Congressmen *would* normally work in your best interests, themselves. Why? Because making you happy means you vote for them, and that gets them re-elected.
Except that it’s commonly assumed that money wins elections. And usually that’s true. That’s been the rule of the land for decades now. Because (trust me on this, I’m learning this first-hand) it’s friggin’ HARD to raise small campaign donations to get elected. The average citizen doesn’t have much to give. And asking thousands and thousands of citizens to give small donations (the right way to do it) is extremely difficult and time-consuming.
But Big Interest companies DO have a lot of money! So instead of serving you, our members of Congress take vast sums of money from *them* to use for their re-election campaigns, instead. They follow the easy money. It’s that simple. And like good little puppets, they do what’s in the best interests of those major companies, who are quite literally *paying* Congress to pass legislation that protects their profits. In fact, their paid lobbyists will often write the legislation themselves, and it usually gets passed into law word-for-word.
But – it’s illegal for companies to give money to politicians. So how does this work?
Well – that’s where the lobbyists come in. Lobbyists aren’t directly employed by the companies that pay them. So by taking these vested-interest companies on as “clients” of their Lobbying Firm, the lobbyists are simply side-stepping the law.
The lobbyist simply has to look up which committee is most likely to help their “client” company (you can do this with a quick Google search in two minutes). Then they offer to take one of those committee members out to lunch – and by “lunch” I mean a swanky “Fundraising Lunch,” where the Senator walks away with a campaign donation check for $75,000. This is all technically legal, because it didn’t directly involve the company paying for it, and it was called “Fundraising.”
They’re not idiots – they know where the money comes from. They know it’s corrupt. But they prefer getting several dozen large checks to asking thousands of people for small donations.
So – these lobbyists already have these politicians eating out of their hand. But then there’s the ultimate ‘coup de grace’: those same lobbyists will also offer to make the politicians a lobbyist themselves, once they’re out of office. With an annual salary in the **Millions of dollars.**
To quote former lobbyist Jack Abramoff:
“I would say to [the Member], ‘When you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.’ The moment I said that, we owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request of our clients, everything that we want, they’re gonna do.”
THIS IS WHY WE HAVE TO BAN PAID LOBBYING.
Once lobbyists can no longer accept any form of payment for lobbying – watch how quickly their influence evaporates, and Congress is forced to start working for the People again!
This is how we save our nation from corruption’s stranglehold.