Saturday, July 31, 2010

Big Government Attacks Lobbyist Contributions To Democrats, Ignores Source Of Disclosure And Republican Obstruction To New Laws

Warner Todd Huston wrote an article for Big Government today attacking Democrats for accepting lobbyist money despite the president's constant attack on special interests.  The funny thing is he ignores that the only reason we know of such contributions is because of a law enacted by Democrats, not Republicans - he also ignores the fact that Republicans blocked a recent law that would have required special interests (both corporations and unions) to disclose their spending on political advertisements.

I thought Huston's article was interesting because he cites a recent Bloomberg report that describes the lobbyist money flowing into Democrat's coffers - the article points out that Democrats are the ones who created the disclosure rules and that Republicans have repeatedly blocked related legislation, like the recent bill to require corporations and unions to disclose political advertisement spending.  The article also mentioned that Obama had not accepted lobbyist or political action committee during his 2008 campaign - Huston decided to leave that part out and instead focused on lobbyist involvement in Washington politics.

Trying to understand Huston's point, I noticed that he supplied links to his sources to prove that the Democrats are corrupt, but I found something interesting about his sources - he cited articles he wrote for other online publications, and the way he wrote those articles were very misleading, like this December 21, 2009 post that implies that Democratic legislators were behind the move of their aids to become lobbyists.
For instance, did you know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, Nev.) has 13 of his former staff members now working as lobbyists for the healthcare industry? Our own Senator, Dick Durbin (D, Ill.) who is also the Majority Whip, has 8 of his former staffers lobbying for the healthcare industry and GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has seen 5 of his staffers quit to lobby for healthcare.
What does he mean when he writes "Harry Reid has 13 of his former staff members now working as lobbyists?"

How are the former staffers still a possession of Harry Reid?

Huston failed to mention that the Senate and House minority (Republican) leaders and whips also had staffers quit to become lobbyists.

Does it seem a bit hypocritical that while the president attacks special interests, Democrats accept lobbyist cash?  A bit, but I can see where the money may be needed, especially when dealing with special interests that are funneling their money into political action committees and tea party organizations that are not required to disclose their income sources because Republicans had decided to block legislation.  Huston's article implies that the Republicans are completely innocent, but we all know that Huston is just contributing to the propaganda echo chamber - just consider the facts that he writes for Big Government and cites his own past propaganda as proof of future hypocrisies.

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