Lobbyists Funding Conventions

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The Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) released figures today showing that the private donors to the two major party conventions have spent over $1.1 billion on lobbying the federal government since 2005. According to CFI’s latest tally, 146 organizations, nearly all business corporations, have spent on average $7.7 million per company in the past three years trying to influence Washington on legislation and regulations. As of today, CFI reports, 70 companies have given only to the Democratic host committee, while 39 have given only to the GOP committee.  So far, 37 corporations have given to both.

CFI released an earlier report last month that decries the fact that federal election law does not require timely disclosure of convention host committee fundraising records.  Current law only requires the host committees to report their contributions or expenditures 60 days after the nominating conventions are over.  Little good that does.

Obama and McCain have talked a great deal about the need for timely disclosure of political finances, but the two host committees have failed to get with the program. CFI has written each of the 146 companies requesting that they volunteer their own contributions, with only 31 organizations providing partial information. Of the $112 million pledged to the host committees, CFI reports that they are able to identify $27.6 million.  So much for timely disclosure.

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  • Roger Plafkin

    When we talk about lobbying, this can take many forms, and it will affect our lives for many years to come. As an example, General Motors, I am sure, encouraged the removal of rail systems in major metropolitan areas such as Detroit;they wanted to sell more cars, period. The fact that cars required gasoline and produced smog and harmful emissions, did not concern them as long as they made “Money”. Now, when we need the rail transportation, we do not have it. Also, I am sure that the electric companies have had a hand in the demise of using wind power to power water in rural areas. For generations, we could see wind mills on farms. This made sense, because water could be drawn using wind power;however, somewhere along the line, representatives of the electric companies were told to downgrade the use of wind mills, and to stress that the modern farmer would only use electricity provided by the electric company. This attitude did not do the present generation justice, and really was a form of lobbying for extremely selfish causes that would eventually not benefit anyone. We have visited with the Amish in Indiana;I am not suggesting that we return to the horse and buggy era;however, I am intrigued by the fact that the Amish can have beautiful homes, barns, workshops, use horses to their advantage, and provide a meaningful life for their families by using wind energy. The sky has not fallen in on them because the price of gasoline and home heating oil is out of line;they try to use little of both, and seem better for it.

    Roger Plafkin–Plafkin Farms(View on Photobucket.com and Webshots.com)–1-616-676-0590–plafkin@juno.com

  • Roger Plafkin

    It is ironic that I should make reference to the United Negro College Fund’s mantra that “A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste”;my wife Sandra is resting in the next room;she is suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, and I feel her pain. If the candidates running for the President of the United States would direct some of their funds to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, perhaps we could find a cure to this devastating disease.

    Roger Plafkin–Plafkin Farms, Ada, Michigan–1-616-676-0590–plafkin@juno.com

  • Roger Plafkin

    I would like to make the following suggestion to Barack Obama: Better that you should contribute heavily to the United Negro College Fund, than to try and convince people that they should vote for you;if it is true that “A Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Waste”, then people will get the message in a hurry as to where your priorities are. And if you want to expand on this line of thinking, make a contribution to the Salvation Army, Saint Vincent De Paul, The Council For The Blind, and any other charity that would benefit the entire nation.

    Roger Plafkin–Plafkin Farms, Ada, Michigan(View on Photobucket.com and Webshots.com)–1-616-676-0590–plafkin@juno.com

  • Roger Plafkin

    If you recall, in high school when a student wanted to run for President of the Student Body, he or she printed up signs, placed them in the hallways of the school, and then gave a speech elaborating on their qualifications as to why they should be elected. Some of the selection was made on the basis of popularity, and some on intelligence and the admiration of fellow classmates. Somehow, I fine it hard to believe that either candidate running for President is superior to the other, or in fact superior to most of the population of this country, just because they have an enormous amount of money to spend on trying to convince people that they know more than they do. The last 8 years have been a disaster for this nation–and the Supreme Court was complicit in turning over the Presidency to a person who did not fully understand that the welfare of the entire nation was in his hands. We do not have an energy policy;the present administration never intended to seek other avenues to assist or supplement our current supply. The sole purpose was to equalize the price of gasoline and heating oil with European prices–$4.50 or more per gallon, regardless of the pain that it inflicted upon the American people. Saudi Arabian Princes are more important to this administration than the people who were left without water and shelter after the hurricane in New Orleans. Where is the conscience of the United States Government regarding the health and welfare of its citizens;it seems to be non existent.

    Roger Plafkin–Plafkin Farms, Ada, Michigan(View on Photobucket.com and Webshots.com)–1-616-676-0590–plafkin@juno.com