By Jack Jodell, Jan. 26, 2012

Those who justifiably bemoan the fact that Washington is broken and is rife with corruption know very well the root cause for all of this lies in the overabundance of professional lobbyists.  These “specialists” influence- peddle on behalf of special interests all throughout our nation’s Capitol.. Many are former members of Congress, who, a scant two years after leaving the House or Senate, are hired at substantial salaries to persuade their old remaining colleagues to vote a particular way on specific bills. Other times, a lobbying firm itself will even draft an entire bill to submit to a specific Congressperson for sponsoring, a vote, and eventual passage into law! Unfortunately, many times this particular bill will have little contained in it for the public good, and will instead benefit primarily its prime corporate originators at public expense!

Today, lobbying firms have grown malignant and have mestastisized alarmingly in recent times. They, more than anything, have been the primary “tumors” which have been directly responsible for obstruction  and the complete absence of good, beneficial legislation for the vast majority of the country who are without corporate or special interest affiliation.  Today, there are an unbelievable 12,200 + legally paid registered lobbyists in Washington, according to Open This is down a bit from the record of  14,856 set in 2007, but it is still much higher than it used to be (10,406 in 1998). This being an election year, the number will undoubtedly swell again. These lobbyists spent an ungodly record of $3.51 BILLION in 2010, and that amount, too, may well be eclipsed this year. Some of this money legitimately goes to paying the salaries of those hired to plead a particular group’s case, but far too much goes into legal fees and actual bribes for congresspersons, carefully slipped to them secretly under the table. Is it any wonder that special interests have no trouble getting THEIR bills passed while YOU are left dangling in the wind?

There is nothing wrong with lobbying per se. The right to redress our government is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Lobbying Congress or even federal agencies to inform them of citizen or business wants and needs can be a vital and good thing. But the issuance of outright bribes to specific congresspersons or threats to reward their opponent in the next election with large campaign contributions goes FAR beyond what is desirable, permissible, or even proper!

Founding Father James Madison warned us about the emergence of what he called “factions.” He defined these as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Surely Madison was right in warning us of the dangers of this tyranny, expressed as it has been through corporate lobbying which has led over time to air and water pollution, as well as disastrous Wall Street market speculation! And surely Madison is spinning in his grave to see how blatantly self-serving modern corporate lobbying has become!

In 2010, there was an effort to try to close down K Street banks in Washington, D.C., an area composed overwhelmingly of major lobbying firms and their clients. This effort, a forerunner to last fall’s massive #OCCUPY WALL STREET protests, caused a Bank of America office to close temporarily. As we have . occupied not only Wall Street, but foreclosed homes, public squares, universities, Congress, courts, and even Federal Reserve banks as well, In December, an attempt was made to occupy that notorious street, but unfortunately the police had ample time to keep protesters well away from their targets. I say that NOW IS THE TIME TO RE#OCCUPY K STREET ONCE MORE, EN MASSE. For we have occupied the recipients of tainted corporate money; now is the time to again occupy the very offices and streets of those distributing these sordid funds! The time has come for us to let them know WE know and object to their repeated blatant attempts to BUY preferential government consideration at taxpayer expense! Let these smug, overly-paid messengers of the 1% see our eyes and hear our voices up close. Disrupt their daily flow and let them know in no uncertain terms how devastating the effects of their slavishly carrying out the wishes of their corporate CEOs are to the 99% below them! If even one or two of them come to the realization of how perverse their role in life has been, to have acted as deliverypersons for a group of greedy exploiters, we will have gained an important victory. If we are as persistent in occupying K Street as we have been with Wall Street, these lobbyists may soon feel like pariahs and some may even stop carrying corporate CEO water.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step. This spring, when the weather improves, let us take that step and see literally many THOUSANDS descend on the nation’s Capitol to RE#OCCUPY K STREET!

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
This entry was posted in commentary, corporate greed, economics, lobbyists, Politics, the 1%, THE MAJORITY 99% and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. JollyRoger says:

    It’s time to excavate, rather than occupy, K street. Maybe plant something pretty there. The shit that’s piled up there would probably feed some fabulous gardens.

  2. Darlene says:

    Although I am not physically able to take part in protests I am absolutely supportive of them. Yes, the money in our government has to be stopped before any other meaningful reforms can take place.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you, Darlene. You are right on the money, and everybody who follows you knows your heart and brain is always in the right plave! 🙂

  3. Hello Jack,
    Recently I have come of the mindset that the need is not so much attacking and going after elected officials as they are really just the ARMS and LEGS of the beast. They can just grow back and be replaced with the exactly the same thing. Also to be considered is the severed ARMS and LEGS then just transport themselves over the K Street to continue and assist the head of the beast with even less restrictions than before.

    Instead, the real target to get this country back on track for the Middle Class needs to be the head of the beast but it too can be much like the 9 headed Hydra of Greek Mythology, with the middle one being immortal. Every time one head was cut off, two more would grow back.

    This, my friend, is K Street which we have allowed to be spawned and made strong from selective breeding for too long. I am afraid that the only way to dispose of this beast within is through a total destruction of a “Slash and Burn” technique which would also damage the host during the purging this parasite.

    This being said, the attempts must be made.

  4. Get any worse….Gawd I hope not!!! 🙂

  5. Tom Harper says:

    I have mixed feelings about these Occupy demonstrations. To an extent, they work. But they also alienate bystanders and police officers, and most of those people are part of the 99%.

    Along with demonstrations, I think computer “hacktivist” organizations like “Anonymous” have a lot more potential for change. They’ve done a few minor hackings of the US Chamber of Commerce, but they need to keep at it. If they could hack the bank accounts and e-mails of K Street lobbyists and their congressional prostitutes — Wham!

  6. Thinking this through, it’s clear to me lobbyists are part of the problem but not the root of it. To really bring about change we must eliminate politicians’ dependence on ever greater amounts of campaign donations from wherever they can get them. Do that and you’ll see the number and type of lobbyists diminish, most likely along with the amounts lobbyists are paid.

    The key, I think is to have elections publicly funded. That, and limit the length of campaigns and the amounts politicians can spend. Likewise, pass Bernie Sanders’ constitutional amendment to stop corporations from spending on political campaigns. I would also impose a two- or three-week blackout period ahead of elections wherein only candidates themselves, using their own campaign funds, could advertise for themselves and against their opponents. No third-party PAC, party or individual ads could be put out during the blackout period.

    I think this approach is as close as we will ever be able to come to ending the abuses that have made our system rotten. It’s not a perfect solution, but I think it would bring about a substantial improvement.

    An Occupy demonstration would dramatize public dissatisfaction, but I don’t see it bringing about serious reform. Fund raising is a way of life for elected officials in Washington. No amount of public outrage over K Street lobbyists will make pols cut off key sources of funding unless something is provided to replace those key sources and/or reduce the pols’ need for large amounts of money.

  7. Hello Anderson,
    You give a good argument with, “lobbyists are part of the problem but not the root of it. To really bring about change we must eliminate politicians’ dependence on ever greater amounts of campaign donations from wherever they can get them.”

    I guess I would only interject that it has become a vicious circle where one begets the other and vice-a-versa. It is a self-healing chain that comes back on itself. If you remove one link, it just rejoins back to complete and reestablish the union bond. I think that there has never been so much money influence in our government than there is today…..and with the Supreme Court’s ruling….it is only going to get worse. We can see an example of this with just the Republican Primary going on now. Unbridle, misleading, misinformation, high calorie but low nutrition, attack adds directed at each other. Now just project this exponentially when it is directed at any Democratic especially the President.

    Hello Jack,
    Uptheflag has posted a really good bit on his trip to New York over the Christmas Holiday. He went to the Occupy Site on Sunday, Christmas Day, spoke with a police officer who was on duty standing in the cold, then went to a McDonalds for a cup of coffee and ended up having a meal with the Occupy Wall Street folks.

    It is a GREAT accounting of his experience much like your own Occupy account.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Hello, Engineer of Knowledge.
      Thanks for the tip on uptheflag’s post and for your comment to S.W.
      It appears there would be a great deal of merit in Bernie Sanders’ constitutiona; amendment. Something has GOT to be done to get the corrupting influence of money the hell out of politics!

  8. Engineer of Knowledge, if we get Sanders’ amendment passed, a whole bunch of chain links get broken off, and I don’t think they could get themselves back together and healed anytime soon, if ever.

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