Jul 23

Politics

How Jeb Bush’s Recent Speech Bashing Lobbyists Was Organized by Lobbyists (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 22, 2015):

Last week, the Clinton, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio campaigns filed reports with the Federal Election Commission to list their lobbyist bundlers, revealing that all three have relied on Akin Gump for campaign cash. In Clinton’s case, her campaign not only used Akin Gump lobbyists as bundlers, but the Clinton campaign treasurer, Jose H. Villarreal, works for Akin Gump’s lobbying division, though he is not registered as a lobbyist. In addition, former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., who is now employed by Akin Gump, has been tapped to raise money for the presidential campaign of Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, who kicked off his candidacy on Tuesday.“As a result of the breadth and depth of our experience and relationships, our firm is well positioned to represent its clients — regardless of which party controls the legislative or executive branch,” boasts the Akin Gump website, touting the firm’s lobbying practice.

– From the Intercept article:  Lobbyists Fundraising for Clinton, Bush, Rubio and Kasich Are Coworkers

The most amusing aspect of the run-up the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is to watch establishment Democrat and Republican candidates scramble to reinvent themselves to fit the dramatically changed political environment. While a sizable portion of the American public remains clueless about virtually everything happening the world around them, enough people have woken up to the disastrous fraud that is the two-party political system and they’ve had enough. As a result, you see establishment clowns like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush scramble to pretend to be outsiders when they are the consummate insiders. Naturally, this is impossible and watching them flail and flounder like fish out of water is extremely gratifying.

Before I get into the meat of this post, a great article published at the Intercept today demonstrates just how completely captured by corporate money these useless candidates really are. We learn that:

Just how incestuous is the small world of big money politics? The leading Democratic candidate and at least three major Republican candidates are all relying on members of the same lobbying firm to help them raise presidential campaign cash: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Akin Gump is hardly a household name, but the law and lobbying firm is famous in Washington for its ability to sell access to those in power. Akin Gump’s employee roster is filled with former members of Congress, and its client list is a veritable who’s who of elite interests, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Monsanto, Boeing, Chevron, Gilead Sciences, Pfizer and AT&T. The United Arab Emirates and Japan are among the foreign governments represented by the firm.

Last week, the Clinton, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio campaigns filed reports with the Federal Election Commission to list their lobbyist bundlers, revealing that all three have relied on Akin Gump for campaign cash. In Clinton’s case, her campaign not only used Akin Gump lobbyists as bundlers, but the Clinton campaign treasurer, Jose H. Villarreal, works for Akin Gump’s lobbying division, though he is not registered as a lobbyist. In addition, former Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., who is now employed by Akin Gump, has been tapped to raise money for the presidential campaign of Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, who kicked off his candidacy on Tuesday.

The arrangement means that in practical terms, if an establishment candidate makes it to the White House, there’s a good chance he or she will have won with money raised by Akin Gump.

“As a result of the breadth and depth of our experience and relationships, our firm is well positioned to represent its clients — regardless of which party controls the legislative or executive branch,” boasts the Akin Gump website, touting the firm’s lobbying practice.

With that in mind, let’s focus in on Jebbie Bush’s pathetic attempt to reinvest himself as an outsider and reformer. More great work from David Sirota at International Business Times:

In his speech in Tallahassee, Florida, on Monday denouncing the influence of lobbyists, Jeb Bush neglected to mention one critical detail: The event was organized by a powerful corporate lobbying group that has helped financially support his White House bid.

Speaking at Florida State University, the former Florida governor derided what he called the capital city’s “comfortable establishment” that leverages lobbying power to unduly shape public policy. “I was a governor who refused to go along with that establishment,” Bush said.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce spent nearly $200,000 lobbying Florida lawmakers last year, and the group’s political committees have spent roughly $5.6 million to influence state elections since 2013. The chamber also employs a Florida lobbying firm — composed of former government officials — that is a top Bush campaign donor.

A representative of the Bush campaign told IBTimes that “the Florida chamber did not host the event.”

But two Florida State University officials separately told IBTimes that the chamber arranged the event at the public university. The school provided emails exchanged with chamber officials that appear to confirm that the chamber organized the event on behalf of Bush’s campaign, and coordinated with the campaign on the event.

“This will be a Florida Chamber event,” wrote Florida Chamber of Commerce economic development aide Carolyn Johnson to FSU officials. “However, Jeb Bush’s team has requested to pay the invoice and be the name on the contract. This is to avoid any legal gray areas.”

EVERYTHING with these people is smoke and mirrors.

While Bush explicitly slammed legislators who become lobbyists, his speech was hosted at a public university whose president is John Thrasher, a former state Republican Party chairman who became a lobbyist at the Southern Strategy Group after serving as Florida House speaker. Thrasher later left Southern Strategy and went back through the revolving door, first to the state legislature and then to the $430,000-a-year public-sector job at FSU. Thrasher was given the job in 2014 by appointees of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, whose election campaign Thrasher chaired.

Southern Strategy Group….hmmm, that seems to ring a bell. That’s right, we learned all about them here: Jeb Bush’s Deep Love Affair with Lobbyists and Cronyism While Governor of Florida Exposed

According to campaign finance records, Bush has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from lobbyists for his campaign — and that does not count yet-to-be-disclosed contributions to the super PAC backing his White House bid. Southern Strategy Group lobbyists are together the third-largest source of Bush campaign cash from employees at a single company.

In his speech bashing lobbyists, Bush did not mention his relationship with the Southern Strategy Group, nor did he detail his own past work as a registered lobbyist for his Miami real estate firm. A representative of Bush’s campaign told the Wall Street Journal that though Bush was indeed a registered lobbyist, he “was not working as a lobbyist” and instead was a partner on the underlying real estate project.

Well, now that we got that cleared up…

Recall that just last week I published the post:

Hillary Clinton Blasts High Frequency Trading Ahead of Fundraiser with High Frequency Trader

and just yesterday…

How Lobbyists for Monsanto, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft and the Telecom Industry are Bundling Funds for Hillary

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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