Influence Peddlers: They’re Everywhere

Posted: 05/15/2016 3:06 pm

Influence Peddlers: They’re Everywhere
Like seven-year Locusts, old Members of Congress never really retire.
They stay around to sell their contacts.
Our “Project See Thru” is watching them.


When Members of Congress tire of the fight, they can look forward to a lucrative retirement plan (that they created for themselves) including full medical benefits and other perks.  

Some actually leave Washington to return to their hometowns.  But many stay in The Capitol to “cash-in,” as it’s known, on their relationships.  Some actually go to work for the companies that were their major contributors.

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If they’re lawyers, they will join prominent law firms, the ones that charge gigantic fees to promote legislation that helps their clients.

Occasionally, the influence peddlers think about what might be good or bad for America.  But somehow money has a way of clouding their loyalties, so the character of the person you voted for may be susceptible to compromise.

Or not.  There actually are former Members of Congress who believe in protecting the homeland, and doing the right thing. Both of those people have the courage of their convictions, but you’ll have a hard time finding them because they’re the types who don’t crow about their virtue.

Those who are left behind. . . the Members who stay in the game. . .all know about what their former colleagues are doing.  They see and hear from them frequently, sometimes asking for their friends to vote a particular way; often going to “fundraisers” to receive contributions.

While sitting Members of Congress will all claim that campaign contributions don’t influence their votes, most will also claim that Mother Goose can actually speak, and that Peter Pan can really could fly.

Unless you’re a personal friend of your Representative, it is unlikely you will from him or her again until they need money or would like you to know of their accomplishments.  This will generally take the form of a newsletter or email blast usually accompanied by pictures of the Member surrounded by school children, old folks or law enforcement, unless, of course, you live in Chicago, Baltimore, New York or Ferguson, Missouri.  However, of greater importance is what they don’t tell you.

In an ideal world, Members of Congress would provide you with a list of their contributors, and how those contributions impacted their votes on issues affecting the contributors.  It would be useful, but unlikely, that Members provided you with some analysis of the impacts of various pieces of legislation on our economy, our national defense, our trade and budget deficits, but that would require voters to give a damn, which most don’t.

Conventional media is watching for obvious corruption at the highest level they can find.  But we’re talking about informing individual voters about the activities of their Representatives.

Please take a look at Project See Thru on the homepage of Independent Voters. com for information on how you can participate.



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