Rep. Holmes Norton: I’m surprised you have not donated to me yet – I’m important
I’m not surprised at all. I’m not exactly certain if a call like this is illegal or an ethical issue, but last night, Big Government posted a voicemail to a reported lobbyist left by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) looking for a donation. Another symptom of the disease that leaves a bad taste in your mouth does it not?
Big Government notes Democrats are pushing representatives in safe seats to get more donations so they can spread the funds around. Their post also has a good review of the laws and ethics issues that may be involved here. Go read it.
The pressure is especially strong on members from “safe” districts, who need little campaign money of their own to win reelection. The catch, though, is that many of these members haven’t amassed vast campaign war-chests, for the simple reason that they haven’t needed them. So, they are scrambling to meet their Pelosi-imposed obligations. Holmes Norton is from one such “safe” district–the District of Columbia.
Head over to Big Government to listen to the call, but here is the voicemail transcript…
This is, uh, Eleanor Norton, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Uh, I noticed that you have given to uh, other colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I am a, um, Senior Member, a twenty year veteran and am Chair of the Sub-committee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. I’m handling the largest economic development project in the United States now, the Homeland Security Compound of three buildings being built on the uh, old St. Elizabeth’s hospital site in the District of Columbia along with uh, fifteen other, uh, sites here for, that are part of the stimulus .
I was, frankly, uh, uh, surprised to see that we don’t have a record, so far as I can tell, of your having given to me despite my uh, long and deep uh, work. In fact, it’s been my major work, uh, on the committee and sub-committee it’s been essentially in your sector.
I am, I’m simply candidly calling to ask for a contribution. As the senior member of the um, committee and a sub-committee chair, we have (chuckles) obligations to raise, uh funds. And, I think it must have been me who hasn’t, frankly, uh, done my homework to ask for a contribution earlier. So I’m trying to make up for it by asking for one now, when we particularly, uh, need, uh contributions, particularly those of us who have the seniority and chairmanships and are in a position to raise the funds.
I’m asking you to give to Citizens for Eleanor Holmes Norton, PO Box 70626, DC, 20024. I’ll send you a follow-up note with appreciation for having heard me out. Thanks again.
PowerLine, Hot Air and Big Journalism also writing.
Isn’t it interesting the media and the left has been hounding Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) about his connection to the tobacco lobby and handing out PAC money on the floor of the House – again, legal … but leaving a really bad taste in your mouth – yet Holmes Norton has gotten a pass during the first 24 hours of this story?
Don’t like any of it from the Boehners or Holmes Nortons of the world? Don’t you dare start going tit for tat in the comments section. But Republicans do it … yeah but Democrats do it more. BORING!~
Take the money and power away from them and bring that power and control back to the states and the people. US Constitution: Article 1, Section 8, the 10th Amendment. The answers are right there in front of all of us.
Take all the money from them regarding any campaigning or lobbying. How else can you go to Washington and not be coerced or corrupted.
@GdavidH: Thanks, but I have to wonder if you're missing my point – and that's disturbing since it is my political passion I try to define on this blog.
Taking away campaign or lobbying money will not solve the problem. By creating those types of laws – which is fine, but worthless – you are treating the symptoms, not the disease. The true disease is that we have allowed an incremental shift of government from the states and the people, to the federal government. Any and all spending done by the federal government must be strictly limited to purposes as defined in Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution. Any other government expenses must be done at the state and local level.
Yes, there will be corruption at the local and state level as there is now, but we will be able to almost eliminate all of the really big-dollar corruption inside the beltway. I prefer my future corrupt politicians to reside within my state, where we all can more easily access them and their staff … instead of allowing them to run off to D.C. and western Canada for fundraisers.
It may take decades, but we must start immediately since it will not get any better … no matter how many laws you pass. Can I get an AMEN on that concept?
Isn't this political money laundering?
I agree with you and maybe my wording didn't convey the proper sentiment. I have no solution as to solving the influence peddling problem of lobbying. It seems that every time a new regulation is put in place to curb it, a new technique is used to get around it.
I am however quite irritated with the way campaigns in CT. are publicly financed. C'mon… the dem legislature doubles to 6 million the money available to the Malloy campaign to fight off Foley. I don't like my tax dollars financing a campaign for a millionaire I will vote against. I don't like it but you are right. We need to return all the influence to the local constituents
I know many don't agree but, I'd rather my leaders did not need the money. I would rather they serve on principal.
It's nothing but a shakedown. Of the crimes that former Hartford mayor Eddie Perez was convicted of the shakedown was the most serious. It's an abject violation of the sacred public trust placed in elected officials. This is no different than a mobster "selling" protection:
"Nice lobbying firm you got here. Be a shame if something happened to your clients' projects."
All campaign reforms have the not so unintended result of protecting incumbents and raising barriers to entry for third party candidates. I would repeal all the laws and replace them with two simple ones:
1) Candidates can take any amount from anyone, but ALL DONATIONS have to be reported, all donations have to be from Americans.
2) Term limits – no US Senator or Representative could succeed themselves more than once in a row. This means a person would have to take at least one term off after serving two consecutive terms, find another office to hold, or get a job.
Unfortunately, the job would be on some lobbyist board…
Steve, Steve, Steve (tisk-tisk):
As SOS always says to me, "there you go again quoting that pesky Constitution".
Anyway, Amen, brother.