....what do they do? They threaten to pull ads. This is how the American corporate media system has become a State-Run media system by proxy. This is why corporate news cannot be trusted. They do not always have the best interest of the public in mind. I don't see this cycle being broken anytime soon if ever.
If Democrats in Congress really want to do the right thing, they would literally clean up K Street by kicking the lobbyists out and limiting the number of lobbying firms that could operate in the immediate Washington DC area. Lobbyists should also be banned from the Capitol buildings and the immediate area near the Capitol. It should be against the law to accept ANY money, gift, political favor of any kind, or campaign donation from a lobbyist or from a company that is involved with government contracts or any company affected by any upcoming legislation. Former Politicians should also be prevented from accepting jobs as lobbyists for a certain number of years after leaving office (perhaps 10 years). Currently, former members of Congress are quickly going into lobbying positions once they leave office...taking their classified knowledge and access to other members with them into these new roles. If the Democrats are serious about cleaning up corruption and getting the lobbying in check, they would pass that law within the first week of opening the 110th Congress. The current proposal from the Democrats to deal with this problem is just a watered down plan that will only curtail lobbying.
But I say, the only way to cure the lobbying problem is to eliminate the current lobbying system altogether. The Congress was originally intended to be the House of the people....the common people. The original lobbyists (check your history) were ordinary Joe Blow Americans, and this was how the system was originally intended to work. But over the last few decades, corporations and other high powered special interest groups have taken over "lobbying" and made it into a profession. In the process, lobbyists have carved a niche for themselves by blocking others from getting access to Capitol Hill. You now have to pay to play....or in other words, you now have to pay to speak to your member of Congress or to enjoy anything remotely resembling "democracy".
Most Americans now have no access whatsoever to their members of Congress. This in turn has led to the political apathy, malaise, and hopelessness that we see from the American public. Today, the only way to get access to your member of Congress is either through lobbying firms, or via $2000 per plate fundraisers across the country. And some folks wonder why most Americans cannot name their Congressional representatives. What incentive do they have for knowing the names of their members of Congress when it means so little?
Will the Democrats be able to resist the lobbyists? I am skeptical. That's why I will be paying close attention to Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party as the 110th Congress gets started.
Previous Blog Entries On This Topic
Watch the Bill Moyers Documentary entitled "Capitol Crimes"
Bill Moyer talking about the Documentary "Capitol Crimes"