Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Lobbyist Bombshell...

Politics, Lobbyists, Corporations,
the Inner Cultural & Ideological Concerns

It is the season of provocation, suggestions, and corporate money changing hands with our elected politicians.

In researching politics and lobbying one statement from 2015, stood out on how far the change has occurred.

"Something is out of balance in Washington. Corporations now spend about $2.6 billion a year on reported lobbying expenditures—more than the $2 billion we spend to fund the House ($1.18 billion) and Senate ($860 million). It’s a gap that has been widening since corporate lobbying began to regularly exceed the combined House-Senate budget in the early 2000s.

Today, the biggest companies have upwards of 100 lobbyists representing them, allowing them to be everywhere, all the time. For every dollar spent on lobbying by labor unions and public-interest groups together, large corporations and their associations now spend $34. Of the 100 organizations that spend the most on lobbying, 95 consistently represent business."

"One has to go back to the Gilded Age to find a business in such a dominant political position in American politics. While it is true that even in the more pluralist 1950s and 1960s, political representation tilted towards the well-off, lobbying was almost balanced by today's standards. Labor unions were much more important, and the public-interest groups of the 1960s were much more significant actors. And very few companies had their own Washington lobbyists prior to the 1970s. To the extent that businesses did lobby in the 1950s and 1960s (typically through associations), they were clumsy and ineffective. “When we look at the typical lobby,” concluded three leading political scientists in their 1963 study, American Business and Public Policy, “we find its opportunities to maneuver are sharply limited, its staff mediocre, and its typical problem not the influencing of Congressional votes but finding the clients and contributors to enable it to survive at all.”

The concern was amplified for me yesterday whilst at the Iowa Capitol on the day Governor Reynolds gave her first State of the State speech.

In discussions which I was involved in, comments being made and the enthusiasm of the start of a new legislative session something became interesting after the fact.  

Fear of someone who was not offering money, just stating facts and being open about the issues and concerns of the State of Iowa and certain Iowa departments with those that have the directors positions and not honestly supporting the citizens of Iowa's best interest.

A corporate employee made a statement that he did not want me talking to anyone in Iowa Government.  In this email which was very direct in the message.  

Foolish and in a conversation I had with him, which I cannot offer at this time as it is now part of a deposition that will be part of a legal move, was derogatory, demeaning characterization and more.  

Lobbyist, in general, have my backing when they are passionate about their subject matter and present professionalism. I know several and commend them.  We know they have an important message to reach those legislators who are difficult to meet one on one.

Others, not so much, they are manipulative in their manner, position and mainly overpaid attorneys, who like judges failed at the defense or prosecution tables, failed in their cases and now sit, listen and in many cases rule, which sadly does get overturned.

Not only did I witness, I am now part of an issue of manipulation by a major global corporation representative.

Will I let this go?


This is an ongoing issue and will continue, I am expecting some further conversation, maybe, if not, this will become a very open conversation if my attorney allows.

Nicholas Ashton
(515) 300-6130