Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Career in "Transactional Lobbying"

Have you considered a career in transactional lobbying? That's the term Brent Wilkes used to describe his profession in the New York Times. Wilkes, the “co-conspirator No. 1” in former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham's guilty plea, describes how he got into this lucrative field:
Mr. Wilkes had set up separate meetings with the lawmakers hoping to win a government contract, and he planned to punctuate each pitch with a campaign donation. But his hometown congressman, Representative Bill Lowery of San Diego, a Republican, told him that presenting the checks during the sessions was not how things were done, Mr. Wilkes recalled.
Instead, Mr. Wilkes said, Mr. Lowery taught him the right way to do it: hand over the envelope in the hallway outside the suite, at least a few feet away.
Wilkes' career path illustrates the relationship between risk and reward:
In the end, it was the Cunningham investigation that jeopardized Mr. Wilkes’s business with the government. In August 2005, a team of F.B.I. agents swept through Mr. Wilkes’s headquarters. The flow of earmarks, his companies’ lifeblood, dried up. He laid off 200 employees.
For those keeping score, the top ten recipients of his largess consist of the National Republican Party, eight GOP congressmen and President Bush.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

Interesting term, huh, transaction.
By definition it is quid pro quo, very unethical for public servants and hopefully enough so to take his ilk to jail....problem with our law makers is that they write the laws and often remove any teeth from ethics constraints.

The reworking of ethics law started out shapely and plump with good intentions but has withered beyond recognition of its original goals: enforcing ethical behavior.

It stinks having GOPers in charge!!!!!!

12:21 PM, August 06, 2006  
Blogger FirstState said...

Lobbyists try to bribe whoever is in charge. Do I need to throw around names like Traficant and Wright, Mollohan and Jefferson?

Why make this partisan when you know party has nothing to do with it?

And Nancy, you have now turned into a Jason clone.

8:24 PM, August 06, 2006  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

I would not be so naive to claim that corruption is confined to one side of the aisle. But as far as I know, there is no common thread among the cases of Jim Wright (who left Congress in 1989), the truly bizarre James Trafficant (who went directly from Congress to jail in 2002), Alan Mollohan and William Jefferson.

There is a common thread among the several GOP lawmakers named in the article I cited including Duke Cunningham, Bill Lowery and Jerry Lewis:

Mr. Wilkes described the system bluntly: “[Rep. Bill] Lowery would always say, ‘It is a two-part deal,’” he recalled. “‘Jerry [Rep. Lewis] will make the request. Jerry will carry the vote. Jerry will have plenty of time for this. If you don’t want to make the contributions, chair the fund-raising event, you will get left behind.’”

8:54 PM, August 06, 2006  
Blogger jason said...

In the end, it was the Cunningham investigation that jeopardized Mr. Wilkes’s business with the government. In August 2005, a team of F.B.I. agents swept through Mr. Wilkes’s headquarters. The flow of earmarks, his companies’ lifeblood, dried up. He laid off 200 employees.

But, but but ....this one time.... a Democrat got a $3,000 book advance.

The National GOP is disgusting. We are at war and the only thing they can think to do is shove money into each others pockets.

10:15 PM, August 06, 2006  
Anonymous Nancy Willing said...

FSP I prowdly wear a wingnut cloak, did you not notice? This is on national politics mostly.

But seriously, WHAT can be seen as non partisan about this backing off of the healthy initial legislative language on ethics by GOPers??? Come on you are a smart guy, Dave and you know the score.

In a GOPer three ring circus town the GOPers have to take the heat or, guess what, they'll get bumped out of office.

I was, in plain English mind you, refering to the legislation that began a good line to off-set THE TOTALLY GOP SCENE OF TOM DELAY, K Street and Abramoff,(toss in a littel Cunningham etc..) darling.

That legis under Danny Hastert withered to an unrecognizable mass of pulp. Or did I read it wrong?

The stench of Delay et al WILL not allow you to pass along palatives like "it is not a partisan problem".

I am not going amywhere with this besides what is right in front of us. Going back is pointless in this argument but it would certainly reveal that abuse lives on both sides of the aisle (Jefferson) but Tommywonk nails the distinction and I hope I have added a few pegs.

Also Have we ever seen the likes of the K Street for decades now, Chicago and Tamminy Hall are so eons ago.....look to what is present day because the voters sure care about that right now.

6:42 AM, August 07, 2006  
Blogger FirstState said...

Tom -- Mollohan and Jefferson are accused of manipulating the appropriations process for political gain, which is exactly what those you cite have been accused of.

Jerry Lewis is scum. I will never argue that fact, but appropriators on both sides of the aisle do the same dance.

J -- Jim Wright's case went way farther than that, and you know it.

11:43 AM, August 07, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home