Barack Obama and Lobbyists

Not living in Pennsylvania, I can only get a sense of what’s going on there peripherally. We hear that Obama is outspending Hillary Clinton 2 to 1 on televised campaign ads. I also get the sense that Obama’s main thrust, to take the spotlight off his insulting remarks regarding rural Pennsylvanians and other rural Americans, is to attack his opponents, both Hillary Clinton and John McCain, on their association with lobbyists. Apparently, Pennsylvanians are being incessantly bombarded with his “holier than thou” attitude attacking his opponents.

I was frankly curious how a politician in Washington could completely avoid Lobbyists in the function of representing his or her constituents. So, I decided to take a look at Obama’s actual record. After all, he is campaigning on a platform of reform and specifically of limiting the function of lobbyists in Washington.

In my search, I didn’t have to look very hard. I ran across the following article published by ABC News in 2007:

Despite Rhetoric, Obama Pushed Lobbyists’ Interests

In typical Obama style, he professes one thing and does another. According to the above article:

“It’s an entire culture in Washington — some of it legal, some of it not,” the Democratic hopeful told a New York crowd in June, rallying support for his ethics reform agenda.

Together, Obama’s obscure measures — known as tariff suspensions — steered more than $12 million away from federal coffers, according to government estimates.

Obama sponsored Senate bill, S.3155:

a bill specifically exempting Astellas’ key ingredient from tariff payments. The bill cost the federal government more than $1 million in lost revenue, according to government estimates.

According to the article, his staff worked with registered lobbyists for Astellas Pharma, a Japanese company with offices in Illinois. His staff also worked with a lawyer representing an Australian firm, Nufarm, also with offices in Illinois. Their representative was not registered although it appears obvious that his efforts were “lobbying” for the firm. Is this even legal?

Again, according to the article, Obama’s staff defended their efforts by saying:

“Sen. Obama helped his constituents obtain foreign products necessary for their business at an affordable rate,” said Ben LaBolt, noting that Obama made sure all the products “met strong environmental standards” before pushing to make it cheaper to import them.

Yet the article pointed out:

While legal, Obama’s bills on behalf of Nufarm and other companies are part of the special treatment machine Washington rolls out for special interests, say good-government watchdogs.

Well, isn’t this exactly what Obama is deriding his opponents for doing? Is it simply “okay” when Barack Obama deals with lobbyists but “not okay” when anyone else does?

Lobbyists are paid representatives of special interest groups like AARP, labor unions, religious groups, environmentalists, Planned Parenthood, Pro Choice advocates, Anti Abortion advocates, Gun Rights advocates, and the NAACP as well as corporations … the list is nearly endless … any particular group that has a specific agenda that it wants presented to congressional representatives and senators.

Barack Obama has systematically appealed to these special interests as he has campaigned in each state. It’s politics and it’s unavoidable. Obama is making a dirty word out of “lobbyist” and hasn’t even kept his hands clean.

Barack, can you say “duplicity”? Do you understand what it means?

You keep insulting the intelligence of Americans. Not only do you think we’re “bitter” and “clinging” but you also appear to think that we’re “stupid” and “illiterate”.

I heard an Obama supporter comment, “Can you believe anyone proposing the notion that a black man can be “elitist”?

Well, my reply would be that the notion of “elitism” isn’t a particular characteristic of any race. In my experience, it’s the product of a shallow personality which is self promoting and self aggrandizing while belittling others.

And, Barack Obama fits that profile perfectly.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. Well written.
    Obama’s supporters have the general trait of arrogance
    and often reply with personal attacks whenever someone
    questions Obama’s record.

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