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Sickening

By Greg L | 15 July 2010 | Virginia Politics | 14 Comments

This is deeply upsetting.  The potential of taxpayer dollars getting laundered into campaign contributions is entirely beyond the pale.  Any candidate getting campaign contributions from Kemper Consulting (which is just about every state-level elected official in Virginia) should think long and hard about where that money is coming from.  If it weren’t for local governments spending taxpayer dollars on lobbying in Richmond, issues like these wouldn’t be cropping up.

Really, what in the heck is a government body doing hiring lobbyists to focus on another body of elected officials in the first place?



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14 Comments

  1. Chris said on 15 Jul 2010 at 10:00 pm:
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    Greg, isn’t this the Dillon Rule rearing its ugly head? Since local government is at the mercy of state government do they have any other choice? When we have a system where businesses and interests can send as much money as possible to the legislature the local governments have no choice but to fight fire with fire. If a developer wants to buy off a state senator, it effects local government big time. I don’t blame local governments for doing this dance because in a lot of cases they really don’t have any other choice. Am I wrong on this?

  2. Anonymous said on 15 Jul 2010 at 11:08 pm:
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    Chris, you are absolutely right. Richmond needs campaign finance reform badly. In my view, those in elected office, regardless of party, are completely beholden to special interest shortly after arrival in Richmond. Those who might have a backbone, like the Bob Marshalls of the world, are rendered completely ineffective by their own party for their failure to tow the line. What Greg is point out in this post is part of a bigger problem that party loyalists on both sides have turned a blind eye to for decades.

  3. James said on 15 Jul 2010 at 11:30 pm:
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    Want to see sickening? Read this:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-29/banks-financing-mexico-s-drug-cartels-admitted-in-wells-fargo-s-u-s-deal.html

  4. Greg L said on 15 Jul 2010 at 11:52 pm:
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    I don’t see this as having anything to do with Dillon since this is all state law. What would be most effective here is having the commonwealth prohibit localities from spending money on lobbying, and Dillon would actually help with that.

  5. Anonymous said on 16 Jul 2010 at 5:44 am:
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    Greg, I think a prohibition on lobbying in any way, shape or form, would be better.

  6. Cynic said on 16 Jul 2010 at 2:47 pm:
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    James,

    Now isn’t that interesting? Is this all part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?

    Was there a sucking sound involved?

  7. James said on 16 Jul 2010 at 6:34 pm:
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    Yes, I firmly believe this is all part of NAFTA. The only way to join a North American union with the support of the people is to bring the third world nations “up to par” financially with Canada and U.S.A. The only way to do that is to siphon money - and lots of it to Mexico. Billions of dollars are being transferred to Mexico by workers here in this country and by our laundering of drug money.

    This is why Bush supported it (remember, he wanted to give amnest to all of them prior to the election), and why Obama supports it. Free trade and free labor go hand in hand.

  8. Just Observin' said on 16 Jul 2010 at 9:33 pm:
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    And the two outfits Prince William County contracted to do Federal & State lobbying have just as long a list of clients and spread around money as Kemper.

    As King David said “nothing new under the sun”. PWC will drop around $130K for both contracts.

  9. Disgusted said on 17 Jul 2010 at 8:11 am:
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    Good thread, Greg. Politics is a dirty, cutthroat business and money (to gain power) is at its heart. Those of us that are unaffiliated with any group with leverage are totally benign and at their mercy. We are merely looked at as their tube of financial toothpaste to be squeezed. Not surprisingly, its old business.

    Term limits, campaign finance reform and sunshine laws (with some obvious limits on personal, proprietary and security information) are desperately needed but will be fought with more tenacity and energy than Health Reform. Duh, right?

    What we ALL fail to grasp is we individuals hold the key…our finger that flips the ballot switch. Bloggers on this site tend to read and pay attention, but many, many of our fellow voters do not invest their time wisely and do the research. Mayhem ensues.

    Blind allegiance to party is the method professional politicians employ to herd us into their game. We all fall prey to it. When there are three candidates for an office, a Republican, a Democrat, and an Independent, we look at the independent as, “Who is that kook?” I do it and so do you. Why? Well, sometimes they are kooks, but sometimes they aren’t. That person may have the best qualifications for the job, and no allegiances. But we very, very rarely elect them. I see the term “RINO” frequently used on this site. The use of the term is an example that stressing allegiance to party is above all. Maybe the best answer is one that falls outside of the “norm” and requires some compromise. I don’t agree with everything ultra-conservatives stand for, but I admire their willingness to cut loose from the Republican Party and forward a candidate more to their liking. The downside I fear is the potential fracturing of consensus that then results in legislatures that will accomplish absolutely nothing (as opposed to the “nothing” referred to now that is really just not accomplishing a certain philosophical agenda).

    I wish I had an answer. I don’t like being the politicians bitch. I do know being an informed, engaged citizen requires consistent focus, hard work and fortitude to stand up for a belief no matter how unpopular it may be.

  10. Big Dog said on 18 Jul 2010 at 8:37 am:
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    Greg,
    A poor economy over the last several years has led Va. GA
    members to try and save their political hides by pushing
    responsibilities and cost off on local governments while at the
    same time reducing state funding but keeping state mandates
    in place for local jurisdictions. It is a sham and fraud and
    GA members should be called out on it.
    Cities and counties lobby to protect the interest of their citizens
    from even more knives in the back from Richmond.

  11. Silent Knight said on 18 Jul 2010 at 11:27 am:
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    “This is deeply upsetting. The potential of taxpayer dollars getting laundered into campaign contributions is entirely beyond the pale.”

    Greg -

    No offense intended but you’ve got to be kidding with this post. Taxpayer dollars get laundered into campaign contributions all the time, and right here in good ole PWC. It’s just generally slightly less direct than your posting. Usually there’s a couple more steps involved. I suggest you to visit VPAP and look at contributions given to any local official on the county board and then track those donors interests to supervisor rhetoric and votes. It might open your eyes a little bit to what’s really going on.

  12. local gop said on 18 Jul 2010 at 8:04 pm:
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    this money is not being laundered any more so than a county employee donating to a political campaign. same principle. once the government gives the money to a lobbying firm, it ceases to be treated as tax payer funds, a private company can do with it as they wish.

  13. Get Bullwinkle! said on 18 Jul 2010 at 10:01 pm:
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    Ah, local commissar once again give us all big joke. Tax money from government go to private KGB that they give to politburo, and local commissar think that good idea. Local commissar should be public relations man in Baghdad before fall of Saddam regime. He be just as funny as man they call “baghdad bob” and make just as much sense.

    Very good communist thinking mister local commissar. You must read much of Lenin and Stalin because you argue same as they. When ridiculous made to look like it is not insane, all sorts of things possible. Bribe politburo with money from taxes is classic Soviet thinking, and making big difference in Venezuela and Bolivia as those countries get flushed down toilet into slavery and dying.

    Maybe you like such things, but Boris not so much. Boris rather stuff Makarov in idiot face of local commissar and rid world of another what they call useful idiot where I camed from. You let corruption start, corruption become huge and cannot be killed easily. No big deal say idiots and soon everyone in re education camp learning to sing terrible songs about current great soviet leader.

    You too stupid to deserve freedom you have, and work real hard to put yourself and others in chains. I see this before. People like you not pulling trigger but making it happen for many triggers be pulled in future.

  14. Jim Bo said on 29 Jul 2010 at 6:22 am:
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    this is nothing new - happens all the time - everywhere.

    Look at Palin, when she was elected mayor to wasilla, first thing she did was hire a federal lobbyist - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94203271

    same old story.

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