• Jun 18, 2010
Earlier in the week, U.S. Representative Darrell Issa (R, Calif.) called for an amendment to a financial reform bill that would bar any company at least five percent owned by the government from lobbying Congress. The measure was shot down Thursday in a 9-13 vote by the financial services conference committee. The requested amendment was clearly aimed at preventing General Motors and Chrysler from spending money to influence our nation's leaders. All but one Democrat voted against the proposed amendment. Democrat Barney Frank (D, Mass) reportedly called the measure 'unconstitutional,' adding that the first amendment protects the right to lobby congress.

Issa (shown above) is on the record as being against the government bailout and ownership of GM and Chrysler, and he reportedly put the measure up for vote because he felt that it didn't make sense for the automakers to use government money to ask for more government money. The amendment would have blocked the use of lobbyists by any federally controlled entity unless the government cedes any direct or indirect influence over said companies. GM has spent $4.3 million and Chrysler $2.3 million lobbying congress since the two companies exited bankruptcy one year ago.

[Source: Detroit Free Press | Image: Alex Wong/Getty]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I vote for no lobbying of any kind, from anyone.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good start. Remember Obama seized GM and Chrysler on two counts -- they produced too many trucks and SUV's when the New World Order of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama passed the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act to push a 35 MPG CAFE that would effectively force a ban on SUV's, and the mid-size SUV, which pushed the movement in the 1990's, is now gone, replaced by jacked-up small cars, and their CEO's gave to Mitt Romney.

      Ford got away because they don't develop any of their cars -- every Ford car on the road is a Mazda or Geely, using Mazda engines and a GM-designed automatic transmission that Ford has been using. (GM and Ford in 2002 agreed to one common automatic transaxle.) Also Ford worked with Obama and Granholm on the auto standards too. Why did they quit the Explorer SUV and instead replace it with a jacked-up car from Chinese automaker Geely, and decide to import more cars from Europe and Islamic Turkey to replace vehicles we need? Also where's the discussion of Ford taking $5.9 billion of our taxpayer money to push for electric cars such as the Ford Focus Plug-In (a plug-in Mazda3) and building new minicars in Mexico (Fiesta)?

      And worst of all, remember Obama giving Chrysler to Fiat? Now Fiat is building the 500 Abarth (microcar) in Mexico, and Ford will be rewarded, since Ford is partners with Fiat in the car (Ford's version is called the Ka). Both cars share the same chassis and have different noses and tails but are the same car in Europe, built in Eastern Europe. Why has nobody noted that here Stateside?


      • 4 Years Ago
      Ah, yes, businesses are people too. Guess the Dems are getting tired of the GOP getting more business donations.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The naive people are the ones that keep voting one side or the other of this duopoly every election. Especially the ones that switch their voting to the other side when the party in power is considered garbage. They both accept bribes for their 'campaigns', they both consider the Constitution something outdated and therefore unnecessary to follow, they both believe in big gov't (the GOP saying they don't when not enough of their moralists get in power).
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I am sick of this situation. Considering how much the feds have invested into GM, GM cannot possibly fail."

        So you are the type that wants GM to fail just so you can yell and rant and froth at the mouth and say "I told you so!" Never mind the tax dollars lost, the jobs, the economy - just being "right" is all that matters to you?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Boxerfanatic,

        where do you stand on the idea of corporate personhood?

        If you think that the Corporations have natural rights one of which being petitioning the government, and that those rights should be respected by the US Gov't then you must allow for GM and Chyrsler to lobby, any restriction of that is a restriction of their freedom. Don't you pine for the Constitution regularly here with your anti-Government sentiments? If so, can you tell me what's protected by the first amendment? You'll see that petitioning the government is protected, surely we shouldn't take that protected right away from corporations regardless of government ownership. (Though I don't think the government should own any corporations, but that's for another day).
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ tourian....

        BEING FREE IS ALL THAT MATTERS.

        Shredding the rule of law, founded in the Constitution, erodes freedom.

        Bailing out corporations with taxpayer money is unconstitutional. It is seizing money from american people to bail out failed companies.

        Failed companies have methods to either right themselves, re-organize themselves, or liquidate themselves, for some other people to use those assets to engage in economic activity to provide supply for economic demand.

        The GOVERNMENT cannot, nor should they bolster failed enterprise at the cost to the people. Freedom means the freedom to fail and bear the consequences. Tyranny and government control defers, and worsens those consequences, it doesn't erase them.

        If the government crashes the economy, with 130 TRILLION DOLLARS in un-funded liability, and 14+ Trillion in outstanding debt... and continuing record spending and debt extension...

        THEN THE CONSEQUENCES ARE STILL IN PLAY, AND GETTING WORSE.

        Even if GM failed, they would have resurrected, or someone else would have brought the valuable assets back into the market as another company.

        If the COUNTRY fails, the consequences are more dire.

        It isn't about me, or others being right... it is the fact that if we are right, and history bears it out... FREEDOM IS AT STAKE.

        INCLUDING YOURS.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Barney Frank (D, Mass) reportedly called the measure 'unconstitutional,' adding that the first amendment protects the right to lobby congress."

      Should read:
      Barney Frank (D, Mass) reportedly called the measure 'unconstitutional,' adding that the first amendment protects the right of congressmen to get money from lobbyists.

      That is what he meant to say.
      • 4 Years Ago
      America's constitution was already shredded to hell when corporations were given the same rights as individuals do, but with none of the responsibilities that come with them. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, it's a Supreme Court case called Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission:

      http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/22/nation/la-na-fallout22-2010jan22

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission

      The problems are not just strictly limited to Democrats and Republicans anymore. It will effect every single branch of our government, and the lobbyists will make sure that they will stick around as long as they want so that they can reap the benefits for only themselves.

      This is what happens when you take superstitious metaphors in the Constitution too literally/seriously.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "...he felt that it didn't make sense for the automakers to use government money to ask for more government money"

      As much as I loath standard lobbying, it is still protected under the constitution. Government-owned corporations on the other hand, should probably not be allowed to do this. It all seems like a ridiculous waste of money, not to mention, a conflict of interest.

      +1 for Issa for trying. Shows not all of us Californians are tax-and-spend liberals like the nation thinks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @BoxerFanatic

        It's protected under the First Amendment which guarantees the right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

        I'm not sure our forefathers ever dreamed that lobbyists would turn into what they are today, with the vast majority trading gifts/favors for favorable legislation. The original intent was to allow the people to represent themselves for protection against an over-reaching government.

        They would have to change the constitution (literally) to abolish lobbying-- something not likely to happen, as it would mean a pay cut.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Legal lobbying =/= bribes. It's about communication and trying to get political officials to see things your way. What this country really needs is a crackdown on lobbying as a whole. Singleing out one individual, group, or, unfortunately company (which counts as a person now that the CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY IN THE SUPREME COURT made it so in a vote that was split between liberals, who can look at a company and see that it's not a person, and conservatives) is restricting their free speech.

        All the Dems did by voting this down was prevent it from going to court and being stricken down.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lobbyists *are* petitioning congress. The fact that members of congress receive gifts for agreeing with the petition is another matter altogether.

        Generally, lobbyists will find a way to skirt the system by providing compensation in the form of campaign support via advertising or other contributions. Others provide under-the-table compensation (which is obviously illegal).

        Either way, I'm not disagreeing with you. I think lobbying should be banned, as there is no way that anyone will ever "play by the rules".

        All I'm saying is, they are currently protected via a "loose interpretation" of the First Amendment-- their back room dealings and bribes are not. You know what they say though, it's only illegal if you get caught.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I still tend to think Issa is a moron but this had merit.

      So, of course it would be shot down. What congressman is going to vote against getting his pockets lined from backdoor lobbying? Or putting those poor lobbyists out of work. I'm the lobbyists for the lobbyist organization went to work to show how lobbying benefits everyone and taking away $6M/yr away would be a bad thing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        and by moron, I mean still not as ignorant as the reps that come out of Georgia's 4th district; Ms Cynthia Conspiracy Nut McKinney, only to be succeeded by Rep Hank Guam is Going to Capsize Johnson
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nation's REPRESENTATIVES. Not leaders. These guys couldn't get supervisor positions at Burger King.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know I would not hire them. I would not trust the vast majority of them to watch my dog for an hour. They think they are better than you and me when, in fact, the opposite is largely true.
      • 4 Years Ago
      BARNEY FRANK says it is un-constitutional?

      What the hell would Barney Frank know about the constitution.

      The first amendment says nothing about the freedom of speech being an open door for congressional bribery.

      The freedom of speech is not to line Barney Frank's pockets... It is to keep Barney Frank and his colleagues from shutting people down when they speak against their corruption.

      There is not a single ounce of integrity, honesty, statesmanship, leadership, honor, ethics, or morals left in Washington DC. Such a beautiful looking city to be such a horrific cesspool.

      These ego-maniacal tyrants do not represent me. They represent themselves, and whoever pays the bills to keep them there.

      The republic is dead. It is just a shell over an oligarchy now, more than ever before.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There are a lot of unconstitutional activity that should be called before the supreme court.

        Most of which is happening at Capitol Hill, and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The court itself is questionable on some of it's opinions, and it's assumed role as supreme arbiter.

        The court is not the superior branch to the other two, as they have asserted for more than 100 years.

        If Lobbying were not money-involved, and weren't BUYING votes, it wouldn't be happening nearly to the extent that it is. The Constitution, nor the Bill of Rights established that Congress, nor the office of the President, nor the Supreme Court was for sale.
      • 4 Years Ago
      it's nothing more then a pissin match between politicians and GM is the punch bag...
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