Thursday, September 23, 2010

Republican 'Pledge to America' Authored By Lobbyist for AIG, Big Oil

The Republicans unveiled their Snake oil today... their "Pledge to America". Based on what is in "the Pledge" the Republican answer to our economic situation is to extend tax cuts for the rich (the top 3% of American taxpayers) and that will take care of everything. Absent were specifics about controlling deficit/lowering national debt, what to do about jobs going overseas, specifics on exactly how to create jobs, etc. But the Pledge does promise to repeal healthcare reform. And on the subject of Social Security, Boehner couldn't answer reporters questions, but from what he had to say, privatizing Social Security is still on the table for them (of course it is... that's what they intend to do, but he was afraid to say it). the pledge was critical of special interests.... ironic since the man behind the "Pledge to America" is a professional corporate lobbyist for such great companies as AIG and Exxon, among others. Basically the Republican program was authored by a corporate shill by the name of Brian Wild.

From The Huffington Post:

The Republican Party's 21-page blueprint, "Pledge to America," was put together with oversight by a House staffer who, up till April 2010, served as a lobbyist for some of the nation's most powerful oil, pharmaceutical, and insurance companies.

In a draft version of The Pledge that was being passed around to reporters before the official release, the document properties list "Wild, Brian" as the "Author." A GOP source said that Wild -- who is on House Minority Leader John Boehner's payroll -- did help author the governing platform that the party is unveiling on Thursday. Another aide said that as the executive director of the Republican leadership group American Speaking Out, Wild's tasks were more on the administrative side of the operations.

Until early this year, Wild was a fairly active lobbyist on behalf of the firm the Nickles Group, the lobbying shop set up by the former Republican Senator from Oklahoma, Don Nickles. During his five years at the firm, Wild, among others, was paid $740,000 in lobbying contracts from AIG, the former insurance company at the heart of the financial collapse; $800,000 from energy giant Andarko Petroleum; more than $1.1 million from Comcast, more than $1.3 million from Exxon Mobil; and $625,000 from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.

More here

For those who may have missed an earlier post regarding what the Republican Tea Party stands for.... Here is Their Basic Platform.

From Think Progress - No real mention of controlling the earmark pork spending in Congress:

As the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reports, the GOP’s new “Pledge to America” was directed by a staffer named Brian Wild, who until early this year, was a lobbyist at a prominent DC firm that lobbied on behalf of corporate giants like Exxon. Moreover, the insurance industry is the leading contributor to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the Republican who led the effort. Consistent with its desire to placate lobbyists, the 21-page “Pledge” omits any mention of a key Republican mantra: a ban on earmarks.

Lobbyists have long supported the practice of “earmarking,” a maneuver that allows lobbyists to cajole members of Congress to add pet projects to appropriations bills. While it’s no surprise that the lobbyist-authored document drops any discussion of “earmarking,” it is nevertheless an interesting pivot for Republicans.

On March 11, 2010, House Republicans adopted a one-year moratorium on all earmarks, urging Republicans in the Senate and Democrats in Congress “to follow their lead.” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) touted the decision as “an important step toward showing the American people we’re serious about reform.” While Democrats announced a ban on earmarks for private companies the day before, Boehner wanted to “put [all earmarks] on the line to win” the November elections. Republicans touted their measure as a message that they were going to “cleanse themselves” of corruption and bring about “a culture of change”:

See full commentary from Think Progress.

Two great commentaries on The Republican "Pledge to America"

One from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Another from the Examiner.

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