Truth About Lobbyists and Interest Groups

“One study of eighty-three (primarily liberal) public-interest groups found that one-third of them received half or more of all their funds from foundation grants; one-tenth received over 90 percent from such sources. In one ten year period the Ford Foundation alone contributed about $21 million to liberal public-interest groups. Many of these organizations were law firms that, other than staff members, had no members at all. The Environmental Defense Fund is supported almost entirely by grants from foundations such as the Rockefeller Family Fund. The more conservative Scaife foundations gave $1.8 million to a conservative public-interest group, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest.” [Wilson, DiIulio 2008]

The concept of using public interest groups to promote the agendas and ideals of a movement is, by this source, not exclusive to the liberal movement but heavily favored by it thus far.

President-elect Barack Obama may ultimately isolate himself from major liberal movement members if the proposed audit of Washington politics were to take a lasting toll on the liberal lobbies. The next four years will certainly answer just how far this coming administration is willing to go to remove corruption in public interest group finance and practice, but four years from now there will also once again be a national referendum on the highest office.

Should the effort ultimately take power from once strong lobbies for popular liberal agendas, the informed American Democratic Voter could potentially face a struggle at the polls when considering a vote for the incumbent President.

The power of an interest-group, in a classic design, should expand as the number of members and contributors expands. The ‘funded & unoccupied lobby’ described in quote above as a law firm is a critical element of what causes the real disruptions in Washington politics.

The figures and organizations that form the American lobbies and public-interest groups of today are not necessarily the root of the problem so much as the agendas of the highest funded public interest groups overriding the highest agendas of the wills of the people.

If the National Legal Center for the Public Interest (a weak lobby) were to receive a large increase in both number of members and in contributions. they should rightly increase in the voice and recognition in Washington and receive foundation grants in turn.

If the Environmental Defense Fund (a strong lobby) were to lose both member and public support their voice as a lobby should rightly decrease and even though they do not receive a majority in foundation grants they should be kept from taking them if they lacked any significant support in the public domain.

This is all within a classic definition of how the public interest groups should work. Any number of factors can increase or decrease the power of a single lobby and for this reason most of us limit our discussion on public-interest groups, or lobbies, to the number of members that are well-known or outspoken and the money behind the group.

Lobbyists are not are always motivated by ill or by good, despite the fact the lobby they work for is focused on a critical social issue or an important national matter that concerns you–or perhaps for a group with which you disagree strongly.

To speak broadly, they are like salesmen of political stances a person in Washington should take.

They are not invested into the case they are making in every single case but rather deliver the best argument in favor of the lobby that they can devise.

Politicians and lobbyists are very much the same, in many ways.

Without means to search the hearts of others to know for sure if they really believe what they contend or if they are simply going with the popular ideology to gain your favor, we will never know for certain if they stand for the people or if they stand for their own private interests.
We can only judge their actions in office as solid statements of policy.

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com/

December 2008

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Iran Explodes with Unrest

Huffington Post has the latest updates on the Iranian situation.

I would draw your attention to the final video on the post: “12:17 AM ET — Awe-inspiring courage.”

YOU’RE A SMARTY-PANTS!

 

I am just that. A nerdy, geeky, smarty guy.

To look at me, I just walked out of the woods after a week, or just caught a groovy wave or some such.

I want to try to interject some amount of humor into this blog I have here.

It is a vital part of what I am as a person.

But I have this damn brain that won’t shut off. Let me tell you this:

I believe everyone is much more intelligent than they would ever really believe.

I think 99.99% of people, including myself, sells themselves short in terms of their own mental capacities.

I try not to boast but I try in the fields of English Literature, Social Science, Statistics, Psychology, Genetics, and modern-American Civics.

I find, personally, that I have a strong affinity toward “stupid” and that most likely influences me in every fashion, no matter how much science and mathematics I absorb.

My worst subject without question is mathematics. Math is raw and disciplined in a way that all other mentioned fields are not, as far I find it. I cannot “blur the line” or do a quick look at someone else’s work routine. I can grasp it in theory, in lecture, but it has always been another matter recreating these mental efforts after NOT DOING MY HOMEWORK.

I’ll write you an essay about why I didn’t do my math homework. And post it to every social networking site and blog search engine so you you do is type “Not Doing My Math Homework” into any useful search-agent. Viola!

I believe we all different capacities and abilities, many of which we are wholly unaware of. I’ve always said if you locked me in a room all I would do is write like a madman so it could be worse.

I have actually had long, personal conservations with convicted felons and I like to pause and say: 

Do everything you can to not get mixed up with the law, just follow the laws that keep you always from a life as any form of felony acts.

I’m a “vidiot” and an obsessive blogger. I can see all this.

Does anybody care to discuss Freudian vs. Jungian Psychology?

I’m a “Junganyte” … we all but one mind but reflecting into and upon one another. Your turn.

So I am a debater and a pusher of thoughts and opinions. When did this become anything but the very nature of the nation I was born to? The United States of America.

Not “The Divided States of America.”

That’s why I’m angry.

Angry at business leaders and a lack of massive resignations across the board in government as well.

This blog is, and always will be, just a format of voice–nothing more and nothing less.

So says the smarty-pants!

 

 

Eric Lightborn

http://americapress.wordpress.com

March 19th 2009

Presumption of Innocence in the Media is Gone

I think the U.S. news media just got tired of the word “allegedly” in regards to OJ Simpson case in the 90’s and thereafter.
Now when anyone is up on charges or accused of anything above an exact threshold that they set, they are “insta-guilty!” in everything but the most stoic of sources in American culture.

I tend to think that “Blago” as we want to call him is not at all innocent of these charges but I wrote a piece of student-journalism regarding the whole issue without accusing him in innuendo or directly. It’s not exactly hard to presume innocence.

[Read “Government Corruption: What to Know to Protect Ourselves” on my Observing America weblog.]

It just drives up ratings / hits if you call him a “corruption king” or a “master of evil” or a “fraud miser.” Solid evidence be damned! Prosecutor opinions and partial pieces of a case leaked to the press be praised!

Yes, I heard the tape of him swearing every other word. And I saw all the FCC blocked out quotes, too. (Why do they even put things like that on TV when it’s more asterisk than English?)

But any one of us could have secret tapes made of us where we said crazy stuff we wouldn’t say in public. Now imagine taking the whole tape and cutting it into 5 seconds or one paragraph of juiciness.

See how anyone could be the media boogie-man by tomorrow regardless of how insane they actually are? Maybe you’re next on the list.

We hold court in this country for a reason.

So the court of public opinion doesn’t start ‘Blago Mobs’ in Illinois, in this case.

You tell me why it is a good idea to have a free media that freely assumes guilt of anyone facing charges they think are big enough to matter.

Not to mention that statute violations and ethical board decisions are often passed over or reported in brief and then unreferenced in later discussions because they do not stimulate enough ratings due to the ‘oh that’s boring’ and the ‘give me a real scandal’ attitudes.

What other media watchdogs are barking, I wonder?