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Bill McKibben again

As Bill McKibben said, the Chamber \”spends more money lobbying than the next five lobbies combined …\”

\”It spent more money on politics last year than the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee combined, and 94% of that went to climate deniers.\”

Interesting, no?

Here\’s the list of the top ten donors to federal politics (I would assume that this is what we mean by lobbying? Given politicians money?)

Based on data released by the FEC on March 27, 2011.

Top 10 Heavy Hitters:
ActBlue $51,552,980
American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $45,037,993
AT&T Inc $40,800,955
National Assn of Realtors $39,494,410
National Education Assn $36,188,345
Service Employees International Union $35,854,539
American Assn for Justice $33,664,771
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $32,920,954
Laborers Union $31,183,767
American Federation of Teachers $31,021,128
View Full List

I have to admit that I don\’t see the Chamber of Commerce there.

What is it that I\’m missing?

9 thoughts on “Bill McKibben again”

  1. Surreptitious Evil

    And interesting to see the total domination of that list by the scoundrels of big business. In fact, apart from AT&T, they’re, well what? Ah, yes, unions. (Okay, ActBlue aren’t but the “realtors” are.)

  2. “What is it that I’m missing?”

    It is your assumption that throws you off. Donations to parties and campaigns isn’t lobbying. If you look at the page for Act Blue and click the Lobbying tab you’ll see they apparently haven’t done any of value that needs reporting.

    Lobbying is spending a lot of money on politicians to convince them to think your way. Donating is giving a lot of money to politicians to get them to convince the public to think your way.

  3. @ Garath: so if I find a candidate who agrees with me and shovel shed loads of cash his way to make sure he gets elected, and stays elected, thats OK. But if I go to someone already elected and try to convince them (using cash of course, but not in an overt bribery way) to do what I want that’s not OK?

    Looks pretty similar from where I’m standing. Either way I get what I want. Probably more likely in the first option too, as you’ve bought the whole candidate, not just his opinion/vote on one issue.

  4. Surreptitious Evil

    Lobbying is spending a lot of money on politicians to convince them to think your way.

    Isn’t lobbying paying ex-politicians to convince their ex-colleagues to shill for you?

  5. Lobbying and donating are both fine and legitimate things to do. There’s also nothing wrong with pointing out how much money is being spent by a given organisation on doing so. There is something wrong with trying to claim that donations are all there is to lobbying and disputing correct figures because of that.

    Really Tim, this is beneath you.

  6. No matter the nuances of lobby financing, it does rather betray the Willie Sutton-esque nature of US politics. Witless attacks on the structure of political funding like McCain-Feingold thoroughly miss the point. If you want to reduce the influence of money in politics, reduce the power of politicians.

  7. The problem, as always, is that we give Big Government enormous power to *uck up people’s lives. It’s the most natural thing to expect that people will go to great lengths to ensure that Big Government *ucks up somebody else’s life.

    The solution is not to give Big Government more power to *uck up people’s lives.

  8. Surreptitious Evil

    The solution is not to give Big Government more power to *uck up people’s lives.

    And, the $64000 question is …

    How do you get that past a legislature morally, financially and corruptly committed to Government power?

    Perm one from any and everybody’s

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