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Lobbyists Give 3/4 Of Their $$ To Dems

From an unfazed Washington Post:

New records show some lobbyists are top fundraisers for political candidates

By Dan Eggen
Monday, May 31, 2010; A01

For more than a decade, Brian L. Wolff was the quintessential Washington insider, serving as one of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s closest aides as she rose through the House and helping to raise millions as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

But the fundraising didn’t stop once he left the DCCC. As a top lobbyist at the Edison Electric Institute, which represents major power companies in the climate debate, Wolff has bundled together more than $600,000 in contributions for the DCCC within the past year — and he hopes to raise $2 million more for the committee by November

Wolff is among nearly 160 registered lobbyists who have raised at least $9 million for political parties and federal candidates over the past year, according to a Washington Post analysis of records filed under new Federal Election Commission requirements…

Bundling has become a cornerstone of the money game in Washington, allowing lobbyists and other fundraisers to funnel multiple contributions to campaigns without running afoul of individual donation limits. The practice is a frequent target of criticism from reformers, and President Obama proposed new limits on lobbyist contributions and bundling earlier this year.

The new FEC records come as the result of 2007 legislation, also supported by Obama, requiring reports of contributions of $16,000 or more that are bundled by lobbyists. The process is riddled with loopholes, however: The reports do not identify the specific contributors whose donations were bundled, and under FEC rules some recipients don’t have to file at all if they don’t already keep track of bundlers.

Even so, the new data provide a revealing look at the central role of lobbyist-fundraisers in channeling money to candidates, particularly to Democrats, who currently control the levers of power in Washington. About three-quarters of the contributions documented in the reports went to Democratic committees or candidates, with the DCCC ($2.4 million) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ($1.1 million) topping the list. (The Democratic National Committee, following Obama’s lead, does not accept contributions from registered lobbyists.)

The DCCC’s status as the top recipient is ironic given that the committee chairman, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), wrote the ethics law provision that required the disclosures

The Republican National Committee reported just one lobbyist who bundled money: former New York congressman Bill Paxon, who raised $180,000 for the GOP… Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who recently left the Republican Party to run for the Senate as an independent, also collected more than $300,000 from lobbyist bundlers.

The leading individual beneficiary was Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), a top Democratic fundraiser whose campaign received more than $570,000 in contributions bundled by registered lobbyists, including more than $30,000 each from the political action committees for the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, records show. During last year’s health-care legislation debate, two top lobbyists at the Greater New York Hospital Association bundled more than $300,000 in donations for Schumer’s campaign and the DSCC, which he has led

Gee, do you wonder if the recent financial and healthcare ‘reforms’ had anything to do with these shakedowns?

The biggest lobbyist-bundler on the list is Ben Barnes, a longtime Democratic insider from Texas who raised more than $640,000 at a single fundraiser last year for the DCCC, according to records and officials. Barnes, who did not respond to requests for comment, has represented more than two dozen clients since 2009, including General Motors, Oracle and Motorola, lobbying records show.

Gee, do you wonder if Mr. Obama and the Democrats’ bailout of General Motors was influenced by these donations?

Another prolific K Street bundler is superlobbyist Tony Podesta, who together with his wife, Heather, raised more than $500,000 for Democratic committees and candidates from July 2009 through last week, including $100,000 for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). The Podesta Group, one of Washington’s top lobbying firms, boasts dozens of clients including Bank of America, BP, Google, Lockheed Martin, Wal-Mart Stores and Wells Fargo.

Those and many other companies represented by Podesta have major stakes in the benchmark issues of the day, from the health-care overhaul to financial regulation to the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But Podesta, an outspoken and gregarious advocate for K Street, said being a lobbyist is "incidental" to his political activities

Lest we forget, Tony Podesta’s lobbying firm was co-founded with his brother, John Podesta. John Podesta a White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton.

John is also the founder and President of the Center for American Progress, the Soros-funded radical left ‘think tank’ which directs policy for the Obama administration.

Tony, by the way, was the "founding President" of the ironically named anti-American outfit, People For The American Way, which is funded by Norman Lear.

Robert Raben, who represents many liberal nonprofits and advocacy groups, reported bundling more than $70,000 for his former boss, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), and the DCCC over the past year

The same Barney Frank who has presided over the recent finance ‘reforms’? And notice two of the other Democrat stalwarts on the Washington Post’s list of top recipients of lobbyist money — Messrs Rangel and Waxman.

Still, thank goodness that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and the rest of the Democrats have brought us the most ethical Congress in history or these kind of reports would be troubling.

We would hate to think that people are using money to influence legislation. Especially, now that we have had such rigorous campaign finance ‘reform.’

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 1st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Lobbyists Give 3/4 Of Their $$ To Dems”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    I’d stake out lobbyist to red ant hills and kick open said hill.
    Also those that except their ill gotten gains.

    (Is that Mr. Fwanks I hear crying?)

  2. proreason says:

    3/4 of the money we know about.

    that’s the tip of the iceberg.

  3. Right of the People says:

    Take the word “contributions” in this story and substitute the word “bribes” for it and this makes much more sense and rings much truer.

    New records show some lobbyists are top fundraisers for political candidates
    By Dan Eggen
    Monday, May 31, 2010; A01
    For more than a decade, Brian L. Wolff was the quintessential Washington insider, serving as one of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s closest aides as she rose through the House and helping to raise millions as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
    But the fundraising didn’t stop once he left the DCCC. As a top lobbyist at the Edison Electric Institute, which represents major power companies in the climate debate, Wolff has bundled together more than $600,000 in bribes for the DCCC within the past year — and he hopes to raise $2 million more for the committee by November…
    Wolff is among nearly 160 registered lobbyists who have raised at least $9 million for political parties and federal candidates over the past year, according to a Washington Post analysis of records filed under new Federal Election Commission requirements…
    Bundling has become a cornerstone of the money game in Washington, allowing lobbyists and other fundraisers to funnel multiple bribes to campaigns without running afoul of individual donation limits. The practice is a frequent target of criticism from reformers, and President Obama proposed new limits on lobbyist bribes and bundling earlier this year.
    The new FEC records come as the result of 2007 legislation, also supported by Obama, requiring reports of bribes of $16,000 or more that are bundled by lobbyists. The process is riddled with loopholes, however: The reports do not identify the specific contributors whose donations were bundled, and under FEC rules some recipients don’t have to file at all if they don’t already keep track of bundlers.
    Even so, the new data provide a revealing look at the central role of lobbyist-fundraisers in channeling money to candidates, particularly to Democrats, who currently control the levers of power in Washington. About three-quarters of the bribes documented in the reports went to Democratic committees or candidates, with the DCCC ($2.4 million) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ($1.1 million) topping the list. (The Democratic National Committee, following Obama’s lead, does not accept bribes from registered lobbyists.)
    The DCCC’s status as the top recipient is ironic given that the committee chairman, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), wrote the ethics law provision that required the disclosures…
    The Republican National Committee reported just one lobbyist who bundled money: former New York congressman Bill Paxon, who raised $180,000 for the GOP… Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who recently left the Republican Party to run for the Senate as an independent, also collected more than $300,000 from lobbyist bundlers.
    The leading individual beneficiary was Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), a top Democratic fundraiser whose campaign received more than $570,000 in bribes bundled by registered lobbyists, including more than $30,000 each from the political action committees for the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, records show. During last year’s health-care legislation debate, two top lobbyists at the Greater New York Hospital Association bundled more than $300,000 in donations for Schumer’s campaign and the DSCC, which he has led…
    The biggest lobbyist-bundler on the list is Ben Barnes, a longtime Democratic insider from Texas who raised more than $640,000 at a single fundraiser last year for the DCCC, according to records and officials. Barnes, who did not respond to requests for comment, has represented more than two dozen clients since 2009, including General Motors, Oracle and Motorola, lobbying records show.
    Another prolific K Street bundler is superlobbyist Tony Podesta, who together with his wife, Heather, raised more than $500,000 for Democratic committees and candidates from July 2009 through last week, including $100,000 for Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). The Podesta Group, one of Washington’s top lobbying firms, boasts dozens of clients including Bank of America, BP, Google, Lockheed Martin, Wal-Mart Stores and Wells Fargo.
    Those and many other companies represented by Podesta have major stakes in the benchmark issues of the day, from the health-care overhaul to financial regulation to the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But Podesta, an outspoken and gregarious advocate for K Street, said being a lobbyist is “incidental” to his political activities…
    Robert Raben, who represents many liberal nonprofits and advocacy groups, reported bundling more than $70,000 for his former boss, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), and the DCCC over the past year…


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