Tag Archives: Lobbyists

Report Finds Registered Lobbyists Among Democratic Superdelegates

A new report found that some Democratic superdelegates are also registered lobbyists.

In the Democratic Party’s presidential primary process, superdelegates are party insiders who are allowed to vote for the candidate of their personal preference rather than on the basis of caucus or primary vote totals. While many superdelegate appointments are given to party activists and former and current elected officials, some have also been given to donors, including lobbyists.

According to ABC News’ analysis, of the 463 superdelegates who are not current or former elected officials, 67 are current or former registered lobbyists. There are 717 superdelegates in total who will vote among the July 25 nominating convention’s 4,763 delegates.

Zerohedge pointed out the fact that known lobbyists make up around 9 percent of the total number of superdelegates.

[RELATED: DNC Chair: Superdelegates Exist to Protect Party Leaders from Grassroots Competition]

A majority of the lobbyist superdelegates have already pledged their support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton is currently leading in the race for superdelegates, as 450 have already endorsed her candidacy versus 19 who are openly backing U.S. Sen. from Vermont Bernie Sanders. The remaining 248 have not yet indicated who they intend to support.

The Intercept’s Lee Fang wrote, “Although they make up only a small proportion of the superdelegates, the presence of lobbyists in such a potentially decisive role adds fuel to the critique that the Democratic Party is influenced by monied special interests. In recent months, the DNC quietly repealed rules instituted by Barack Obama that banned lobbyists from donating to the party.

[RELATED: Reality Check: Democrats Have a Superdelegate Problem]

The Democrat superdelegate system is a corrupt process designed to let insiders and lobbyists overturn the will of voters,” said Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.

Should it come down to the superdelegates, the Democrats will be nominating a fellow insider under FBI investigation, and viewed so unfavorably that she couldn’t defeat a 74-year old self-avowed Socialist at the ballot box,” he added.

According to Politico, Clinton campaign spokesperson Jesse Ferguson said of Clinton’s edge among superdelegates, “We are proud of the strong support we have from elected leaders, Democratic Party officials, grassroots activists and volunteers all across this country who are helping Hillary Clinton earn the nomination.

When asked last month about his odds of picking up superdelegate votes, Sanders struck an optimistic tone and said, “I think if we continue to do well around the country and if superdelegates – whose main interest in life is to make sure that we do not have a Republican in the White House – if they understand that I am the candidate and I believe that I am who is best suited to defeat the Republican nominee I think they will start coming over to us.

The Democratic superdelegate system sparked controversy earlier this year when Hillary Clinton obtained more delegates in the New Hampshire primary than Sen. Sanders, despite his overwhelming victory at the polls that day, primarily due to the preferences of superdelegates. Watch Ben Swann’s CBS46 Atlanta Reality Check report on the New Hampshire delegate debacle below.

Reality Check: After Being Trounced By Sanders in NH, Clinton…

Hillary Clinton was trounced in the New Hampshire Primary and yet thanks to the way the DNC rules work, she actually won the most delegates. Is the primary system a huge scam?

Posted by Ben Swann on Thursday, February 11, 2016

For more election coverage, click here.

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Mo. GOP Rep.’s Bill Would Require Lobbyists to Report Sex with Legislators as ‘Gift’

Republican Missouri state Rep. Bart Korman introduced a bill in the Missouri House last Wednesday that would define sex between lawmakers and lobbyists as a “gift” and require such incidents to be reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

House Bill 2059, which sets rules for which expenditures lobbyists must report, states, “The term ‘gift’ shall include sexual relations between a registered lobbyist and a member of the general assembly or his or her staff.

Rep. Korman told KSHB-TV, “From a citizen aspect, if you’re an elected official having a relationship with a lobbyist to that degree, I think that they should know. A citizen should know if that’s going on.

[RELATED: Report: At Least 1,000 Police Officers Fired for ‘Sexual Misconduct’]

The bill contains an exception for “relations between married persons or between persons who entered into a relationship prior to the registration of the lobbyist, the election of the member to the general assembly, or the employment of the staff person,” presumably to exempt elected officials who are already coincidentally in a romantic relationship with someone technically employed as a lobbyist.

The bill’s text adds, “The reporting of sexual relations for purposes of this subdivision shall not require a dollar valuation.

Explaining the purpose of that particular line of legislative text, Rep. Korman said, “Thats been the local discussion, how to price that or how to put a performance on it and I try to address it as a zero price tag to eliminate that discussion if at all possible.

[RELATED: DOJ Report Exposes DEA Agents’ Sex Parties with Prostitutes Funded by Colombian Drug Cartels]

According to The Kansas City Star, the House is working on legislative ethics reform in response to sex scandals that rocked the Missouri General Assembly last year.

KHSB-TV notes that former Missouri House Speaker John J. Diehl Jr. resigned last year after sexually-charged text messages that he sent to an intern were published in The Kansas City Star. Former Senator Paul LeVota resigned last summer amid allegations that he sexually harassed an intern.

Failed Canadian Company Spent $1 Million Lobbying Congress For Obamacare Website Contract

Ocare

They say if you follow the money then you’ll find yourself irate and experiencing a visceral reaction. As it turns out, CGI, a Canadian business-marketing firm, which took the largest slice of Healthcare.gov’s more than $300 million price tag, has been lobbying Congress for years.

According to CNN, Canadian firm CGI Group, took the prize. It received $88 million through last March 31. Its original $93.7 million contract runs through December, with three one-year option periods still possible.

Revelations that the Canadian based company was recently fired by the Canadian government for their failed record with Canadian healthcare websites prompted more independent research.

As it turns out, the company has been lobbying Congress since 2009 with specific interests paid to “Health Care reform-H.R. 3926 (Obamacare), Government IT SystemsFederally-Facilitated Health Exchange.”

The company’s lobbying work is represented by Holland & Knight LLP.

In total, the group has spent $1 million since their federally sponsored healthcare lobbying efforts began in 2009. The firm has been pumping money in at an increased rate since President Obama took office. The firm has spent $2 million lobbying Congress since 2003- fifty percent of which was spent in the last 4 years.

The group has donated $1.5 million to congressional elections, Super PACs, and presidential campaigns since 2000. The majority of donations over the past few election cycles have gone to democrats.

The company’s initial $1 million “investment” paid off by way of a $94 million contract to build a broken website. Not a bad return when you consider the fact that the company uses 10-year-old technology.

Rather than hold CGI accountable, reports claim that the Obama administration is going to spend more money to bring in Verizon to help fix the website.