Social Question

iamthemob's avatar

Should we forgo regulation of campaign finance generally and instead solely regulate lobbyists?

Asked by iamthemob (17121 points ) October 28th, 2010

It seems the more I learn, the more lobbyists seem to have an unfair advantage. Is it time, therefore, that we take the focus off of politicians and put it on the lobbyists, as they are the people who clearly know where the money is coming from, and what they want to do with it?

If we can’t give money to candidates, aren’t we supporting a truly democratic system?

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10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, not completely. The addition of corporate money into campaigns is evident this round of elections. It is terrible.

I am all for more regulation of lobbyists as well.

wundayatta's avatar

The problem is that we can’t regulate campaign finance any more, thanks to the Bush Supreme Court. We could try to regulate lobbyists more, although I think they are already well regulated, but this issue of influence peddling is like the schmoo. You push in here, and it pops out there. You push back there and it pops out underneath.

Honestly, I don’t think there is any effective way of regulating the amount and source of money that ends up financing our politicians’ yachts campaigns. We can’t cap it, and we can’t force them to tell us who has given it and it is unlikely that we could change the constitution (nor whether it would be advisable). I think our only choice is to recognize what is, to hope that the monied interests have enough different interests that things might be somewhat equalized, and to rely on our organizing skills—rather, get better at them.

iamthemob's avatar

@wundayatta – good point. So do you think that there should be complete disclosure of source financing? I do, but there have been repeated failures to legally require disclosure on this front,

wundayatta's avatar

Oh yes, disclosure would be nice, but as I said, I don’t think it can happen. It’s pretty pathetic, but I think it’s not a battle worth fighting any more.

iamthemob's avatar

erg, don’t say that! ;-)

Foolaholic's avatar

I agree with @marinelife; the abilities of outside corporations to effectively “gift” money to political campaigns is downright dirty. These groups have enough influence as it is, without being able to buy their favorite politicians into office. I think you’re right in saying that as long as this system exists, we cannot call our system truly democratic.

Cruiser's avatar

I have always maintained that we should completely bulldoze K Street and that would eliminate any lobbied corporate influence into politics but it would have to included organized labor too. The hand waving crowd is all up in arms about this massive influx of corporate donations yet no one seems to really care that unions are stuffing the pockets of Dems all across the nation and worse….giving out gift cards for votes to people who will vote their ticket. What’s up with that??

iamthemob's avatar

@Cruiser – lobbyists generally – let’s try to not make this a partisan thing.

Cruiser's avatar

@iamthemob Mmmm Last time I looked (5 mins ago) Lobbyists ARE partisan!!

iamthemob's avatar

@Cruiser – lobbyists specifically are potentially (given that they will support the party that best supports their interest). Lobbyists generally (as I stated) are not. When you start talking about “stuffing the pockets of Dems” you bring into the discussion a partisan element that’s potentially superfluous. I know you know that. ;-)

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