Firms Infused With Rescue Cash Find Money to Fund Lobbying
GM, Financial Companies Are Among Biggest Spenders
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Top recipients of federal bailout money spent more than $10 million on political lobbying in the first three months of this year, including aggressive efforts aimed at blocking executive pay limits and tougher financial regulations, according to newly filed disclosure records.
The biggest spenders among major firms in the group included General Motors, which spent nearly $1 million a month on lobbying, and Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase, which together spent more than $2.5 million in their efforts to sway lawmakers and Obama administration officials on a wide range of financial issues. In all, major bailout recipients have spent more than $22 million on lobbying in the six months since the government began doling out rescue funds, Senate disclosure records show.
The new lobbying totals come at a time of mounting anger in Congress and among the public over the actions of many bailed-out firms . . .
Congress is not yet angry enough to stop taking the money, but they’re publicly outraged while privately paid off. Newspapers call this ‘swaying‘ lawmakers. They are swaying, no doubt of that, drunk on lobbying money.
The House Financial Services Committee pocketed over $16 million in 2008 alone, from–you guessed it–the finance, insurance and real estate industries. That’s not bribery?
Barney Frank, the Chairman of that committee benefited by nearly $3 million in his personal trough. That’s not graft? What else would you call it?
Over on the outraged Senate side, showing the House to be mere amateur pikers, the Senate Banking Committee took in $37 million in 2008 from those same perps. There’s room for outrage, but certainly not by a shame-faced and paid-off legislature. Christopher Dodd, Chairman of the committee wasn’t running this election, but in 2004, his last time out of the gate, he pulled in over $7 million.
A hundred years ago, Mark Twain named the United States Congress as “America’s only native criminal class.“
Not much has changed, nor will it until we gather outside the homes of our elected officials and demand to know what they did with the dough.