Where Have All the Lobbyists Gone? (SL The Nation). Daschle, a “policy adviser” to a range of corporate interests and a close confidant of many top Democrats, has become one of the most famous unregistered lobbyists in the city. In fact, his escapades as a consigliere and go-between for business leaders and politicians, including President Obama, are so well known that among ethics watchdogs, the technicality in the law that allows lobbyists to evade registration has become known as the “Daschle Loophole.”
posted by spamandkimchi
on Mar 3, 2014 -
The Hill’s Megan Wilson, based on documents leaked on Monday, reports
that the American League of Lobbyists (ALL) is considering dropping "lobbyist" from its name.
"The organization confirmed to The Hill it is 'discussing a rebranding,' and is taking 'baby steps' toward that goal. Top choices for a replacement name include The Association of Government Relations Professionals, The National Association of Government Relations Professionals and the Government Relations Professionals Association, 'based on board meetings and emails,' the document says." [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing
on Sep 21, 2013 -
Our Corrupt Politics: It’s Not All Money
. Ezra Klein on corruption in US politics. The key mistake most people make when they look at Washington—and the key misconception that characters like Abramoff would lead you to—is seeing Washington as a cash economy. It’s a gift economy. That’s why firms divert money into paying lobbyists rather than spending every dollar on campaign contributions. Campaign contributions are part of the cash economy. Lobbyists are hired because they understand how to participate in the gift economy.
posted by russilwvong
on Mar 3, 2012 -
Radio, RIAA: mandatory FM radio in cell phones is the future.
'Music labels and radio broadcasters can't agree on much, including whether radio should be forced to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay for the music it plays. But the two sides can agree on this: Congress should mandate that FM radio receivers be built into cell phones, PDAs, and other portable electronics. The Consumer Electronics Association, whose members build the devices that would be affected by such a directive, is incandescent with rage. "The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity," thundered CEA president Gary Shapiro. Such a move is "not in our national interest."
"Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do."
But the music and radio industries say it's a consumer-focused proposition, one that would provide "more music choices."' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Aug 16, 2010 -
Colonel Muammar al-Gadaffi, Leader and Guide of the Revolution, has been consulting with two US-based PR / lobbying companies—The Livingston Group (Sourcewatch
) and Monitor
)—to effect the rebranding of Gadaffi's Libya as a desirable and trustworthy ally of the United States. Confidential documents from these consultations have been obtained and posted online
by a Libyan opposition group called NCLO. They include fee quotes, progress reports, and mission plans, as well as a personal tutorial curriculum for Gaddafi's son. Via LRBlog [more inside]
posted by stammer
on Jul 29, 2009 -
Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey
is valiantly fighting European attempts
to extend the EU's emission trading scheme to aviation.
Those silly Europeans, Ms. Blakey has argued
, are so overexcited about global warming that they are even using helicopters with thermal imaging systems to enforce a green tax on outdoor BBQs!
Unfortunately for her argument, it turns out that the story she quoted is a complete hoax
. Now, unlike Brownie, nobody would ever accuse Ms. Blakey of being a novice. Apart from previous tenures at, among others, the Department of Transportation and the NTSB, Ms. Blakey also founded Blakey & Agnew
, a "public affairs" firm with a special focus on transportation issues.
posted by Skeptic
on May 27, 2007 -
Citizen K Street: How Lobbying Became Washington's Biggest Business The story will begin in the newspaper and on the Web on March 4, with an overview of Cassidy's career. Then, beginning March 5 and running Monday through Friday for five weeks exclusively at washingtonpost.com/citizenkstreet, Kaiser will tell the story in a serial narrative that will chart Cassidy's path and the transformation of the lobbying industry in Washington.
posted by srboisvert
on Apr 8, 2007 -
"Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) invites you to join one of our guided tours through Brussels, the corporate lobbying capital of Europe. The two-hour tour introduces you to the headquarters of industry lobby groups, think-tanks, public relations firms and other key players in EU-level corporate politics, all located conveniently close to the corridors of power." There's a nice little Lobby Planet
guide [PDF] with even more information.
One group has come back with some criticisms
about "factual errors", akin to our very own pantsgate
posted by gsb
on Feb 7, 2005 -
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing? Walgreens
, a nationwide drugstore chain, has been unsuccessful in obtaining city approval for a new store in a south Austin neighborhood. Now, they're trying a new approach:
“Along with plan revisions and numerous neighborhood meetings, they made public in February their intention to build a permanent home for a nearby icon, Maria Corbalan's Taco Xpress.”
—Austin American Statesman, 6-13-04
...and they've hired a political consultant, reportedly with green leanings and a history lobbying the city of Austin, to drum up support for this cause (specifically the Maria's Tacos portion of their strategy). Insidious? Benign? Is this a new trend?
posted by Ethereal Bligh
on Jun 13, 2004 -
Welcome to the Machine
This article in the Washington Monthly describes a long term project of the Republican party to change the largely bipartisan nature of K street lobbying firms and install Republican thought leaders. In return for political benefits to the lobbyists clients, the lobbyists and their clients are expected to play nice with the Republicans on other issues. K Street has been a moderating influence against drastic change, as some constituent always objects. Under this new right-wing symbiotic relationship, individual interests are somewhat subordinated to the right-wing agenda. One of the more fascinating aspects is how it dramatically improves Republican fundraising; for instance:"For years, conservatives have been pushing to divert part of Social Security into private investment accounts. Such a move, GOP operatives argued, would provide millions of new customers and potentially trillions of dollars to the mutual fund industry that would manage the private accounts. The profits earned would, of course, be shared with the GOP in the form of campaign contributions. In other words, by sluicing the funds collected by the federal government's largest social insurance program through businesses loyal to the GOP, the party would instantly convert the crown jewels of Democratic governance into a pillar of the new Republican machine. "
Of course the whole premise of this system rests upon continued Republican control. If the Democrats can wrest back control of the House and Senate, or install another strong president some of these lobbyists and their constituents will likely find themselves closed out of the process. Oh what a lovely way to govern. (via The Filibuster
posted by caddis
on Jun 29, 2003 -
The Mohair Council of America
wins the prize for our country's most unique lobbying group. (I mean, really - it's mohair!) The MCA exists largely to protect the mohair subsidies
, which are leftover from a time when the military used the material for uniforms. The subsidies were phased out in the mid 90s, but the MCA lobbied hard enough to bring them back in 1999. It just goes to show that with a well-placed lobbying arm, even the most useless, obscure interest group can get a piece of the government pie.
(Runner up: The Flexible Packaging Association
posted by risenc
on Jan 6, 2003 -
Watchdog Watchdog on Your Side
"ActivistCash.com states that its mission is to expose 'where anti-consumer organizations and activists get their money.' ... ActivistCash is one of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a public affairs firm owned by lobbyist Rick Berman. Berman & Co. represents the tobacco industry as well as hotels, beer distributors, taverns, and restaurant chains." Not a new phenomenon, but a helpful accounting.
posted by Joe Hutch
on Jan 5, 2002 -