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Posts Tagged ‘lobbyist’

Today’s Flickr Photo:

Flickr photo by Sifu Renka

If you read one thing today . . .

The wining and dining that lobbyists imparted on lawmakers hardly surprise Washington insiders. But when a glimpse of the influence infiltrated outside the Beltway during the trial of former House majority leader Tom DeLay, Texas jurors didn’t like what they saw. They learned of DeLay’s flights on corporate jets, meetings at resorts and a flood of corporate cash fluffing his campaign coffers. In the end, they convicted him on felony charges of conspiracy and money-laundering. What does this mean on a larger scale?

“We tried to present the context,” Rosemary Lehmberg, the Travis, Texas, district attorney who oversaw the prosecution, told The Washington Post. This included DeLay’s role in founding the PAC and its solicitations of corporations, as well as the political rewards that he reaped. She said, however, that while it’s true “citizens are tired of the large amounts of money and particularly corporate money that are being put into the political arena,” the jury’s judgment was based on evidence that such funds were sent to Washington and then brought back to Texas in a deliberate effort to evade the state’s absolute prohibition on their use in elections.

Overheard:

Wikileaks again topped headlines this week when the group released a host of cables revealing insights into American diplomacy. What’s on tap next for the controversial nonprofit media organization? Rumor has it, Bank of America is on deck to be Wikileaks’ next target. Although BofA refutes the whispers, that didn’t stop its shares from tumbling 3 percent yesterday. As financial blogger Barry Ritholtz put it,

Here is the sad reality: Can you really embarrass any of these banks? They were incompetently run, with criminally inept risk management. They blew themselves up, and exist today only due to the largesse of the taxpayer. They gratefully took all they could grab and more.

What else can you release to embarrass them?

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The army of “revolving door” lobbyists bidding for the financial services industry is even larger that we thought. After combing through Senate lobbying disclosure records, we reported in November that at least 940 lobbyists in the financial services sector.

This week, we partnered with the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) on an update to that report that included data from CRP’s in-house revolving doors database (catching lobbyists who do not report to their employment histories on their lobbying disclosure forms) as well as Senate records showing an additional two reporting quarters.

The result: At least 1,447 of the lobbyists employed by the financial services sector since 2009 previously held a government job. That is nearly 56 percent of the 2,603 lobbyists, all told, who worked for the sector in the time period.

Among these “revolving doors” are 73 former (more…)

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While we expected lobbyists for opponents of strong derivatives reform to have something to say about the legislation to reform the industry, maybe we didn’t expect them to come out with such fervor. Turns out they outnumber the pro-reform lobbyists by 11-1, a Public Citizen report found. That’s right, when it comes to financial reform, Wall Street has thrown 903 lobbyists against our 79. This means we have to work 11 times as hard to make sure We, the People are protected in this legislation. We could use your help. Take action.

From the press release:

“Wall Street is fighting hard to keep its casino open for business,” said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “They want to keep making risky bets, awarding themselves billions in bonuses and running to Uncle Sam for handouts when they lose. Their position is ridiculous and discredited, so it’s not surprising that they would hire nearly a thousand lobbyists to drown out reform advocates.”

Want to make sure your voice is heard when the Senate tries to rein in Wall Street? Sign the petition. Call your senators. Tell a friend. We can’t let Wall Street’s sheer man power overtake this much-needed overhaul of the abusive financial sector.

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