Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Why Lobbyists should be banned from politics...
Jack Allan Abramoff is a former american lobbyist who was jailed for being at the nucleus of a continuing criminal enterprise.
His cadre of crooks included a congressperson, nine other lobbyists, congressional aides and white house officials; one of which was former Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles.
Before his incarceration, Jack was a top lobbyist for the firm Preston, Gates and Ellis; he later joined the Greenberg Traurig law firm in March of 2004.
And it was for himself and these firms, that he bilked nearly a hundred million dollars out of native american owned casinos.
And for the above crimes, Jack was sentenced to six years in federal prison for mail fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials and tax evasion.
After serving four years of his six year sentence, he was released and wrote his autobiography, 'Capitol Punishment: The hard truth about washington corruption from america's most notorious lobbyist'. He was also the subject of two films, one being a documentary titled: 'Casino Jack and the united states of money'; the other was a feature film titled 'Casino Jack' starring Kevin Spacey as Abramoff.
Now, as is par for the course with public officials who fall from 'grace', Jack is reinventing himself as a staunch advocate AGAINST political corruption. You know...the same kind he went to jail for. But this is just one celebrated example of what goes on everyday in the hallways and back rooms of capitol hill.
Lobbyists are legal bribe merchants...straight up. They are the political bagmen who grease the palms of politicians, so corporations can have their way with government policies and the public at large.
They're like political parasites as they're voracious in their need to infect and affect every part of political bodies. But as far as unscrupulous behaviors go, they've really got nothing on the politicians themselves.
What I've learned through my research is the covert corruption lobbyists are engaged in, is not always at the behest of lobbyists; a lot of times, politicians seek these guys out themselves.
You see, politicians know that being bought off by lobbyists is just a perk of the job, so they not only come to the table with their hands out, but they're actually calling these firms to negotiate just how much grease it'll take to sufficiently keep their pockets full.
I've read stories of politicians telling lobbyists that they don't have to be physically present to pay for their expensive dinners; oftentimes, the politicians will just instruct a lobbyist to leave a credit card with the restaurants owner, and when the politician shows up, they just use the card for their bill. Whether it's comp'ed master suites at hotels, private jet rentals, sky boxes at sporting events or upper-scale shopping excursions, politicians are 'all in' when it comes to grabbing at these free goodies.
And it's not like politicians only have one or two of these bribe merchants to choose from, some politicians have upwards of ten to thirty lobbyists at their beck and call.
Now, I'm not naive enough to think that politicians are gonna' vote to bite the hand that's feeding them; but it's up to grassroots, working class folks to put as much of a stop to this as possible.
There's legislation mandating some transparency for the lobbyist grift machine, but those laws are so full of loop-holes that they're downright negligible.
One thing's for sure, true change never happens from the top down, only the bottom up.
It's up to the proletariat to stop casting ballots for the 'duopoly' of Democrats and Republicans who've been bought and sold decades ago; and It's time for a truly independent political party that's not corrupted by corporations so working class folks in this country, who do the lion's share of the work, can receive the lion's share of the benefits.
Ultimately, it's up to you and I to stop this kinder, gentler form of bribery, so we too can partake in the 'fat of the land'.
Now will this happen in my lifetime? Probably not; but it's up to us to get the ball rolling so the next generation won't have to suffer at the hands of capitol hill's rotting moral underbelly.
It's morally imperative that we either form a truly independent party that represents us, or boycott the voting structure completely, so the politicians will have to hear us again.
Personally, I think the only viable solution would be to boycott the vote en masse and shut this whole governmental sham down.
That's what it's really gonna' take to have a government for and by the people.
Truly independent people can 'govern' themselves, we don't need proxies.
So, it's time to wipe these greasy palms clean; and the sooner we do this, the better.