Interesting Read - Lobbyist threatens politicians who refuse to stay bought.

Michael Torrie torriem at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 18:13:28 MST 2012


On 01/23/2012 04:45 PM, Nicholas Leippe wrote:
> I read a stat years ago that there were on average 1000 lobbyists to
> every elected official. That's 3 favors (just meals? yeah right.) a
> day year-round. How anyone could fail to see the problems with this
> scenario--or worse, think that there is no problem--that democracy (of
> the people, not lobby sponsors) is still actively functioning is
> beyond me.

Well it's a good thing, then that the supreme court opened the door for
unlimited campaign donations to offset the lobbyists.  Oh wait.

On the topic of corruption, unlike most other countries, the United
States' problems with corruption are mainly at a middle to high level
(still very bad).  At a local level, corruption is very much less than
in many other countries.  For the most part police and fire departments
generally work for the welfare of the local community.  This is not the
case in many many countries.  As well, high-level corruption isn't quite
so much politicians, as the civil service.  Bureaucracy takes on a life
of its own, and is very good at manipulating elected officials, even
very high ones.  Witness the TSA and DHS.  In short, governing is as
much done by bureaucracy as it is by elected officials.  Hindsight 20/20
and all...

My favorite sitcom of all time is called, "Yes, Minister" and it's
sequel, "Yes, Prime Minister."  Anyone who is interested in government
should watch this show.  It is British, and some Americans may not
understand the intricacies of the parliamentary system, but nonetheless
will prove educational, as well as painfully funny.  And we can learn a
thing or two.

One final thought is that while the circus that is congress is
entertaining and distracting, and though presidential races are
exciting, that's not really not what democracy is all about.  Democracy
is first and foremost a local thing.  I can say without reservation that
democracy in most states is completely and utterly broken.  Very few
people know anything about the local candidates and issues.  Even worse,
most people seem to prefer to vote straight party (certainly in Utah).
Then they complain and whine about how their local city counselor is
behaving, or how they hate certain bylaws and city policies.  Of course
they could have voted for the other candidate who just might fix those
issues, but of course that person is the wrong party.  Nevermind the
fact that in Utah they probably both go to the same LDS ward.  Maybe the
problem is the balloting system.  Perhaps local, state, and federal
elections should be at different times.  Not sure.


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