Posts Tagged ‘special interests’

Abject Liar Alert: Washington Post Documents FACT That Under Obama, More Lobbyists Are Getting Access And Exploiting The System Than Ever

May 23, 2012

The Washington Post article featured below says the following about Obama’s self-righteous promises:

“More than any president before him, Obama pledged to change the political culture that has fueled the influence of lobbyists.”

What are some things that Obama said en route to taking the presidency in 2008?

I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not get a job in my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president. I’m in this race to take those tax breaks away from companies that are moving jobs overseas and put them in the pockets of hard working Americans who deserve it.” – Barack Obama, in a speech to the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, November 10, 2007.

What else?

“We will not take a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest pacs.”

“They will not fund our party.  They will not run our White House.”

“We’re going to change how Washington works.”

Talk is cheep.  Obama knows that – which is why his presidency has been based entirely on cheep talk and on saying he’d do one thing and then doing another.

Just who is visiting the White House?  And how often are these people getting access?

WH Logs Reveal Obama Met With AFL-CIO & ACLU Lobbyists Over 50 Times Each
by Wynton Hall3 hours ago14post a comment

An interactive and searchable database of White House visitor logs is turning up some interesting findings and reveals a “steady stream of lobbyists” visiting the Obama White House, reports the Washington Post

For example, AFL-CIO lobbyist Bill Samuel visited the White House over 50 times, and American Civil Liberties Union lobbyist Laura Murphy visited almost as frequently.

By comparison, Speaker of the House John Boehner has only visited the White House 23 times.

Oprah Winfrey has visited five times. 

To search the 1.3 million distinct names in the database, which span from December 2009 to January 31, 2012, click here.

If you’re going to try to argue that Obama has been reaching out to the Republicans, Speaker  Boehner’s 23 invites versus just two union lobbyists hundred or so invites says different.

Barack Obama has already been documented to be a hypocrite and a liar on lobbyists and special interests pacs.  But this is just out from the Washington Post to show that even as he’s attending more fundraisers than the previous five presidents COMBINED, nothing has changed as Obama campaigns 24-7 for re-election:

White House visitor logs provide window into lobbying industry
By T.W. Farnam, Published: May 20

Before 9 a.m., a group of lobbyists began showing up at the White House security gates with the chief executives of their companies, all of whom serve on President Obama’s jobs council, to be checked in for a roundtable with the president.

At 1 p.m., a dozen representatives from the meat industry arrived for a briefing in the New Executive Office Building. At 3 p.m., a handful of lobbyists were lining up for a ceremony honoring the 2011 World Series champions, the St. Louis Cardinals.

And at 4 p.m., a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs arrived in the Old Executive Office Building for a meeting with Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

It was an unremarkable January day, with a steady stream of lobbyists among the thousands of daily visitors to the White House and the surrounding executive office buildings, according to a Washington Post analysis of visitor logs released by the administration. The Post matched visits with lobbying registrations and connected records in the visitor database to show who participated in the meetings, information now available in a search engine on the Post’s web site.

The visitor logs for Jan. 17 — one of the most recent days available — show that the lobbying industry Obama has vowed to constrain is a regular presence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The records also suggest that lobbyists with personal connections to the White House enjoy the easiest access.

More than any president before him, Obama pledged to change the political culture that has fueled the influence of lobbyists. He barred recent lobbyists from joining his administration and banned them from advisory boards throughout the executive branch. The president went so far as to forbid what had been staples of political interaction — federal employees could no longer accept free admission to receptions and conferences sponsored by lobbying groups.

“A lot of folks,” Obama said last month, “see the amounts of money that are being spent and the special interests that dominate and the lobbyists that always have access, and they say to themselves, maybe I don’t count.”

The White House visitor records make it clear that Obama’s senior officials are granting that access to some of K Street’s most influential representatives. In many cases, those lobbyists have long-standing connections to the president or his aides. Republican lobbyists coming to visit are rare, while Democratic lobbyists are common, whether they are representing corporate clients or liberal causes.

Lobbyist Marshal Matz, for example, who served as an unpaid adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign, has been to the White House roughly two dozen times in the past 21 / 2 years. He has brought along the general counsel for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the chief executive of cereal maker General Mills and pro bono clients, including advocates for farmers in Africa.

In April 2011, Matz came to the Old Executive Office Building with the owner of Beef Products Inc. to meet with Robin Schepper, a woman he has known for years who heads Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign. The company owner argued that one of his products should be promoted for school lunches, according to two participants in the meeting.

Matz, like most of the lobbyists contacted for comment, declined to be interviewed. But Howard Hedstrom, a Minnesota sawmill owner and president of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition that hired Matz, said: “I appreciate Marshall’s ability to have access. . . . He opened the door, but basically the conversation was carried by those of us who know the issues.”

White House spokesman Eric Schultz referred in a statement to Obama’s “unparalleled commitment to reforming Washington” and noted that this is the first administration to release the visitor records. “The people selected for this article are registered lobbyists, but this article excludes the thousands of people who visit the White House every week for meetings and events who are not,” he said. “Our goal has been to reduce the influence of special interests in Washington — which we’ve done more than any Administration in history.”

Acting on a pledge to make government more transparent, Obama released the visitor logs, although he did so to settle a lawsuit seeking the records. The administration publishes the information monthly, with a three-month delay, so the latest information is from January.

The lack of a list from previous administrations makes it impossible to know whether paid advocates have more or less access than in the past.

The logs show the names of the roughly 2,600 people each day who are given a badge to enter the White House, the Old Executive Office Building, the New Executive Office Building or the vice president’s residence. The visits can be for any purpose, from meetings, group tours and state dinners to basketball with the president.

The database containing the visits lists more than 2 million visits, with 1.3 million distinct names, but includes no other information about their identities or professions.

Many of the lobbyists who appear on the visitor logs are representing organizations that support administration policies. Bill Samuel, lobbyist for the AFL-CIO, for example, has been to the White House more than 50 times since Obama took office. The logs show he met four times with former White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley and three times with Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.

“We’re not dealing with any state secrets here,” Samuel said, noting that his organization has worked closely with the White House to persuade lawmakers to pass job-boosting legislation.

Other White House allies have visited almost as often, including Nancy Zirkin, a lobbyist for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Laura Murphy, who represents the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The administration’s stance on lobbying may be a great applause line for people outside the Beltway but there are people here in D.C. who are lobbying on behalf of a multitude of worthy causes,” Murphy said.

Tony Podesta, brother of former Obama aide John D. Podesta, has visited 27 times. And Robert Raben, who represents many liberal causes, has been 47 times.

But lesser-known names are also among the frequent lobbyist visitors, including Tim Hannegan, an informal adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign with clients such as Comcast and Taser International. He has been to the White House and executive buildings more than 30 times for social events or meetings.

Hannegan did not respond to requests for comment.

In October, Hannegan gathered at the Old Executive Office Building with the CEO and a lobbyist from his client Kelly Services and aides in charge of the president’s jobs council. Among other things, the group discussed a tax credit that Kelly, which supplies temporary office staffers, was pushing to encourage companies to hire unemployed veterans. Obama signed into law the credit, known as the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a month and a half later.

James McIntire, the Kelly Services lobbyist, noted the advantage of hiring Hannegan, who is very familiar with the White House. “He was aware of many of the administration’s ideas and then directionally where they were heading,” McIntire said.

Hannegan was also the top lobbyist for a coalition of for-profit colleges, which successfully argued for weaker regulations affecting their industry. The Washington Post Co., which owns Kaplan University, also lobbied on that issue.

Among the lobbyists with close ties to the White House is former New York congressman Tom Downey, who is married to Carol Browner, until last year Obama’s energy czar. Downey is the head of Downey McGrath Group, a lobbying firm whose clients include Time Warner Cable and Herbalife, which sells nutrition and dieting products. He has been to the White House complex for meetings and events 31 times.

Downey declined to be interviewed, but a statement from his office noted that before Browner joined the administration, “he took the extraordinary step of discontinuing work for a client with issues in her purview” and did not sign up new clients in that area during her tenure.

On Dec. 10, 2010, Downey held a meeting with economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers and Bill Cheney, the head of the Credit Union National Association, one of Downey McGrath’s clients. John Magill, the top lobbyist for the association, said that the group was pushing to lift the cap on the percentage of assets its members can lend out. The group asked Downey to request the meeting because he is a well-known Democrat.

“Had it been the Bush administration, we probably would have asked one of our Republican consultants to make the call,” Magill said. “That’s the way it works.”

Downey also visited his wife about 20 times in the two years she worked there, usually signed into the building by her aides. The logs show him attending a raft of social events, including holiday parties, a St. Patrick’s day reception and two senior staff dinners.

Andrew Menter, the chief executive of Vivature Health, said that Downey helped set up a meeting for him in December 2010 with Michael Hash, a top health-policy official. The group discussed how the new health-care law might affect Menter’s business, a Texas-based company that provides billing services for college health programs.

“The whole process was interesting for me. It’s a little scary,” Menter said. “You need a lobbyist to get a meeting.”

That last sentence pretty much sums up the abject hypocrisy that is Obama.  From:

“More than any president before him, Obama pledged to change the political culture that has fueled the influence of lobbyists.”

to:

“The whole process was interesting for me. It’s a little scary,” Menter said. “You need a lobbyist to get a meeting.”

So let’s just put those two thoughts together and conclude that:

“More than any president before him, Obama is a cynical, dishonest lying hypocrite.

And it’s more than a little scary.

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Obama Continues To Demonize: This Time The U.S. Supreme Court

January 28, 2010

Since I wrote this (but before I posted it) we have a Supreme Court Justice responding to Obama’s continued demagoguery of SCOTUS.

Obama was saying:

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections.

(APPLAUSE)

I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests or, worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people. And I urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems.

And Samuel Alito shook his head and mouthed, “That’s not true.”  In deference to the separation of powers, and all that:

Our Demagogue-in-Chief has now turned his demonizing away from George Bush (for just a brief moment, mind you) and toward the Supreme Court:

WASHINGTON — President Obama took aim at the Supreme Court on Saturday, saying the justices had “handed a huge victory to the special interests and their lobbyists” with last week’s 5-to-4 decision to lift restrictions on campaign spending by corporations and unions.

The decision will have major political implications for this year’s midterm elections. After it was announced, Mr. Obama immediately instructed his advisers to work with Congress on legislation that would restore some of the limits the court lifted. But in his weekly address on Saturday, he sharply stepped up his criticism of the high court.

“This ruling strikes at our democracy itself,” Mr. Obama said, adding: “I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest. The last thing we need to do is hand more influence to the lobbyists in Washington, or more power to the special interests to tip the outcome of elections.”

Barack Obama is a demagouge, and nothing but a demagogue.  You are either with him, or he is bitterly against you.  He has been a fearmongerer and a demagogue from the beginning:

ABC’s Jake Tapper notes the “Helter-Skelter cultish qualities” of “Obama worshipers,” what Joel Stein of the Los Angeles Times calls “the Cult of Obama.” Obama’s Super Tuesday victory speech was a classic of the genre. Its effect was electric, eliciting a rhythmic fervor in the audience — to such rhetorical nonsense as “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. (Cheers, applause.) We are the change that we seek.”

That was too much for Time’s Joe Klein. “There was something just a wee bit creepy about the mass messianism … ,” he wrote. “The message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is.”You might dismiss the New York Times’ Paul Krugman’s complaint that “the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality” as hyperbole.

And what happens if you contradict such a “cult of personality”?  You become the enemy of the religion.  And you must be attacked with the zeal of the fanatic.

Did the five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court want to “strike at our democracy itself”?  Hardly:

The five justices who sided with the majority characterized it as a victory for the First Amendment and freedom of speech.

Boy, is THAT ever striking against democracy.  Damn free speech!  Damn First Amendment!  Let’s get rid of them both and have Obama instead!

Let’s agree with Barry Hussein’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s take on it instead (see the embedded video):

“When you think about the First Amendment…you think it’s highly overrated.”

That joke dismissing the First Amendment was about as funny as Josef Stalin’s kneeslapper:

“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.”

Here’s an important question: Just why is our demagogic president and his lackeys so unhinged over this decision?

It comes back to the idea of his racist, Marxist, anti-American reverend’s words about “chickens coming home to roost“:

From the previously cited New York Times article:

But the decision could also have a significant effect on Mr. Obama’s expansive domestic agenda. The president has angered many of the big-money industries — like banks and insurers — that would be inclined to dig deep into their pockets to influence the outcome of the president’s legislative proposals.

I’m reminded of the sci-fi movies that feature an evil scientist finally having his own monsters turn on him while he screams.

It’s poetic justice that the industries and businesses that Obama demonized should finally get a chance to have their crack at him.

And only a profoundly anti-American ideologue would say that people shouldn’t have a right to publicly confront their accuser.  When Obama attacks them in public, they should have a right to speak out themselves in public.

An excellent summary of the grounds for the Supreme Court’s decision can be found here.  Basically, the Court recognized that there are two types of corporations: media corporations and non-media corporations.  One had the full rights of free speech, and the other had its free speech rights attacked.  Why should General Electric-owned NBC have complete access to free speech, while other corporations are banned from free speech?

As Justice Kennedy (who is hardly “right wing”) pointed out in his decision:

Media corporations are now exempt from §441b’s ban on corporate expenditures. Yet media corporations accumulate wealth with the help of the corporate form, the largest media corporations have “immense aggregations of wealth,” and the views expressed by media corporations often “have little or no correlation to the public’s support” for those views.

Why is it “striking at our democracy itself” to finally allow corporations to have a voice against a president who has given one sweetheart deal after another to labor unions, while working toward giving labor unions the right to force unions on businesses without a legitimate private vote via card check?

Here’s another example: one of the top bankruptcy attorneys in the country has stated that the Obama White House threatened to destroy his firm using the mainstream media if it continued to oppose Obama’s “Take my offer or else” offer for Chrysler investors.

Here’s another one: Humana was attacked, demonized, and handed an illegal gag order for trying to correct the record as the White House levied lies against it.

You can frankly understand why Obama and the far left want to have the ability to keep attacking businesses and people who depend upon businesses for their livelihood without their opponents being able to respond.  They want to be able to impose their agenda and crush any and all opposition.  By any means necessary.

Fortunately the Supreme Court has allowed corporations to answer back to this demagoguery.

This is an important fact:

Our United States Supreme Court has defined a corporation in the following language: “An association of individuals, acting as a single person …. united for some common purpose …. and permitted by the law to use a common name and to change its members without a dissolution of the Association.”

But liberals don’t like these “people.”  They don’t like businesses.  And they believe they should have the right to attack the people they don’t like, and that the people they attack should have no right to defend themselves.

Corporations are legally recognized to act as a “person.”  Obama has attacked such “persons” too many times to count.  And now that “person” finally is getting the right to respond.