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FlatIron
03-23-2012, 09:00 PM
I think this is the one issue that I disagree with Ron Paul. I think the practice of lobbying should not be protected under the constitution as well as not being legal. My reason is because it helped create the Corporatism economy that we have today. Does anybody have an argument for lobbying, or a reason why Ron Paul supports it?

Beorn
03-23-2012, 09:06 PM
It seems to me you are going after a symptom and not the problem.

narrowphoenix
03-23-2012, 10:43 PM
Yeah, cause we are lobbying right now for what we believe in! The problem isn't the lobbying, it's the big government auction that goes on and it's the politicians that are the problem.

fr33
03-23-2012, 11:05 PM
If they followed the constitution their lobbyist puppet masters would have no strings.

tttppp
03-24-2012, 12:02 AM
I think this is the one issue that I disagree with Ron Paul. I think the practice of lobbying should not be protected under the constitution as well as not being legal. My reason is because it helped create the Corporatism economy that we have today. Does anybody have an argument for lobbying, or a reason why Ron Paul supports it?

There's nothing wrong with a company explaining to the government that the rules in existence are hurting their business, or explaining to the government that a new rule would help their industry. The problem is the campaign contributions that these companies are allowed to make and also that the government is doing a lot of subsidizing or investing in businesses. These two problems combine so that companies basically bribe the government into giving them money.

Eliminating lobbying is not the answer. We need to create a system that eliminates campaign contributions, and get the government out of the business of investing, subsidizing, and bailing out companies.

rpwi
03-24-2012, 08:54 AM
Well lobbying is free speech...if somebody is lobbying for something you agree with...then they are a good guy. Politicians can not know everything about every issue...so it is ok for them to consult experts. The issue is the politicians themselves and this goes back to large issues like our two-party duopoly and lack of term limits that really hurts competition in the 'political market' and increases the chance that we get corrupt politicians.

The big issue that nobody talks about is the structure of congress itself. Greedy congressman and senators have subverted our democracy using committees and structural rules to make some congressman more equal than others. The constitution says any congressman can introduce a bill...but now this isn't true. All bills have to go through a committee first and the committee chair can ignore your bill, rewrite it, strike it down and pretty much marginalize you. The rules to bypass a committee are complicated and impractical. Committees were setup to focus the expertise of congress in different areas...but are obsolete and just serves to marginalize those out of favor with the elite congressman. The actual committee positions are handed out as favors to political insiders and supporters and have very little to do with real expertise. Because of our committee structure, fantastic legislative control is concentrated in very few hands...the committee chair. He/she pretty much gets to rewrite the bills how they want and this often is done to suit their local interest and campaign donors. The language is so complex and lengthy that few can and do read these bills. Get rid of our committee system and you make it exponentially more difficult for corrupt lobbies and politicians.

I recently read Jack Abramoff's auto...and this is how he worked. He would certainly use tricks like going after the congressmen head of staff instead of the congressman...offering these staffers jobs after they left office...and going after congressmen who had the committee chairs...because he knew they had such fantastic control over the bills and he could get complicated language inserted for his Indian tribes without anybody else knowing.

FlatIron
03-24-2012, 09:24 AM
Well lobbying is free speech...if somebody is lobbying for something you agree with...then they are a good guy. Politicians can not know everything about every issue...so it is ok for them to consult experts. The issue is the politicians themselves and this goes back to large issues like our two-party duopoly and lack of term limits that really hurts competition in the 'political market' and increases the chance that we get corrupt politicians.

The big issue that nobody talks about is the structure of congress itself. Greedy congressman and senators have subverted our democracy using committees and structural rules to make some congressman more equal than others. The constitution says any congressman can introduce a bill...but now this isn't true. All bills have to go through a committee first and the committee chair can ignore your bill, rewrite it, strike it down and pretty much marginalize you. The rules to bypass a committee are complicated and impractical. Committees were setup to focus the expertise of congress in different areas...but are obsolete and just serves to marginalize those out of favor with the elite congressman. The actual committee positions are handed out as favors to political insiders and supporters and have very little to do with real expertise. Because of our committee structure, fantastic legislative control is concentrated in very few hands...the committee chair. He/she pretty much gets to rewrite the bills how they want and this often is done to suit their local interest and campaign donors. The language is so complex and lengthy that few can and do read these bills. Get rid of our committee system and you make it exponentially more difficult for corrupt lobbies and politicians.

I recently read Jack Abramoff's auto...and this is how he worked. He would certainly use tricks like going after the congressmen head of staff instead of the congressman...offering these staffers jobs after they left office...and going after congressmen who had the committee chairs...because he knew they had such fantastic control over the bills and he could get complicated language inserted for his Indian tribes without anybody else knowing.

Wow. I never realized how much power these committees have. +rep to you and tttppp

rpwi
03-24-2012, 10:50 AM
Wow. I never realized how much power these committees have. +rep to you and tttpppThx :) When it comes to lobbying, the positions of speaker, majority leader and whip are even worse than the committees. These are the crooks that pretty get to decide who gets to run the committees...minority leaders even have a lot of power too because house and senate rules state minority parties have to have some representation in committees. It's quite a ridiculous mess to see how house and senate members will suck up to the leaders so they can get chairs in committees they want. Even Paul has admitted to voting for procedural issues with republicans so he can get on the "Committee on Financial Services" and "Committee on Foreign Affairs". Many representatives and senators do far worse to get onto committees (where the real power is).

It's very troubling that even if your bill (say to 'bring the troops home') gets out of committee unscathed and without parasite bills, if the speaker and majority leader are against this...they'll never schedule it for a popular vote. That a bill should be dependent on one or two people for scheduling is ridiculous and is unconstitutional IMO.

By far and away the most corruptible leadership position is the whip. They make sure legislation gets passed and can insert all sorts of problems into bills to appease corrupt lobbyist. Jack Abramoff's #1 target was the house whip, Tom Delay...and it worked terrifically for Jack. Tom was so corrupt of course that he got convicted. On the senate side the problem is very similar. The biggest name there, Rick Santorum was a very notorious and corrupt minority whip...and in fact his ties to the k-street project is probably what really did him in as a Pennsylvania Senator.

Indeed, it is so difficult to get your own bill up to vote, un-rewritten and scheduled in a reasonable manner...that many marginalized house members give up...and just pass amendments (that bypass committees and chamber rules) on popular bills that are going to pass anyways. If it were easier for house and senate members to bring up their bills for an open vote whenever they would like, then we probably wouldn't have so much lobbyist pork getting passed as parasite amendments onto popular bills.

It's important to note that committees are not mentioned in the constitution...and standing committees were only setup much later in 1816 (a huge mistake that has made a mess of congress ever since).

Zippyjuan
03-24-2012, 04:28 PM
Lobbying is where the real power is- not so much in elections though they can help if you can get a more favorable candidate in office. See, lobbying is cheaper than winning an election and in an election there are many issues involved. If you check the donors of major party candidates, you will see that most major corporations contribute to both sides to hedge their bets.

Writing the bills is where things really happen- that decides if you win or lose on an issue. And you can be more selective and specialized into where to put your resources. You don't need to lobby on every bill that comes up. Congressmen generally don't have that much knowledge on every issue so they look to others with specialized information on it and you can provide that info- or direct them to somebody on your side who does. Lobbyists can sometimes help to write an entire bill. Many of the car companies were in on the Environmental Protection Act issued under Bush. That let them tweek it in ways advantageous to them.

Money talks. I was reading recently that if the Top 10% (in terms of wealth) support an issue, it has a very high chance of getting passed. If there is an issue favored by the lowest 10%, it never passes. The middle only gets their way about a third of the time. Companies have great advantages over workers or individuals. They have the money and other resurces to make sure that their voices can be heard along with the necessary specialization needed.