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» Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bush Cronyism

Bush's Revolving Door Policies!
fatcat politicsDuring and after the Hurricane Katrina disaster we learned upclose and personal about Michael Brown, who headed FEMA and subsequently resigned only to get another job in the "Culture of Corruption" which is the Bush Administration.   We also learned there were other crony appointments in the FEMA ranks.

Public Citizen has put together a website - Lobbying, that will help us track corruption and incompetence (See Details Below - Visit the Site for More Info).   Another group of citizens have put together a site called Revolving Door Work Group (See Details Below - Visit the Site for More Info).   With concerned citizens standing up and taking resposibilities for watching and informing us about this cronyism, we will be much better off.   The Truth can always stand the light of day.   Croniyism and Back Door deals always have a way of exposing themselves as the corrupt institutions they are, especially when they highlight the incompetence as was the case with Michael Brown and FEMA.

As the Time Magazine article An Unholy Alliance? points out the alledged influence peddling that Ralph Reed did for Jack Abramoff which has touched off a probe into exactly what was legal and what was not legal.   As most already know Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is a figure in that investigation as well as being indicted for money laundering himself.

Mr. Abramoff has been indicted in Florida for fraud involving casino gambling and the Washington Post article Lawmaker's Abramoff Ties Investigated has increasingly focused attention on little-known congressman, Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio).   All these stories combine to reflect the "Culture of Corruption" that are the Republicans 2000 - 2008, and the Bush Administration Legacy.   - fc

Public CitizenLobbying

Tracking The Activities of Special Interests

Washington's influence peddling industry: is a project of Public Citizen, a national, non-profit public interest organization with 150,000 members (as of July 2005) that was founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

The project serves as a tool to help the media and public track the influence of special interests in Congress and the executive branch. It provides a database of thousands of individuals who have journeyed through the "revolving door" - passing from government service to private sector lobbying. The Web site provides investigative reports examining key interests and what’s at stake in major lobbying battles. It also serves as a clearinghouse on laws related to influence peddling and of the reforms needed to clean up the system.

Public Citizen fights for openness and democratic accountability in government; for the right of consumers to seek redress in the courts; for clean, safe and sustainable energy sources; for social and economic justice in trade policies; for strong health, safety and environmental protections; and for safe, effective and affordable prescription drugs and health care. We have six divisions and state offices in California and Texas.

The Web site is managed by Congress Watch, one of Public Citizen's six divisions.

About Lobbying

Revolving Door Work GroupRevolving Door Work Group

...committed to increasing public confidence in government

It's Time To Tighten Ethics Laws To Ensure Integrity And Fairness In Public Policy

For too long now, the American public has looked on in despair or resignation as private corporations shape public policies to advance the interests of their industry, often at the expense of the common good. While generous campaign contributions have proven a tried and true means for companies to buy influence with policy makers, it's time to shine a bright light on The Revolving Door, another key mechanism by which corporate interests influence federal decision-making, especially with regard to regulatory policy and procurement choices. The Revolving Door - the movement of individuals back and forth between the private sector and the public sector - takes three forms:
• The Industry-to-Government Revolving Door, through which the appointment of corporate executives and business lobbyists to key posts in federal agencies establishes a pro-business bias in policy formulation and regulatory enforcement;

• The Government-to-Industry Revolving Door, through which public officials move to lucrative private sector roles from which they may use their experience to compromise government procurement, regulatory policy and the public interest; and

• The Government-to-Lobbyist Revolving Door, through which former lawmakers and executive-branch officials use their inside connections to advance the interests of corporate clients.
While some observers argue that such movement between regulatory roles and regulated industries ensures that policymakers bring expertise and understanding to their oversight functions, there is ample evidence to suggest that the revolving door more often creates at least the appearance of serious conflict of interest.

The Revolving Door Working Group (RDWG) investigates, exposes and seeks remedies for conflict-of-interest problems such as loopholes in revolving door laws, inadequate disclosure, and other issues associated with the improper influence of the regulated community over the regulatory process.

About Revolving Door Work Group

Washington Post :: Under Bush, the Revolving Door Gains Speed
By Judy Sarasohn
Thursday, October 27, 2005; Page A25

Examples Contained in Her Article ::

Name Industry Government
David Lauriski mining industry Labor Department's assistant secretary of mine safety and health
Jacqueline Glassman formerly in auto industry chief counsel and then deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Dale Moore formerly in cattle/beef industry chief of staff to the secretary of the Agriculture Department
Mark Rey formerly in forestry industry Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment
Mary Waters former legislative counsel for ConAgra Foods assistant secretary for congressional relations - Dept of Agriculture
Dan Brouillette formerly in mining and oil interests lobby - now works for Ford Motor Co Former Assistant secretary for congressional affairs at the Energy Department
Linda Fisher now works for DuPont Former Deputy administrator of the EPA

Read the Complete Article...

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