Sunday, July 19, 2009
This post has 2 objectives. The first is to show you PROOF about how out of control lobbying is in our government. The second is to teach you how to keep an eye on the lobbying yourselves, it's surprisingly easy if you know where to look. Luckily for all of us I do know where to look now.
I've talked about lobbying before and while we all know about them I wanted to find a way to keep a close eye on exactly where the money goes and who they influence. The research I've done for this post has convinced me without a doubt that both the Democrats AND the Republicans are overwhelmingly influenced, and controlled I would argue, by the lobbyists.
Let's start with the big picture about who benefits more from the Lobbyists. The answer is in fact far more tricky than you might expect. The Democrats, especially the farther left Liberals, will tell you it's the Republicans that are more controlled by the various lobbyists. The Republicans will tell you the opposite. As it turns out, they are both lying. As you can see from this link it's a mere 53% Democrat and 47% Republican since 1990. Although Democrats have picked up steam in '08 and heading into '10.
Here's where we get down to details. I'll start with the Republicans. Some of the major lobbyist on the side of the Republicans include:
1. Finance/Insurance/Real Estate - notice that the Democrats did however pick up steam in 06. Also the Democrats beat the Republican in this industry in '08 and are on track to win again in '10. Perhaps it is shifting simply because of the overwhelming control Democrats currently have with the majorities in congress. From a historical perspective though this one goes to the Republicans.
2. Oil and Gas - no surprise here with a 75% to 24% lead for Republicans. The Democrats historically have always opposed the expansion of this industry so it's not shocking that Oil and Gas support the Republicans. I say work on domestic energy supplies WHILE AT THE SAME TIME developing alternatives. Personally, my preference is solar but technology's not there yet so in the meantime drill, baby, drill.
3. Pharmaceuticals - same story as finance really. Historically a Republican lobby going 50/50 in '08 and on track for a Democrat edge in coming years.
4. Tobacco - again not a surprise. It is worth noting that of all the industries I would argue that the Tobacco industry also has to spend more money than any other promoting ads AGAINST it's own product. I'm not making excuses as I'm no supporter of the tobacco industry and don't smoke, just stating facts.
Now let me move on to the Democrats. Here are some major lobbyist working on behalf of the Democrats:
1. Lawyers - As you can see the Lawyers and Law Firms have only increased influence over the Democrats over the last 20 years. The only slight slip up, (as a percentage), was in 2000 going from 72% in '98 to 69% in 2000. However they were back up to 74% in '02. No wonder a Lawyer commercial is on every other ad nowadays.
2. TV/Movies/Music - Hollywood, sexy sitcoms, rap, enough said. End of story on this one. 70% to 30% overall for the Democrats here.
3. Laborers Union - 92% to 8%!! Now I know why Obama's trying to force us into unions.
4. National Education Association (NEA) - This ones a no brainer. The largest teachers union in the country is overwhelmingly Democratic. 93% - 7% lobbyist contributions. Read the paragraph in the link about how the union is against vouchers for private school. Then remember that many congressman send their own kids to private schools and private schools have much higher test scores.
5. AFSCME - The paragraph explaining what this is will tell you all you need to know about this one.
6. Service Employees International Union (SCIU) - The biggest concern I have with this union are it's ties to ACORN.
7. Goldman Sachs - yes, THE GOLDMAN SACHS. You know the one we bailed out last year. Yes them. However, while it's 2 to 1 in support for Democrats, 36% given to the Republicans is worth noting.
Tell me something, how did Hillary Clinton get so in debt with donations from groups like the American Federation of Teachers? She tops the list by far. I tried to count the amount of politicians supported by this one and lost count in the upper 400's. It's worth noting that only around 6 or so were Republicans. When we get to the National Education Association the winner is, (drum roll please), ................John Kerry.
Now, if you haven't put a fist through your computer screen or thrown the monitor I have one last thing for you before I come to the conclusion. This section is called Heavy Hitters, click on the link and you'll see why.
It's a top 10 list for lobbying. Check each of the top 10 and you'll probably notice a pattern. Of the top ten 8 are overwhelmingly for the Democrats and 2 are only slightly for the Republicans:
1. At&t 55/45% R
2. (AFSCME) 98/2% D
3. National Association of Realtors 52%/48% R
4. Goldman Sachs 64%/36% D
5. (IBEW) 97%/2% D
6. American Association For Justice 90%/9% D
7. National Education Association 93%/7% D
8. Laborers Union 92%/8% D
9. (SEIU) 96%/4% D
10. Carpenters and Joiners Union 90%/10% D
If you would like to keep an eye on the lobbyist, let's face it there's no way I can do this myself then you should add this website to your favorites. I sure have. Remember what you have learned tonight the next time you hear a politician from either side of the aisle tell you they're going to stop lobbyist in Washington and give you a voice in the political arena. Search this site for yourself since there's way too much here for me to put on this blog. I'll be watching them and I'll need all the help I can get.
I'll just close with a classic statement of mine. One that this post may prove more than any other I've done so far. It's not about right and left, it's about right and wrong.