Interview of Abramoff on 60 minutes: Jack Abramoff: The lobbyist's playbook - 60 Minutes - CBS News
Abramoff: When we would become friendly with an office and they were important to us, and the chief of staff was a competent person, I would say or my staff would say to him or her at some point, "You know, when you're done working on the Hill, we'd very much like you to consider coming to work for us." Now the moment I said that to them or any of our staff said that to 'em, that was it. We owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request of our clients, everything that we want, they're gonna do. And not only that, they're gonna think of things we can't think of to do.
Stahl: How many congressional offices did you actually own?
Abramoff: We probably had very strong influence in 100 offices at the time
Stahl: Could you do the same thing today? I'm asking you whether you think the system's been
Abramoff: Could do the same thing that I? Yeah. No, the system hasn't been cleaned up at all
I think the OCE, OGE, and other government administration groups should hire guys like Abramoff to poke holes in the system and report back, kind of like hackers for cyber-security. Of course the revolving door issue will probably never be addressed, and his recommendations will go unheard.
I'm taking this MGMT 430 class, business, gov't, and society... real snore.
Anyways the other day I'm trying to explain to this naive liberal cunt of a professor that public officials are the ones responsible for doing independent research or asking their science advisers to fact check the bullshit they hear on a daily basis from lobbyists... and they simply don't because it is easier to accept favors and make friends.
She is trying to say that lobbyists should only seek changes in the law for their clients if those changes are in the interest of the public good.
Not only that, but in cases where an interest group (ie: environmentalist) has far less influence than an industry and it's lobbyists, the lobbyists should inform public officials on "both sides of the story", because otherwise how would policy makers know what to do?
What a fucking joke. This is about as practical as having a defense attorney present damning evidence against his client because the prosecutor is incompetent and the judge and jury are too easily manipulated.
I was looking at this "Proposed Rules" document drawn up by the OGE, and none of it addresses systemic problems. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011...2011-23311.pdf
For example, because of the fundraiser loopholes, they want to put a restriction on who can invite a public official to a fundraiser (not an official lobbyists) In real life of course this is bullshit, because you can just have any random non-lobbyist from a different organization sign the invitation letter.
Abramoff talks about how you can pay for someone's meal if you are standing up, but not sitting down... it goes on and on, there are countless retarded policies that have no real-world effect.
How do you guys think this shit can be fixed? Can it be fixed?
I think everyone agrees corporations should have some influence on public policy, so we can't do away with lobbyists altogether, but do you think we should do what Abramoff says and restrict public officials from later working at lobbying firms which would halt the "revolving door"? or are there deeper problems than that?
I've seen this type of corruption in a lot of places. The UFC for example promises state athletic commission members with jobs if they cooperate and push the UFC agenda in their state... most of the time it's almost an unspoken agreement.