I have mixed feelings about this:

Washington lobbying firms, trade associations and corporate offices are moving to hire more well-connected Democrats in response to rising prospects that the opposition party will wrest control of at least one chamber of Congress from Republicans in the November elections.

In what lobbyists are calling a harbinger of possible upheaval on Capitol Hill, many who make a living influencing government have gone from mostly shunning Democrats to aggressively recruiting them as lobbyists over the past six months or so.

On the one hand, it’s a good sign that K Street thinks the Dems will take at least one chamber of Congress in the midterms.

On the other hand, I don’t want the Democrats to become just another party of corporate hos. Guys, remember that one of the big reasons the Republicans are in such deep shit is their corrupt relationship with lobbyists. Be careful that you don’t fall into the same trap.


Comments: 26


It’s way too late for that. The Democrats are far, far less likely to be personally corrupt, but most if not all of them are wholly on the side of big business and capitalism, though with some attention to reforms.

See the health care debate in the early years of the Clinton administration as a good example.


Martin is right. If the Dems were truly different, not just different by degree – if they were truly an opposition party – we might not be in as big a mess as we are.

Which is not to say that I want to see a single Republican (re)elected in the next decade or two.

verplanck colvin

It’s the incumbents that are getting this cash, right? Not those fighting for their shot at a first term. There are few progressive stars right now, first and foremost the proudly socialist Bernie Sanders in VT, Sherrod Brown in OH, and Jon Tester in MT. I know Bernie’s character a bit better than the latter two (Bernie doesn’t touch corporate PAC cash), but they seem like upstanding gentlemen.

Hopefully the freshman senatorial class of 06 will teach the senior members how to behave while in government.


I dunno. I think the democrats have at least the potential to be different.

We have one party that seems to truly believe government can help people and accomplish things. So there’s at least a possibility that people have gone into government to do that.

We have another party that seems to truly believe that government can never do anything, that people cannot be helped, and that the very best thing would be to eliminate the majority of governmental functions.

If you believe that, there are that I can see only two reasons to be a part of government: Either you want to destroy or weaken it from within, or you figure since it can’t do anything right, you might as well see if you can get it to do the wrong things for your own benefit.

So I’d like to believe that a democratic majority is capable of passing some meaningful lobby reform bills. This probably makes me incredibly naive.


It’s at least a move back toward *legal* relationships with K Street, instead of Delay’s K Street Project, where he sat lobbying firms down once a week and told them which congressional staffers to hire for which positions. Delay created a revolving door from Capitol Hill to K Street, generating choice positions for his loyal cronies and ensuring that lobbying firms share his goals and vision all at the same time.

The concept of lobbying firms is disturbing enough, but it was downright frightening to watch K Street become nothing more than a branch of the House Republican Caucus and nobody cared, because, eh, all politicians are corrupt, blah blah. No, not like this. The level of cronyism was unprecented in my lifetime. This is the attitude that lets Brownie become head of FEMA, that lets Jack Abramoff happen, that convinces appointees to keep their mouth shut and watch things go to shit lest they jeopardize their consulting career, that lets any old college dropout who worked on a campaign feel entitled to a six figure income and a megaphone reaching 1 million people.


I’m sorry to have to say this, but take off your rose-colored glasses. Mr. Smith is a fictional character.
While there are un-corruptable representatives in the Democratic party, there are also some members across the aisle who have not kissed lobbyist ass either. Granted it is much more pervasive on the side that sees “public service” as a get-rich-quick scheme, but it is an unfortunate fact of life that in order to gain higher office in this country you HAVE to tow the corporate line to some degree. Money talks. REALLY LOUDLY. In fact, it’s safe to say that money has always had a dominant (if not overt) role in our elections. The only thing we can hope for is a better-educated electorate and greater openness in their dealings so we know what beds our representatives are sleeping in up front.

Sorry. I’m a bit of a cynic, I guess.


While the Democrats may be Republican-lite when it comes to corporate whoredom, they are also (I’ll say this quietly, so as not to contribute to the MSM conventional wisdom) still somewhat in disarray. The resulting power vacuum provides an opportunity for anti-corporate forces (aka “us”) to take control of the Democratic party.

So, there are two arguments for Democratic gains: Democrats are better than Republicans (though not perfect), and the Democratic party will be easier to transform. The only alternative would be to back a third party, and the system is rigged to make third parties irrelevant except as spoilers.

Go Dems!


Oh, this has happened before. Too many Democrats think the leash is short enough, but it’s too late before they realize that the beast is walking them. Then the Republicans get into office when everyone gets too cynical, never mind that the Republicans, for the most part, are the beast, or at least are content to let it run amok.


“…one of the big reasons the Republicans are in such deep shit is their corrupt relationship with lobbyists. Be careful that you don’t fall into the same trap.”

I realize Brad R is just a young ‘un, but even the kiddies should realize that the Democrats had to be shoved out of that “trap” kicking and screaming. You have read the articles about the Rovian “K Street Project,” yes? You do realize that the Republicans wouldn’t have gone to all that effort had there been no notable connection between lobbyists and Democrats?

Don’t make me get out the history books and read highlights of the Tip O’Neill congress to you kids.

And get off my lawn.


Become? Democrats aren’t not hos, they’re just hos that are out of work.


yeah, but now we have the progressive blogosphere to hold the Dems feet to the fire once they get into power, and make them walk in a straight line.

Onward utopia!


stupid question, are congresspersons and senators required to meet w/lobbyists ??

if campaign money wasn’t an issue, they could tell them to go pound sand, no ??


true. spillling a little largesse on the other side of the aisle does not constitute “inclusion” or representative democracy.

but these people have wanted all of it.

they don’t just want you out. they want you dead. dead. dead.

real conservatives simply mistrust concentrated power, and rightly so. but they so creamed their jeans at the prospect of finally having power in the 80s, that they’ve since acquiesced totally, and then been bitch-slapped into whimpering obedience when they finally realized, “hey, that’s not what we meant.”

so let’s clean house.

as a street hockey player I knew use to say, “hack em all, and let God sort em out.”


I don’t get the indisciminate hatred of corporations or lobbyists. Most of them are NOT manufacturing Xyklon-B. really.

but maybe, look to the monumental, nay, Himalayan arrogance and gall and vanity of the DeLays and such. And the others from the Repubs who just can’t stand the idea of not having their asses kissed and going back to the real working world where they’re usually nobodies.

and guys like Lieberman (“I’m not leavin, man.”{?]) Talk about arrogance? As though the Senate, Dems, and nation can’t exist if he should go. even though they told him to go fuck himself (believe it, a 52-48 vote against an 18 year Senate incumbent, with a 50% turnout in AUGUST in CONNECTICUT, is a massive landslide, and a huge “Fuck You!”)

all those folks in Congress CAN just say no. or negotiate a less than whoring arrangement. isn’t negotiation what they claim to specialize in? or maybe find a way to develop alternative funding, advertizing, and field organizations that don’t rely so much on corporate financing.

these guys should be forced every day, right after their “prayer sessions” and their Pledge of Allegiance, to say out loud the line attributed to Charles de Gaulle:

“the cemeteries are full of indispensable men.”

maybe then they’ll get that it ain’t about them.


For years the House sat in balance with the Republicans consistently being able to out-fundraise the Democrats by a factor of multiples and the Democrats being able to out-vote get thereby holding the majority forever. So it seemed. This held the partisan rancor at bay because, well, what did it matter when you knew who had waht power no matter what nasty things you said about them. Oh and the Senate was “above” partisanship.
Then at about the same time two members went and f’d up the whole balance. Tony Coelho the Democratic Whip got greedy and went about convincing K Street that because the Dems were forever in power, they were wasting their money on Republican candidates. Suddenly the shrill and nasty Newt looked as if there was some truth behind his years of calling the Dems arrogant and entrenched. That and the Republicans ability to control enough state legislature to tip the balance of gerrymandered districts made the difference in who controlled the House.

If the Democrats want to stay the minority party, then they can go right back to raising money from interests that they don’t represent. It’s not that “lobbyists” represent a negative influence, it’s that lobbyist give to candidates that already support their position. Would Nader have sunk Al Gore’s presidential effort if Gore hadn’t helped out by fund raising from the wrong sources? Sure the Sierra Club will never be able to fund candidates as well as Exxon/Mobile, but then the Republican candidates can accept the big money without losing votes, democrats, for the most part can’t.

The Republican let Newt go out of convenience and have turned the entrenched arrogant tag on to themselves, the question is, will the Dems do their part to bring the natural balance of power back, or will they get greedy even before they get the power?


As Monty Python’s King Arthur shrieked:

Run away! Run away! Run away!

To quote another old ruler, King Lear:

That way madness lies.

I’m just lying back and thinking about England today, I guess.


K Street is the enemy.


IC said: “I don’t get the indisciminate hatred of corporations or lobbyists. ”

It’s not indiscriminate. I hate them in exact proportion to the volume of money they hand out for re-election campaign.

hate the player. hate the game.


mdhatter, don’t take the bait. You know “IC” stands for International Corporation, don’t you? Let’s just agree to disagree, shall we? To quote a wiser man than I (Homer Simpson), “Please, please, kids, stop fighting. Maybe Lisa’s right about America being the land of opportunity, and maybe Adil’s got a point about the machinery of capitalism being oiled with the blood of the workers.”


“…You know “IC� stands for International Corporation, don’t you?�

If by your reference to IC, you mean me, at least have the courtesy, honesty and stones to say so.

You don’t seem to have much taste or stomach for ambiguities.

It’s just so much easier to paint it all in black and white.

“Lobbyistsâ€? also protect the interests of small business owners, family farms, minority owned-businesses, union members rights, women’s rights, etc etc etc. Look up sometime who has lobbyists representing them in DC. Your worldview is infantile.

And get a wife/husband, kids, mortgage, business, financial goal, etc etc etc and life turns into all sorts of moral quandaries and gray areas. Only ideologues, or kids, make simplistic judgments like yours.


Methinks “IC” stands for “Indefensa Capitalism.”

Christian, nice try — but, to channel El Ruppo, the fact is that political contributions from lobbyists defending “the little guy” (small biz owners, family farms, unions, etc.) is dwarfed in comparison to what we might call Big Business.

That being said, this data suggests that not a lot will change when the House goes Democratic in 2006 — lobbyists will still be pouring in fuckloads of cash into the political process.


who are you pathetic idiots anyway? why do you hang out here? you guys are sissy cockslappers like jeff – that’s it!

why don’t you guyz get a room? why do you waste your time in this cesspool of a blog?

get a life, mofos!


Hoo boy.

Uh, I, Christian? You OK buddy? Did you get a flat tire today? Did your dog die recently? I think you should take the rest of the day off and go to the beach.


Hi Word Warrior,

One of the Pathetic Idiots here! I must compliment you on your perceptiveness. Yes, we are all sissy cockslappers here, as you so astutely point out. However, with your post above, you are “hanging out” here too. Ceteris paribus, you are a sissy cockslapper too! Welcome, fellow sissy! Perhaps we will one day meet and slap our cocks together.


I linked to the info you put in your comment.

Interesting, expected, and pretty ugly.

But I never said it was pretty.

I just said that they too have a right to make their case. And even keep others from victimizing them in, say, a popular witch hunt. Or a political shake-down. (just remember: next time, it might be you.)

And as someone with a developing professional service, I am also a member of a professonal organization whose job it is to protect me (and others like me) from excessive taxation, improper and perhaps politicaly motivated investigation, punitive legislation, cruel and unusual punishment, whatever–the whole schmeer. and it is absolutely appropriate to have such a advocate. do you really intend to leave yourself to the tender mercies of an elected official? (I don’t buy a bit of that “market forces” bullshit, but trust a politician???!!!)

We all do have a right to an attorney. We all do have a right to representation. Even if it means they do it better smarter or richer than you. And if that’s the case, then maybe you’re just doin’ it wrong.

Lobbying is just like any legal action — the law provides us with either a sword or a shield.

This may put a sword in their hand, but it also puts a shield in yours. And vice versa.

And until the regulations governing such things as campaign finance are iron-clad and effectively exclude undue influence, are you going to throw away your weapons, and go to the knife-fight empty-handed?

Parlay is better, but if necessary, I also wanna be able to bring my Colt equalizer too.

Like it or not, lobbying, like lawyering, does allow that protection, not only to the largest fish in the ocean, but to the small fry, as well.


I did something in a harbinger once, but I was drunk and can’t remember what.


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