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Old 12-07-2002, 02:20 PM   #1
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Not that this is a Real Shocker...

...but there is detailed documents on how campaign contributors have influenced politics in the last decade. Note: both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party (e.g., both the current Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration) are guilty of this.

From CNN.com:

Documents: Donors promised political access
Memos released by supporters of new campaign law

WASHINGTON (AP) --Political party officials and the donors they solicit have routinely linked big contributions to government business, from merger approvals to meetings with top officials, according to previously sealed court documents that offer a window into the business of fund raising in Washington.

"As you recall in our conversation some weeks ago, you agreed to upgrade your Team 100 membership to the Regent program ($250,000) when the merger was approved," Republican Party fund-raiser Mel Sembler wrote in 2000 to the chief of the now-bankrupt Global Crossing telecommunications company, which had already given $100,000.

"Thankfully this has now been approved, so I am taking the liberty of enclosing an invoice for the additional upgrade," Sembler added in one of dozens of fund-raising memos the political parties turned over to a court hearing the first legal challenge of the nation's new campaign finance law.

The memos were submitted to the court under seal, but they were provided to The Associated Press and other news organizations Friday under an agreement between the national political parties and the lawmakers who sponsored the law.

The documents span from the Clinton years of the 1990s to the beginning of the Bush administration and detail how party officials often cater to donors and lace their pitches for money with promises of meetings with top officials.

"These documents show how the game is played in Washington, and you have to be able to pay to play," said Kent Cooper, co-founder of PoliticalMoneyLine, a nonpartisan Web site that tracks campaign finance, and a former Federal Election Commission official. "We expect these documents will trigger further investigations."

AP left messages Friday at the office of several of the people named in the documents seeking comment.

"Gave 100K last year and 20K this year. Ask her to give 80K more this year for lunch with Potus on Oct. 27th," said a 1995 memo for then-Democratic Party chairman Don Fowler, urging that prominent donor Denise Rich be solicited for money before attending a lunch with President Clinton. Rich's name later surfaced in both the Clinton fund-raising and pardon controversies.

Drug companies, some of the country's more active political donors, were a frequent subject of memos.

In a 1999 letter, then-RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson wrote Charles Heimbold, then chief executive of Bristol-Myers Squibb, to discuss the company's plans to form an industry coalition to lobby for issues important to drug companies.

"A coalition will be the perfect vehicle for the Republican Party to reach out to the health care community and discuss their legislative needs," Nicholson wrote. Republicans then controlled both chambers of Congress.

"We must keep the lines of communication open if we want to continue passing legislation that will benefit your industry."

Nicholson enclosed a copy of the RNC's health care proposals and asked Heimbold for his suggestions to improve it. He also included an outline of GOP lawmakers were doing involving health care legislation.

In the next paragraph, Nicholson encouraged Bristol-Myers -- already a GOP donor -- to give $250,000 to join the Republican committee's new "Season Pass" program, which offered donors "premier seating" at the RNC's fund-raising gala and "VIP benefits" at the Republican presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia in 2000.

In all, Bristol-Myers gave $291,200 to the RNC in the 1999-2000 election cycle, according to figures compiled by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political contributions.

Heimbold donated $50,000 to the RNC in October 2000. He was named ambassador to Sweden by President Bush last year.

When Microsoft Corp., a $100,000-plus donor to Republicans, planned to attend the party's major fund-raising gala in 2000, it asked to be seated next to "Sen. (Paul) Coverdell or leadership, Commerce Committee or Judiciary Committee," according to a GOP memo. At the time, the company was battling a major antitrust case that threatened to break the company into two. The memo added Microsoft did not want to sit with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a major critic.

In a note to a Dow Chemical official, the director of the RNC's "Team 100" donor club, Henry Barbour, sent thanks for a contribution and offered to arrange a meeting for Dow executives with House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia; Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kansas; and GOP chairman Haley Barbour.

A 1995 Democratic National Committee fund-raising call sheet for Fowler and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut, scheduled a call to Texaco lobbyist Jim Groninger.

"Reason for call: Please ask Jim to become a Trustee and contribute $35,000. Additional notes: The President helped out the Oil Industry by supporting them on drilling issues in the Gulf of Mexico. The bill passed the House on Tuesday," the call sheet said.

The DNC sought $85,000 from British Petroleum in a November 1995 call: "BP has given $66,000 to Republican committees this year. The Administration helped them out on two major issues this year," the call sheet said.

Your thoughts?

Melon
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Old 12-07-2002, 07:22 PM   #2
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"As you recall in our conversation some weeks ago, you agreed to upgrade your Team 100 membership to the Regent program ($250,000) when the merger was approved," Republican Party fund-raiser Mel Sembler wrote in 2000 to the chief of the now-bankrupt Global Crossing telecommunications company, which had already given $100,000.

"Thankfully this has now been approved, so I am taking the liberty of enclosing an invoice for the additional upgrade," Sembler added in one of dozens of fund-raising memos the political parties turned over to a court hearing the first legal challenge of the nation's new campaign finance law.




This is really disgusting,

The FEC is dismantling CFR as you read this.
McCain is right about this.
I blame the Republican Party more for this, than the Dems even though they are both guilty.
The Republican Contract with America had 10 points. They enacted 8 of the 10 points. The two they abandoned? CFR and term limits. With the congress and Whitehouse they could clean this up. They won't.

So much for restoring honor and dignity to the Whitehouse.

Some buy legislation,
the rest of us pay for it.
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Old 12-08-2002, 02:01 PM   #3
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who forced the politicians to take the money..?

Didnt Nancy say "Just say no" when forced w temptation?
Yes, it could b that simple instead of a gimmick like CFR.

thank u-

DB9
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Old 12-09-2002, 06:11 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting the article.

My thoughts on the article center around the wondering why this isn't a nation story on all major network new shows? Couldn't this be seen as reasoning for terrorism? The fact idea that the USA is a hypocrite? The fact that poor people aren't getting equal representation before the Congress and presumably before the courts that they create with their nominations?

How can anyone say that America is the land of the free after reading that their own government has been sold to the highest bidder, who is most likely NOT THEM, and that their sweet, caring Senator, Congressman, President, is really a money-grubbing whore, who'd screw them over in a heartbeat?
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Old 12-13-2002, 05:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
who forced the politicians to take the money..?

Didnt Nancy say "Just say no" when forced w temptation?
Yes, it could b that simple instead of a gimmick like CFR.

thank u-

DB9
Ya... anti drug laws are such a gimmick too. I mean its not like ppl are forced to do drugs: "Just say no".
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Old 12-14-2002, 03:31 PM   #6
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Let's add this to the file of corruption!

From TheInquirer.net (technology news site, not to be confused with U.S. tabloid, "The National Inquirer"):


Dissenting states took Microsoft money to drop antitrust appeal

Vole made offer seven states couldn't refuse

Saturday 14 December 2002, 10:36


SEVEN OUT OF the nine states in the US which stood out against the Microsoft-Department of Justice antitrust settlement were offered money to drop their action, the Washington Post claimed today.
Microsoft's chief lawyer first approached California's attorney general with a special deal which would cover it and the other states' expenses if they dropped an appeal against the ruling they were making.

And California and six other states decided to accept Microsoft's offer and took $25 million from the software company and an extra $3.6 million to enforce the DoJ forged deal, the paper said.

If the states had decided to carry on with their appeal, Microsoft would fight the case to the limits of their ability and also fiercely contest costs, the newspaper said.

Only two of the original nine states have decided to carry on with the appeal West Virginia and Massachusetts.

The report quotes a Microsoft spin doctor as saying that the special negotiations were part of the firm's attempt to re-build relationships with states.

The paper suggests some of the states settled because they were a bit strapped for cash. Hardly a very good reason, when the money Microsoft offered was so little, we'd venture.

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