Big Business Lobbyists Against Small Government Republicans

Democracy and Power 114: The Power Players

Who actually controls the force of government? Politicians and interest groups control the American political process. Special-interest groups – i.e. big business, big unions, education, seniors, and a multitude of others – seek favors, such as tax breaks, subsidies, exclusive legislation, and the list goes on. Interest groups give enormous amounts of money to political campaigns and receive gigantic benefits in return.

Big Business Lobbyists Against Small Government Republicans

Big businesses seek to buy political influence. Libertarians seek small and limited government. And so goes the internal struggle of the Republican Party. Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner explains:

It’s big business versus the free market once again as K Street lobbyists square off against Tea Party groups in two Republican House primaries this spring.

Mike Simpson (R-ID) is an eight-term Congressman and lobbyists are strongly supporting him over his opponent Bryan Smith. According to Carney, Smith has received no corporate money at this time. In 2008, Simpson supported the Wall Street bailout and received donations from General Electric and Goldman Sachs – bailout recipients. Simpson has also consistently assisted America’s sugar industry against competitors, which increases the price of sugar for American consumers. In return for Simpson’s vote, seven sugar-industry PACs have donated money to keep him in office.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, another heavily watched race is taking place. A small government, Libertarian Congressman, Justin Amash, is being challenged by Brian Ellis. Again, big business lobbyists – aka K Street – are strongly supporting Ellis. Impressively, Amash has received 20 percent of his donations from small donors. Ellis has received 3% from smaller donors. Hopefully, the big bucks of corporate sponsorship will not override who is most-capable for the job and most-caring about the people in their community.

Big business versus small and limited government is the internal conflict in the Republican Party. As Timothy Carney observed:

K Street versus the Tea Party is the main divide in today’s GOP. Idaho and Michigan will help determine who has the upper hand.