Saturday :: Sep 11, 2010

A Corporate Whore

by Steve

So what kind of world awaits us should John Boehner ascend to Speaker of the House? A world where Corporate America clearly and openly runs the Capitol, rather than the con game we see now where Blue Dog Democrats and committee chairs are bought and paid for by the same people, yet the Democratic leadership wants us to believe they are different.

The biggest difference, however, may be that Boehner is so open about who owns him and the GOP caucus.

He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.
They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns over the years, provided him rides on their corporate jets, socialized with him at luxury golf resorts and waterfront bashes and are now leading fund-raising efforts for his Boehner for Speaker campaign, which is soliciting checks of up to $37,800 each, the maximum allowed.
Some of the lobbyists readily acknowledge routinely seeking his office’s help — calling the congressman and his aides as often as several times a week — to advance their agenda in Washington. And in many cases, Mr. Boehner has helped them out.

And what are the policy objectives we'll see from the House the remainder of Obama's term?

One lobbyist in the club — after lauding each staff member in Mr. Boehner’s office that he routinely calls to ask for help — ticked off the list of recent issues for which he had sought the lawmaker’s backing: combating fee increases for the oil industry, fighting a proposed cap on debit card fees, protecting tax breaks for hedge fund executives and opposing a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Boehner’s office said these were positions he already agreed with.

As bad as it seems, you'd think the Democrats could find a way in the closing days of the campaign to reveal Boehner for what he is: a fraud acting as if he's riding a wave of Tea Party anger when in fact he's a corporate whore.

From 2000 to 2007, Mr. Boehner flew at least 45 times, often with his wife, Debbie, on corporate jets provided by companies including R. J. Reynolds. (As required, Mr. Boehner reimbursed part of the costs.)
In addition, over the last decade, he has taken 41 other trips paid for by corporate sponsors or industry groups, often to popular golf spots. Those trips make him one of the top House beneficiaries of such travel, which has recently been curbed as a result of changes in ethics rules in Washington.
Mr. Boehner continues to travel to popular golf destinations on a corporate-subsidized tab, although now it is paid for through his political action committee, the Freedom Project. In the last 18 months, it has spent at least $67,000 at the Ritz Carlton Naples in Florida, at least $20,000 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., and at least $29,000 at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, federal records show, for fund-raising events.

As depressed as I might be at a GOP takeover this fall, I am comforted by the fact that Boehner and his caucus will be so transparent in their advocacy for Corporate America against the interests of Main Street that their rule will last no longer than two years. And by 2012, a new, strategically savvy, and telegenic House Democratic leadership team can step up and learn from the mistakes of the Pelosi/Hoyer years.

Steve :: 2:59 PM :: Comments (8) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!