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Friday, 19 January, 2018

Special Interest Groups, Political Action Committees and Lobbyists

Date: 27 September, 2000

By: Chief

Imagehey all are a bunch of snakes.

Our legislators have, in theory, but one master — We the People. They campaign for a particular office. That particular office put in place by the Constitution. By We the People. They are elected for that office by, to be sure, We the People. They 'purportedly' take and subscribe to an oath ... 'to preserve and protect the Constitution. . .', be it a state or the federal Constitution. They then take office. To do what? To represent us. To represent We the People. To represent each individual citizen equally. In theory, that is fine. That is how it should be. That is how our system of government was set up. Unfortunately, this theory does not jive with reality.

When was the last time you spoke — directly — with your elected representative? When was the last time you received a written response from your elected representative? I don't mean a 'politically neutral' letter either. I mean a letter directly answering your letter. When? Or, when you call your elected representative's telephone number, do you get to speak with your elected representative or do you end up speaking with some staffer? Does the staffer ask you what 'group' or 'organization' you represent? When was the last time your elected representative held a town hall meeting? I suspect you will have to give that some long and deep thought.

At the same time certain people have almost immediate access to our elected representatives. Indeed some do have immediate access. Who are they? Who are these people and how do they rate an 'open door' policy when We the People do not? How are these people able to bypass the staffers ... at will? The answer is a most despicable, though simple one. These "lobbyists" represent power. The power of a voter block. The power of a special interest group. The power of a political action committee. The power of money. An example of this power is while a corporation does not cast a single vote at the polls, that corporation can contribute a whole lot more money than most individual citizens can. Further campaign finance laws limit the amount of money an individual can contribute. The same is not true for companies or corporations.

Most, if not all, elected representatives seek (1) reelection or (2) 'higher' office. Our elected representatives seek to maintain — power. Hence, no elected representative wants to invoke the wrath of a special interest group or political action committee. Why? Because these groups have the membership and financial horsepower to (1) pay for advertising to sway We the People to vote for the opposing candidate, (2) have their members walk the precincts and speak 'personally' with citizens in that particular precinct or district in an attempt to win over the voters of that precinct or district and (3) provide financial contributions to the opposing candidate.

Sounds rather like extortion doesn't it? A special interest or political action committee, through their lobbyist, tells our elected representative ... cooperate and there will be money and campaign workers in it for your or ... you are finished. Strong arm tactics at a minimum. I do believe that violates RICO statutes. If you or I tried that, I dare say we'd be in jail by day's end. Yet these lobbyists, political action committees and special interest groups operate with impunity. Indeed, with immunity, as these actions are lawful. Campaign finance laws remember.

As such, We the People are left out in the cold. Completely forgotten about except for one day every other year. Election day. The one and only day that all the power, all the campaign workers, all the advertising and most certainly all the dollars from special interests, political action committees, corporations and the like mean nothing. It boils down to We the People, no one and nothing else. Just us.

I, for one, refuse to be counted once every other year and then discarded like garbage. When one thinks about it, that is what our elected representatives and their opponents consider us. Something to be used — once — and then discarded. Treating We the People as whores. I resent and repudiate that intention.

It is time, past time, for We the People, come election day to send a message to those who wish to govern us, to those who wish to represent us. The message is a simple one. Treat us as whores and you are through. How do we accomplish this? By destroying the two major political parties. This action takes no gun, though it will be the proverbial shot heard around the world. This action takes no bomb, though it will be a bombshell to be sure. It takes merely the act of voting. Voting against the two major political parties and their candidates.

By this simple and singular act, the political parties, all of them, special interest groups, political action committees and their paid mercenaries — aka lobbyists — will see, in terms they can understand, that We the People are not whores. That We the People are the masters of our own destiny. That We the People are the masters ... period.

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