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Bundlers poised for power over supercommittee


Democracy and Power 114:  The Power Players

Who actually controls the force of government?   The politicians and interest groups control the American political process.  Special interest groups – big business, small business, unions, education, seniors, and a multitude of others - seek favors: tax breaks, subsidies, exclusive legislation, etc.  Interest groups give enormous money to political campaigns, and receive gigantic benefits in return.

 Bundlers poised for power over supercommittee 

 What compelled Congress to name and pass the 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act?  As if honest leadership could be legislated.  Actually, the legislation was the result of the Jack Abramoff scandal and gives more insight into the nexus between special-interest donations and powerful politicians.

Within the next few months, the Super Committee will make an important decision affecting public policy and many industries.  AT&T, Microsoft, Duke Energy and many other enterprises have important of issues pending in Congress and have “bundled money” to many members of the Super Committee.

What is bundling? “Bundlers” — companies and lobbyists who cut big checks and pile up scores of smaller donations.  Needless-to-say, a bundler has a lot of power with Congress.  Politico reports that the Super Committee members have received $1.6 million from bundlers.  

Of course, Members of Congress refute succumbing to undue influence.  Read their explanations:

“There are a lot of members of Congress, and we all have multitasks, including all having to run for election, and so we take our responsibilities seriously,” Sen. Murray (D-WA) told Politico. “The select committee is no different than anybody else” in Congress.

Sen. Kerry's (D-MA) spokesperson, Jodi Seth, said those two bundlers were disclosed after a December 2010 event honoring Kerry’s 45 years of public service. She said the senator’s votes are strictly rooted in the interests of his state and his personal beliefs — “and nothing else.”

Now, the assuring words of two lobbyists - John Podesta andTony Podesta.  John was Chief of staff for Bill Clinton.

In an interview, Podesta (John) downplayed that lobbyists’ history of fundraising would have a real effect on the supercommittee’s final result, saying the members won’t have a “special window for bundlers.”

“I don’t think they’ll be tallying to see who did what for them,” Tony Podesta added.

Then, why bundle?  Obviously, the executives of AT&T, Microsoft and Duke Energy know this is an effective means to gain access to power.

Why do elected officials participate?  Simple, elected officials always need money to campaign for themselves and their party and the bundlers are providing it – big time.

How do American citizens counter-act these collusions?  Encouragingly, We the People took the first step and voted wastrel politicians out of office.  The election of 2010 was a great success.  The election of 2012 is extremely important.  We the People must convince the independent voter to vote for candidates supporting less taxes and more freedom.

Next, join FreedomWorks, which has strong and constant relationships with the increasing number of politicians dedicated to a limited government.  The combined power of grassroots voters and direct contact with politicians is the most powerful force against the lobbyist, bundlers and spendthrift politicians.  FreedomWorks is the most powerful force against the “good old boy” politics of DC.

will akman