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A GOP Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists

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by eric lipton, the new york times 12 september 10

house democrats were preparing late last year for the first floor vote on the financial regulatory overhaul when representative john a. boehner of ohio and other republican leaders summoned more than 100 industry lobbyists and conservative political activists to capitol hill for a private strategy session.

the bill's passage in the house already seemed inevitable. but mr. boehner and his deputies told the wall street lobbyists and trade association leaders that by teaming up, they could still perhaps block its final passage or at least water it down.

"we need you to get out there and speak up against this," mr. boehner said that december afternoon, according to three people familiar with his remarks, while also warning against cutting side deals with democrats....

...they have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaigns, provided him with 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....

...mr. boehner, who declined to be interviewed for this article, and his lobbyist allies ridicule such criticism as politically motivated by desperate democrats.

his actions, they say, simply reflect the pro-business, antiregulatory philosophy that he has espoused for more than three decades, dating back to when mr. boehner, the son of a tavern owner, ran a small plastics company in ohio. and fielding requests from lobbyists is nothing unusual, he says....

...mr. boehner won some of his first national headlines in 1996 after he was caught handing out checks from tobacco lobbyists to fellow republicans on the house floor. then the fourth-ranking house republican, he said he had broken no rules and was simply assisting his lobbyist friends, who were contributing to other republicans' campaigns....

..."he knows this is going to be a tough election," said samuel j. baptista, a friend, golf partner and lobbyist whose clients include goldman sachs and discover financial. "but people who underestimate him really do so at their own peril."...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/us/politics/12boehner.html?_r=3&hp=&pagewanted=all

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This is a very interesting article. Two things stood out in my mind beyond the obvious ownership by the lobbyists.

1. 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. That makes him one of the top House beneficiaries of such travel, which has recently been curbed as a result of changes in ethics rules.

Mr. Boehner continues to travel to golf destinations on a corporate-subsidized tab, though 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.

Seems he spends a great deal of money golfing and perhaps time better spent with his constituents who earn less per year than his Ritz-Carlton bill.

2. 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.

 

The oil industry can afford and should be charged appropriate fees. They get too many breaks and then gouge the public. Why would he not want a cap on debit card fees? Who benefits from higher fees? Certainly not the people who elected him for their representation. Opposing a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. All of us try to breathe the air. Toxic emissions are well known to cause respiratory difficulties which in turn increase the cost of health care. The lobbyists who are taking care of him and others like him want to maintain the heavy lining in their pockets. There is no interest in defending the needs of the common man.

I don't care how tan he is, or how well he dresses. If wants to smoke let him. But, to take in cigarette lobbyists and support their adgenda is probably not in the interests of the voters, only the lobbyists.

He is just another example of how our elected representatives are owned by lobbyists and that will prevent any changes that will help the common man.

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he is just another example of how our elected representatives are owned by lobbyists and that will prevent any changes that will help the common man.

we love the selective reporting by the ny times.

...did you know:

  • nancy pelosi has raised almost twice as much money from lobbyists this election as boehner has?
  • at least 18 house democrats have raised more lobbyist cash this election than boehner has.
  • chuck schumer and harry reid have pocketed more lobbyist cash in the past 18 months than boehner has raised in the past 6 elections, combined?

democrats owned by lobbyists

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You know, they're all in it together. We're just meant to pick a side.

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You know, they're all in it together. We're just meant to pick a side.

I know what you mean. Can anyone name any leader who is NOT bound to lobbyists?

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Boehner is one dude that aggravates me waaay more than most of them. He's just so arrogant and condescending.

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Boehner is one dude that aggravates me waaay more than most of them. He's just so arrogant and condescending.

He does appear to be arrogant.

That and the fact he's obviously got the fake tan lobbyists giving him free samples for life.

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