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(CBS News)   From the "Nobody Saw This Coming" file, Congress may be using all of those campaign funds for things other than campaigning   (cbsnews.com) divider line 81
    More: Obvious, funds, congresses, Steve Kroft, political action committees, slush funds, Hampton Inn  
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1791 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Oct 2013 at 7:10 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



81 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-10-21 07:10:02 AM  
Don't worry Congress, I hear someone is about to say something wild on Twitter that will have the politicos all riled up for 10 hours and no one will care about this topic after this morning.
 
2013-10-21 07:18:36 AM  
fta Peter Schweizer: I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

If only there were some way to publicly finance campaigns so that this temptation would be eliminated, and so that the congress critters could focus on doing their jobs.
 
2013-10-21 07:20:07 AM  
FTA: Peter Schweizer, is an author and fellow at the Hoover Institution.

C'mon, CBS. Get your shiat together.
 
2013-10-21 07:22:15 AM  
WTF? Ten pages with barely more than a short paragraph per page?
 
2013-10-21 07:22:38 AM  
Gotta pay for those solid gold bootstraps somehow.
 
2013-10-21 07:22:47 AM  
It's just freedom of speech!
 
2013-10-21 07:23:40 AM  

incendi: FTA: Peter Schweizer, is an author and fellow at the Hoover Institution.

C'mon, CBS. Get your shiat together.


Dawww, you would rather someone from MSNBC tell you about a topic that should outrage you more than what Ted Cruz said at a fundraiser three days ago?
 
2013-10-21 07:23:51 AM  

Mike_1962: WTF? Ten pages with barely more than a short paragraph per page?



It was 3 pages for me, odd.
 
2013-10-21 07:31:19 AM  

Notabunny: fta Peter Schweizer: I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

If only there were some way to publicly finance campaigns so that this temptation would be eliminated, and so that the congress critters could focus on doing their jobs.


Socialist
 
2013-10-21 07:35:51 AM  
Didn't Colbert teach us this in 2012? I guess 60 Minutes is a different demographic, but still...
 
2013-10-21 07:37:09 AM  

Massa Damnata: Mike_1962: WTF? Ten pages with barely more than a short paragraph per page?


It was 3 pages for me, odd.


I'm on the mobile...
 
2013-10-21 07:37:51 AM  
I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2013-10-21 07:42:12 AM  
How is this news to anyone?
 
2013-10-21 07:42:53 AM  

Notabunny: fta Peter Schweizer: I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

If only there were some way to publicly finance campaigns so that this temptation would be eliminated, and so that the congress critters could focus on doing their jobs.


Publicly funded elections won't stop graft and abuse.
 
2013-10-21 07:43:43 AM  

WTF Indeed: incendi: FTA: Peter Schweizer, is an author and fellow at the Hoover Institution.

C'mon, CBS. Get your shiat together.

Dawww, you would rather someone from MSNBC tell you about a topic that should outrage you more than what Ted Cruz said at a fundraiser three days ago?


I think he was talking about the errant comma. It annoyed me, too. It was just sitting there, like a tumor on the neck of an otherwise healthy and normal sentence. Ugh.
 
2013-10-21 07:47:47 AM  

Mrbogey: Notabunny: fta Peter Schweizer: I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

If only there were some way to publicly finance campaigns so that this temptation would be eliminated, and so that the congress critters could focus on doing their jobs.

Publicly funded elections won't stop graft and abuse.


Right, but there are laws against that. We're talking about the legal use of campaign finance loopholes. Different subject.
 
2013-10-21 07:50:46 AM  
Say what you will about the Chinese, but they have superior methods for dealing with corruption. None of them involve simply making it legal.
 
2013-10-21 07:52:15 AM  
Nothing more money free speech can't fix.
 
2013-10-21 07:52:42 AM  

Yakk: How is this news to anyone?


You mean there were people who DIDN'T see the SarahPAC ads?
 
2013-10-21 07:57:22 AM  

Mike_1962: Massa Damnata: Mike_1962: WTF? Ten pages with barely more than a short paragraph per page?


It was 3 pages for me, odd.

I'm on the mobile...


Did you have to download their app to see it? When I click on TFA is just takes me to a page asking me to download thee CBS app.
 
2013-10-21 07:57:44 AM  
I'm not sure who are the bigger idiots: People who think cutting congress' salaries will solve the deficit, or people who think congressmen give a shiat if you take away their measly $200k/yr.

Luckily, they're both largely the same idiots.
 
2013-10-21 08:00:01 AM  
Takes a lot of money to equip for a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-10-21 08:04:34 AM  
End the lobbyist culture.  It's time for a proper constitutional amendment.
 
2013-10-21 08:08:05 AM  

dookdookdook: I'm not sure who are the bigger idiots: People who think cutting congress' salaries will solve the deficit, or people who think congressmen give a shiat if you take away their measly $200k/yr.

Luckily, they're both largely the same idiots.


Preach it.
 
2013-10-21 08:16:09 AM  

Notabunny: fta Peter Schweizer: I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

If only there were some way to publicly finance campaigns so that this temptation would be eliminated, and so that the congress critters could focus on doing their jobs.


good luck getting pigs to wean themselves.
 
2013-10-21 08:19:26 AM  

Target Builder: Mike_1962: Massa Damnata: Mike_1962: WTF? Ten pages with barely more than a short paragraph per page?


It was 3 pages for me, odd.

I'm on the mobile...

Did you have to download their app to see it? When I click on TFA is just takes me to a page asking me to download thee CBS app.


I wish not to download thee, either
 
2013-10-21 08:21:04 AM  
Trevor Potter (interviewed in TFA) with famous super PAC client

i.i.cbsi.com
 
2013-10-21 08:21:07 AM  

Target Builder: Mike_1962: Massa Damnata: Mike_1962: WTF? Ten pages with barely more than a short paragraph per page?


It was 3 pages for me, odd.

I'm on the mobile...

Did you have to download their app to see it? When I click on TFA is just takes me to a page asking me to download thee CBS app.


No, I go to the article, but ten pages? Nope.
 
2013-10-21 08:22:03 AM  

dookdookdook: I'm not sure who are the bigger idiots: People who think cutting congress' salaries will solve the deficit, or people who think congressmen give a shiat if you take away their measly $200k/yr.

Luckily, they're both largely the same idiots.


You mean idiots like Representative Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) ?

fta Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make $500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."
 
2013-10-21 08:26:26 AM  

Mrbogey: Notabunny: fta Peter Schweizer: I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

If only there were some way to publicly finance campaigns so that this temptation would be eliminated, and so that the congress critters could focus on doing their jobs.

Publicly funded elections won't stop graft and abuse.


Do you have a different/better proposal?
 
2013-10-21 08:26:30 AM  

Notabunny: dookdookdook: I'm not sure who are the bigger idiots: People who think cutting congress' salaries will solve the deficit, or people who think congressmen give a shiat if you take away their measly $200k/yr.

Luckily, they're both largely the same idiots.

You mean idiots like Representative Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) ?

fta Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make $500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."


He's only an idiot for not realizing* that he himself can also retire to K street at any time...preferably sooner.

*Benefit of the doubt, of course; he could be (and is probably) obfuscating that point to make himself look better.
 
2013-10-21 08:28:42 AM  
Didn't the 'not a witch' ladybug teabagger get exposed as someone who lives off campaign funds year after year?
 
2013-10-21 08:29:07 AM  

incendi: FTA: Peter Schweizer, is an author and fellow at the Hoover Institution.

C'mon, CBS. Get your shiat together.


I didn't even get that far because on iPhone the link goes to an ad page for the 60 minutes app.

Fark u CBS, how about you just serve me the article.
 
2013-10-21 08:33:11 AM  
latimesblogs.latimes.com
What, what, WHAT?!
 
2013-10-21 08:34:28 AM  
All this calling for an end or reform to lobbying is horsepucky. Let's have an election where we vote for our favorite lobbies and then they get together and choose the President & Congress. Didn't think of that, did you libs?
 
2013-10-21 08:35:14 AM  

d23: End the lobbyist culture.  It's time for a proper constitutional amendment.


I'm trying to imagine the scenario that could possibly lead to lobbyists being made illegal/not acceptable in DC. Any I come up with involve nuclear war somehow, and even then it's running about 70/30.

When you stop to really think about it, you realize that the lobbying system that has grown over the years, coupled with the state of the news media today, is really a perfect mechanism of corruption. Any politician can be bought off, and in fact they have likely been pre-bought off well prior to reaching their current level of power. Anyone who cannot be bought off will never rise to a position of power in the first place.
 
2013-10-21 08:38:11 AM  
Stop greenlighting shiat from CBS until they stop trying to shoehorn us into their app or shiatty mobile site please.
 
2013-10-21 08:38:18 AM  
We secretly replaced America's regular democracy with institutionalized corruption. Let's see if anyone can tell the difference...
 
2013-10-21 08:40:55 AM  
Honest question: so, your campaign is over -won or lost- and you didn't quite use up all the money. What are you allowed (or supposed) to do with leftover campaign funds?
 
2013-10-21 08:47:02 AM  

jayhawk88: d23: End the lobbyist culture.  It's time for a proper constitutional amendment.

I'm trying to imagine the scenario that could possibly lead to lobbyists being made illegal/not acceptable in DC. Any I come up with involve nuclear war somehow, and even then it's running about 70/30.

When you stop to really think about it, you realize that the lobbying system that has grown over the years, coupled with the state of the news media today, is really a perfect mechanism of corruption. Any politician can be bought off, and in fact they have likely been pre-bought off well prior to reaching their current level of power. Anyone who cannot be bought off will never rise to a position of power in the first place.


It's more insidious than that.

Congress actually has an incentive to make government agencies ineffective.

Ma and Pa Buckett don't get their Social Security checks on time.  They write a plaintive letter to their Representative or Senator.  Rep. Smith has his staff make a couple of phone calls, plans a press conference when the error is fixed, and he comes off like a hero.

Combine that with the free-intern slave labor/apprenticeship system - which means that congressional staffers are drawn solely from the children of the wealthy.

Boom: a closed system that's just a few steps away from an elected aristocracy.


Put a hard, low limit on the number of staffers allowed per Congressman - and make sure most of them are in the districts, not in DC.  Put a 10-year delay between working as a staffer and working as a lobbyist.  Put a hard 10-year delay between serving as a Congressman and working as a lobbyist.
 
2013-10-21 08:47:56 AM  

Serious Black: Mrbogey: Notabunny: fta Peter Schweizer: I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

If only there were some way to publicly finance campaigns so that this temptation would be eliminated, and so that the congress critters could focus on doing their jobs.

Publicly funded elections won't stop graft and abuse.

Do you have a different/better proposal?


Term limits. Stop the accrual of power. Make the job a temporary job that doesn't serve as a springboard into a lucrative lobbying job.
 
2013-10-21 08:50:02 AM  

FrancoFile: jayhawk88: d23: End the lobbyist culture.  It's time for a proper constitutional amendment.

I'm trying to imagine the scenario that could possibly lead to lobbyists being made illegal/not acceptable in DC. Any I come up with involve nuclear war somehow, and even then it's running about 70/30.

When you stop to really think about it, you realize that the lobbying system that has grown over the years, coupled with the state of the news media today, is really a perfect mechanism of corruption. Any politician can be bought off, and in fact they have likely been pre-bought off well prior to reaching their current level of power. Anyone who cannot be bought off will never rise to a position of power in the first place.

It's more insidious than that.

Congress actually has an incentive to make government agencies ineffective.

Ma and Pa Buckett don't get their Social Security checks on time.  They write a plaintive letter to their Representative or Senator.  Rep. Smith has his staff make a couple of phone calls, plans a press conference when the error is fixed, and he comes off like a hero.

Combine that with the free-intern slave labor/apprenticeship system - which means that congressional staffers are drawn solely from the children of the wealthy.

Boom: a closed system that's just a few steps away from an elected aristocracy.


Put a hard, low limit on the number of staffers allowed per Congressman - and make sure most of them are in the districts, not in DC.  Put a 10-year delay between working as a staffer and working as a lobbyist.  Put a hard 10-year delay between serving as a Congressman and working as a lobbyist.


And somehow convince Congress to pass a law that derails their gravy train.

We're boned six ways from Sunday.
 
2013-10-21 08:50:48 AM  
Use it or lose it.
 
2013-10-21 08:52:04 AM  

jayhawk88: d23: End the lobbyist culture.  It's time for a proper constitutional amendment.

I'm trying to imagine the scenario that could possibly lead to lobbyists being made illegal/not acceptable in DC. Any I come up with involve nuclear war somehow, and even then it's running about 70/30.

When you stop to really think about it, you realize that the lobbying system that has grown over the years, coupled with the state of the news media today, is really a perfect mechanism of corruption. Any politician can be bought off, and in fact they have likely been pre-bought off well prior to reaching their current level of power. Anyone who cannot be bought off will never rise to a position of power in the first place.


A more perfect mechanism would be if wealthy donors could contribute unlimited amounts, anonymously, and directly to candidates. They'd be able to bypass PACs, K Street, party affiliation, and public oversight. And we may not have to wait long for such a mechanism.
 
2013-10-21 08:55:00 AM  

deeproy: We secretly replaced America's regular democracy with institutionalized corruption. Let's see if anyone can tell the difference...


Secretly? This was done with the full cooperation of the electorate.
 
2013-10-21 08:55:32 AM  

FrancoFile: jayhawk88: d23: End the lobbyist culture.  It's time for a proper constitutional amendment.

I'm trying to imagine the scenario that could possibly lead to lobbyists being made illegal/not acceptable in DC. Any I come up with involve nuclear war somehow, and even then it's running about 70/30.

When you stop to really think about it, you realize that the lobbying system that has grown over the years, coupled with the state of the news media today, is really a perfect mechanism of corruption. Any politician can be bought off, and in fact they have likely been pre-bought off well prior to reaching their current level of power. Anyone who cannot be bought off will never rise to a position of power in the first place.

It's more insidious than that.

Congress actually has an incentive to make government agencies ineffective.

Ma and Pa Buckett don't get their Social Security checks on time.  They write a plaintive letter to their Representative or Senator.  Rep. Smith has his staff make a couple of phone calls, plans a press conference when the error is fixed, and he comes off like a hero.

Combine that with the free-intern slave labor/apprenticeship system - which means that congressional staffers are drawn solely from the children of the wealthy.

Boom: a closed system that's just a few steps away from an elected aristocracy.


Put a hard, low limit on the number of staffers allowed per Congressman - and make sure most of them are in the districts, not in DC.  Put a 10-year delay between working as a staffer and working as a lobbyist.  Put a hard 10-year delay between serving as a Congressman and working as a lobbyist.


Every observation you made is accurate and your remedies are welcome. Politicians really have become the new Lords. We've sort of become a Harrison Bergeron society where we think we run the show because some idiot everyman gets tossed into the White House every 4 years while 98% of the people around him are there through birthright.
 
2013-10-21 08:55:58 AM  

deeproy: We secretly replaced America's regular democracy with institutionalized corruption. Let's see if anyone can tell the difference...


Let's be fair here. There are countries with much more corruption than America. Look at Afghanistan. Not only can rich people there engage in outright bribery with impunity, it is feasible to threaten an elected official's life and follow through on that threat. I'm pretty sure I read that a provincial governor was assassinated within the last few months there.
 
2013-10-21 08:58:10 AM  
Well, the President could decide to go full Patriot Act and use SEAL Team 6 to make Congress pass that law at gunpoint and GITMO or summarily execute any lawmaker who doesn't vote in favor of it, but that would probably open up a can of worms that should not be opened.
 
2013-10-21 08:58:10 AM  

Serious Black: deeproy: We secretly replaced America's regular democracy with institutionalized corruption. Let's see if anyone can tell the difference...

Let's be fair here. There are countries with much more corruption than America. Look at Afghanistan. Not only can rich people there engage in outright bribery with impunity, it is feasible to threaten an elected official's life and follow through on that threat. I'm pretty sure I read that a provincial governor was assassinated within the last few months there.


See? The Afghanis understand the necessity of Second Amendment solutions!
 
2013-10-21 08:58:25 AM  

Mrbogey: Serious Black: Mrbogey: Notabunny: fta Peter Schweizer: I think campaign fundraising is increasingly not just about winning elections. It's a lifestyle subsidy.

If only there were some way to publicly finance campaigns so that this temptation would be eliminated, and so that the congress critters could focus on doing their jobs.

Publicly funded elections won't stop graft and abuse.

Do you have a different/better proposal?

Term limits. Stop the accrual of power. Make the job a temporary job that doesn't serve as a springboard into a lucrative lobbying job.


Nope. All term limits do is take power and institutional knowledge away from elected officials who are accountable to the voters, and shift it to unelected lobbyists who are not accountable to the voters.
 
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