Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Centralization Is Corruption

Lobbying firms had until Monday to disclose how much they were paid by clients to influence legislation on Capitol Hill during the second quarter of this year. And with a major push for health care reform, a $787 billion economic stimulus package and proposals to tighten the regulation of Wall Street, there was plenty to lobby.

The Senate Office of Public Records was flooded with thousands of filings Monday, and several major firms had yet to report Monday evening. Among those without a final second quarter figure were DLA Piper and the BGR Group.

Patton-Boggs’ mid-year haul led heavyweight rivals Akin Gump, Van Scoyoc Associates, Cassidy & Associates and Podesta, which posted the largest year-over-year revenue gain of K Street’s top firms.

Podesta’s total of nearly $11.6 million for the first six months of the year was 57 percent higher than the firm’s mid-year 2008 total.

Holland & Knight and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck posted gains of 39 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

Al Mottur, managing partner of Brownstein’s Washington office, said the Denver-based firm’s $5.4 million second quarter receipts were driven by strong performances from its advocacy in the energy, health care, telecommunications and financial services sectors, as well as by business interest in the stimulus funding.

Even Colorado’s central role in the 2008 presidential election boosted the firm, Mottur said.

“It’s impossible to quantify this, but I really believe that our firm’s involvement in the Democratic convention has helped our business,” Mottur said. “We might break $20 million this year, and that would be very exciting for us.”

Power corrupts. Washington's absolute power is the reason it is absolutely corrupted. It's simply more efficient to run our lives from one central power bank rather than try to establish dominion over every state.

Repealing the 17th Amendment would eliminate much of this corruption by eliminating the incentive to engage in corruption. They won't do it if there's no power to influence.

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