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Chapter 10

Two front-page articles in The Washington Post lay out the Cassidy method in detail, creating problems for Gerry Cassidy and angering a powerful senator. The result: A new law on lobbying, and ultimately a lot of new business for Cassidy & Associates.

By Robert G. Kaiser

On June 13, 1988, The Washington Post published a front-page story explaining in detail how a lobbying firm called Cassidy & Associates had helped the Pirelli Corp., the Italian maker of tires, cables and many other products, win $15 million in congressional appropriations for two projects in Hawaii and South Carolina. The story recounted how Pirelli organized a Political Action Committee to make substantial campaign contributions, paid honoraria to members to appear at events in posh locations and donated $25,000 to help create a chair at the University of Massachusetts named for Rep. Silvio Conte, who had supported Pirelli's earmarks.

According to a former aide to Conte, on the morning after the story appeared, Gerald S. J. Cassidy showed up in the Congressman's office, apparently hoping to apologize personally for the unexpected publicity in The Post. Conte was furious, said the former aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He let Cassidy sit in his outer office from early morning until early evening without ever agreeing to see him. When the office closed at the end of the day, Cassidy stood up, formally thanked the staff in the outer office for their hospitality and departed.

This story could not be checked with Conte, who died in 1991. Asked about it years later, Cassidy confirmed that he had gone immediately to Conte to defuse the situation but said the aide's account that the congressman refused for a day to see him was "not true. I was in there [Conte's office] within five minutes."

A year later Cassidy was nervous about Conte again because of another story in The Post. On June 18, 1989, the same Post reporter who wrote the Pirelli story, Dan Morgan, detailed how Cassidy & Associates had helped win a series of earmarked appropriations for universities by exploiting something called the National Defense Stockpile Transaction Fund. Both these stories laid out the operations of a D.C. lobbying firm in unusual detail, and Gerald Cassidy didn't like it. The stories violated Cassidy's cardinal rule, and he worried about the consequences. (Read Morgan's story [PDF].)

Post reporter Dan Morgan
Washington Post reporter Dan Morgan reported on the role played by Cassidy's firm in obtaining earmarks for universitites. (The Washington Post)

That rule was simple: Never publicly take credit for the work of a member of Congress. After much debate inside his firm, Cassidy had agreed to be interviewed by Morgan for the second article in 1989 and to have his picture taken by The Post, but he had tried to respect his cardinal rule. In the interview he told Morgan: "I applaud the members [of Congress] who are taking the lead" to provide new research facilities to universities. "The dollars would not be spent if they were not being pushed through by members."

But Morgan's story made it clear that Cassidy lobbyists, not members of Congress, were actually taking the lead. The lobbyists discovered the National Defense Stockpile Transaction Fund, "a little-known entity in the federal bureaucracy that bought and sold scarce commodities such as chrome and titanium for the country's strategic needs." They "persuaded the appropriators to pass millions of dollars through [it] to finance the construction of 'strategic materials research centers' at universities in their home states and districts." One recipient was the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, in Conte's home district. He was the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee and a longtime ally of Cassidy & Associates. Conte helped UMass get $19.5 million from the U.S. Treasury.

***

Colleagues remember eruptions of Cassidy's famous temper when The Post's stories appeared. Cassidy himself recalled that "members of Congress strongly objected to members of this firm talking to Dan [Morgan]." His stories "made it feel like we were getting credit for what was done by them."

Robert C. Byrd
Sen. Byrd, chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, was not happy that Cassidy's firm played a role in bringing a project to his home state. Above, Byrd is pictured (at right) in a 1985 photo taken outside the White House. ABC reporter Sam Donaldson appears alongside. (The Washington Post)

One reader who reacted negatively to the 1989 story about earmarks for universities was Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He was famous for his ability to bring federal money to West Virginia but also proud of and sensitive about senatorial prerogatives. His reaction to the story gave Cassidy a dose of unwelcome publicity that changed the firm's reputation.

Byrd's staff had to have known that his own West Virginia University was one of the Cassidy clients hoping for money for a materials research center. Byrd's staff had already been working with Cassidy lobbyists on the project. West Virginia University had signed up as a Cassidy client in early 1987, for a reduced rate of $5,000 a month initially, then after a year for $10,000 monthly. Cassidy's first project for the school was the National Research Center for Coal and Energy. Byrd had helped his home state university win appropriations of $15 million to create it. (Document: Read the university's proposal for the center [PDF].)

The seed of trouble may have been planted at the groundbreaking ceremony for that coal center on Oct. 28, 1988. That day the president of WVU, Neil Bucklew, profusely thanked Elvis Stahr, a predecessor as president of the university, for his help bringing the coal center to life. Stahr was then working for the Cassidy firm as a consultant; he had introduced Bucklew to the lobbying firm. Bucklew did not publicly thank Senator Byrd, despite the strong recommendation of Don Smith, the Cassidy lobbyist who worked the West Virginia account and was present for the groundbreaking. "You could see the steam coming out of Byrd's ears," Smith said years later.

In early 1989, some weeks before The Post's second story appeared, Bucklew and other university officials had met with Byrd to talk about their next proposed project, a materials research center. Byrd made a theatrical point of asking if the West Virginia University delegation included a lobbyist. Smith identified himself, and Byrd invited him to wait outside while the senator met with his "constituents."

In the meeting the senator took Bucklew to task for hiring a lobbyist, telling him that with Byrd on his side, he didn't need any additional help. This was a second sign of potential trouble for Cassidy & Associates. (Document: West Virginia University's contract with Cassidy's firm [PDF].)

Lobbying was in the news during that spring of 1989 for another reason. Hearings in the House were uncovering the full dimensions of a lobbying scandal involving the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Reagan administration (which had ended in January 1989). Investigators had discovered that Republican lobbyists and consultants with ties to HUD officials had made millions from real estate developers for whom they won big federal contracts to rehabilitate "Section 8" housing for low-income renters. Many of these were projects of dubious merit. As the scandal ballooned, Congress grew restive.

Byrd began considering legislation that would put new limits on lobbying and require fuller disclosure of lobbying activities intended to sway the executive branch or Congress. Then The Post's story appeared on June 18. Byrd reacted by writing a letter to Bucklew, the West Virginia University president, complaining sharply about the university's reliance on Cassidy, who was newly notorious thanks to the newspaper story.

Bucklew wrote back a long letter trying to calm the senator, telling him the university used Cassidy only to help formulate projects that might qualify for federal appropriations, and not to gain access to or lobby members of Congress. "This was the case with the National Research Center for Coal and Energy," Bucklew wrote to Byrd. "Without question, you were responsible for the successful funding for the Center."

Byrd was not mollified. He summoned Dan Morgan, the Post reporter who was writing about Cassidy, to his office on a Friday afternoon to announce that he was withdrawing his support for a new materials research center planned at WVU.

Byrd held forth indignantly about his "complete surprise" when he discovered that the university was a paying client of Cassidy. He acted as though he knew nothing before reading Morgan's story about the Cassidy firm's interest in using the stockpile fund to provide earmarks to universities.

Byrd's true grievance emerged in his interview with Morgan. He didn't like the impression the story had conveyed to readers that the appropriations process was subject to manipulation. "I was angry that I was being used by the lobbyists," Byrd told Morgan. "I don't want that kind of story on my committee."

Byrd's staff speedily produced new legislation requiring the recipients of federal grants, loans and contracts to disclose what lobbyists they had hired to pursue them, how much they had paid the lobbyists, and who in the executive branch or Congress had been lobbied. Introducing his new bill in the Senate, Byrd lumped HUD and other executive branch scandals together with lobbying excesses in the legislative branch's appropriations process.

In the HUD scandal, Byrd said, "development firms with the 'right lobbyists' were able to secure loans, and loan guarantees which never should have been granted." On Capitol Hill, Byrd continued, lobbyists "create projects that receive earmarked appropriations" for their clients. "Inside the Beltway, everyone knows how the game is played. These influence peddlers sell themselves as hired guns to the highest bidder. They claim that they know the password to the backdoors on Capitol Hill. They tout their prowess at being able to deliver the goodies. They say, if you do not believe we can do it, just take a look at our track record." This was a harsh but quite accurate description of the way the Cassidy firm sold its services at the time.

The Byrd amendment passed -- with the public support of Cassidy and many other lobbyists, who quickly understood that opposing it would be counterproductive. But before final passage the new rules were watered down, and lawyers quickly found ways to dilute many of the reporting requirements. The law did, however, compel clients and lobbyists to disclose how much the lobbyists were being paid for their work in Congress.

Sen. Robert Byrd and Gerald Cassidy
At the Cassidy & Associates 30th anniversary party in May 2005, Sen. Byrd, right, talks with Cassidy and his wife Loretta. (Susan Biddle - The Washington Post)

More important than its substance was the Byrd amendment's effect on Cassidy's reputation. The fact that the amendment was introduced soon after Byrd had given his angry interview to Morgan created an impression in the lobbying community that Byrd's amendment was directed at Cassidy & Associates. "The talk was," Cassidy said in a recent interview, "that it was about us."

Cassidy believes that Byrd had actually been preparing his new legislation on lobbying in response to the HUD scandals. "It was aimed at Black, Manafort, Stone," a Republican lobbying firm that was prominent in the HUD scandal, he said. "We were slipped into it as a convenience."

Byrd made it clear to Bucklew that he wanted West Virginia University to sever its relationship with Cassidy & Associates. In an interview, Bucklew said he didn't need a lot of convincing -- if Byrd wanted him to drop Cassidy, "I thought that was not just wisdom, but a pretty good directive." So he broke the bad news to the Cassidy people.

"It was one of the few cases when Cassidy let someone get out of a contract," recalled Don Smith, the lobbyist on the account. Nothing could be gained from arguing with the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, so although the contract still had six months to go, the firm gave up West Virginia University's $10,000-a-month retainer. Byrd declined to be interviewed for this story.

But the story doesn't end there. Cassidy & Associates may have found itself uncomfortably in the public eye because of the Byrd Amendment, but the attention had a welcome consequence.

"It was great advertising," Don Smith said. Cassidy may have squirmed, but a lot of people concluded that, as Smith put it, "If you're good enough to get your name in the paper you must be doing something right." The Post story and Byrd's reaction to it emphatically made the point that Cassidy & Associates could produce for its clients. As a result, the firm soon had a bunch of new clients.

Washington Post research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.

Monday: The Cassidy method for getting rich.

About This Series | Chapters:

Photo Gallery

An overview of Gerald Cassidy's life and career.

Key Players

A "cast of characters" in the life and career of Gerald Cassidy.

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Mr. Kaiser. That was a little less slobbery than usual. Is that a purposeful change in tack? You may be a better spinner than I have been giving you credit for if so. Do you want to know, Mr. Kaiser, why I think you may be subtle? You start your support for parasites like Cassidy by giving him candy coated exposure instead of the harsh sterilizing UV light of day. You are running banner ads that are obviously designed to pump this guy up in the eyes of the public and sell . . . something. Any good cook knows a candy can be enhanced with just the right sour added to the mix. Same goes for a sales job. It will be amusing when you try to turn it around later to make it look like Cassidy is reborn as the ultimate patriot, defender of the Constitution, and hero to the system after his darker days as graft merchant. Are you having to adapt the PR campaign strategy midstream because it is not generating a huge wellspring of support for lobbyists in general and Cassidy in particular? Has Gerry thrown one of his famous temper tantrums? Sorry you overplayed your hand with the cross site consistent artwork and posters catching your little Submit Button bug? Who in IT is getting chewed on for that? I know you guys are blaming the workers and not the planners. You could just suck it up and cancel the rest of the series and avoid the embarrassment and internal recriminations to follow the failed blitz to paint Gerry as a Good Guy, but I suspect the check has already cleared. Good day, Mr. Kaiser. Bon appetite!

Posted by: Todd | March 15, 2007 11:11 PM

This is an excellent series. It's the best thing I've read in the Post for some time. This brings the workings of the lobbyists and Congress into focus and presents it fairly. Thanks.

Posted by: JTH | March 15, 2007 11:13 PM

Let's see, there is the Byrd Honors Scholarship Fund (fed gov't fund named in his honor), Robert C. Byrd Academic and Technology Center at Marshall University, Huntington
Robert C. Byrd Addition to the Lodge at Oglebay Park, Wheeling
Robert C. Byrd Appalachian Highway System part of the Appalachian Development Highway System
Robert C. Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown
Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center at Marshall University, Huntington
Robert C. Byrd Bridge, between Huntington and Chesapeake, Ohio
Robert C. Byrd Cancer Research Laboratory of West Virginia University, Morgantown
Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at Shepherd University, Shepherdstown
Robert C. Byrd Center for Pharmacy Education at the University of Charleston, Charleston
Robert C. Byrd Clinic at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg
Robert C. Byrd Clinical Addition to Veteran's Hospital, Huntington
Robert C. Byrd Community Center, Pine Grove
Robert C. Byrd Conference Center at Davis and Elkins College, Elkins
Robert C. Byrd Drive, from Beckley to Sophia (Byrd's hometown)
Robert C. Byrd Expressway, U.S. Highway 22, near Weirton
Robert C. Byrd Federal Building & Courthouse, Beckley
Robert C. Byrd Federal Building & Courthouse, Charleston
Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, Green Bank
Robert C. Byrd Hardwood Technologies Center, Princeton
Robert C. Byrd Health and Wellness Center of Bethany College, Bethany
Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University, Morgantown
Robert C. Byrd High School, Clarksburg
Robert C. Byrd Hilltop Office Complex, Rocket Center
Erma Ora Byrd Conference & Learning Center
Robert C. Byrd Industrial Park, Moorefield
Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing; Huntington, Charleston, Bridgeport & Rocket Center
Robert C. Byrd Intermodal Transportation Center (and Parking Garage), Wheeling
Robert C. Byrd Library & Robert C. Byrd Learning Resource Center at Mountain State University, Beckley
Robert C. Byrd Locks & Dam, Gallipolis Ferry
Robert C. Byrd Metals Fabrication Center, Rocket Center
Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center, Bridgeport
Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center at Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling
Robert C. Byrd Rural Health Center at Marshall University, Huntington
Robert C. Byrd Science and Technology Center at Shepherd University, Shepherdstown
Robert C. Byrd Technology Center at Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi
Robert C. Byrd United Technical Center
Robert C. Byrd Visitor Center at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry
(For Byrd's Wife) Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling
Robert C. Byrd Rooms in the Capitol Building (the office of the Senate Minority Leader)

WHO IS SENATOR BYRD TO COMPLAIN ABOUT EARMARKS? Somene needs to inform the fine senator that hypocrisy is not virtuous.

Posted by: Bryan | March 16, 2007 12:48 AM

why are we being subjected to more foolishness from this Cassidy guy. who is this loser anyway? Some guy who is supposedly important because he runs around Washington kissing up to "important" megalomaniacal people, paying them fake compliments and calling them his "friends?"

This Cassidy guy has accomplished nothing in life except paying himself millions by ripping off the taxpayers and redistributing their money to corrupt people, and people think this is somehow worth writing about? This Cassidy guy sounds like a pompous, insecure egomaniac who lives a life of emptiness and superficiality.

He and his ilk are a bunch of crooks

Posted by: Sandy | March 16, 2007 01:34 AM

Sadly, this is how business gets done inside the beltway. Who is the lobbyist for Joe citizen? There isn't one, is there? Are there even 50 members of Congress who read and write their own bills? Everything is political. To hell with the country. There actually used to be a few statesmen on the hill. Now they play with marbles (U.S. Attorney firing investigation) rather that really come down on inappropriate foreign aid and actually protecting our borders. I'll bet you if we took a one year sabbatical from all these pork projects and foreign aid, we could balance the budget quick.

Posted by: Harry | March 16, 2007 04:36 AM

Bryan - rofl, you get 'em! Cassidy may be a corrupt fascism spreading graft weasel but Byrd calling anyone out on ethics concerning earmarks is a bit like Hannibal Lechter calling out The Frugal Gourmet on a seasoning question. You have to love it when a serial killer calls out an accused child molester on technique. The irony compels laughter.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 06:02 AM

You know who we need to clean up Washington? Martin Sheen!

Posted by: Rob L. | March 16, 2007 07:18 AM

Only if he'd hire Sam Seaborn -- for real. LOL.

Posted by: Fellow Fan | March 16, 2007 07:35 AM

Libertarians unite! Down with the Fed!

Some of the responses here are great. Nice job digging up the Byrd funded projects. I have been fascinated by this series. When it was pulled from the top of the page, I was worried, because there had only been 5 articles or so.

I'm glad it's still up front at wapo.com. Keep up the good work. I can't believe you finessed these guys to give up such a juicy story!

Posted by: Jason | March 16, 2007 08:09 AM

Harry, I understand your frustration with how Washington works these days. I agree that there are very few true Statesmen on the Hill anymore.. But I disagree that a) Members of Congress do not write their own legislation anymore, and b) that there are no lobbyists for Joe Citizen. I have worked on the Hill in many capacities for over 20 years. I have helped by bosses draft important pieces of legislation that were formed with absolutely no outside influence. As for lobbyists, I am not a big fan. I have worked with many over the years, and have relied on many for their knowledge and citizen outreach. For the most part, the lobbyists employed by these large law firms or government relations firms are keeping only the interests of industry and anti-regulation forces in mind.. But, on the other hand, there are "lobbyists" that work for workers rights, that work for animal rights, for alternative energy, for environmental protection, for consumers, for children, for senior citizens and everything in between. I understand (first hand) the disdain for this profession as in many ways it impeded democracy, and puts a block between Congress- Constituent relations.. But we have to be careful to lump all lobbyists together many truly are woring for us, and Joe Citizen.

Posted by: Samuel L. | March 16, 2007 08:21 AM

Boo Hoo liberals, you just don't like lobbyists because they are smart and make money on their own... They give money and time to those that help keep America safe from terrorists and our our federal government..which is probably why you hate them so much. I'm sure if lobbyists were giving money to dolphins, the ACLU and criminals you would love them!

Posted by: Chuck | March 16, 2007 08:24 AM

I grew up in W.V. a state with great people but alot of economic problems. I ask, "Why would tax money be paying a guy $10,000. a month from University funds when that money could have been doing so much more good?" And we wonder why the public is so fed up and doesn't vote.

Posted by: tim | March 16, 2007 08:44 AM

O.K. Samuel, as I have asked this question several times before, who is gonna tell us which is legit and which is not?? Like Rachael said yesterday, we regular people out here in the REAL world have to work- we've got kids,parents,g-parents to take care of and we do not have time to babysit you people up on the Hill. So,tell me. Lots of these people work under the guise of a sweetheart CAUSE or whatever- it is alot about deceit and keeping Americans from the truth.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 08:58 AM

so how much money are you making off these war mongerers? How many of Your children have died for this wonderful cause? And don't tell me about criminals! Who's side's been getting indicted lateley? You are just one of those people who think it is O.K. to make money in ANY MANNER whatsoever, but if it hurt you- well then it would be wrong. But I bet you go to church- right? Anyone who disagrees with you is a Liberal. Don't forget to listen to Rush Limbaugh today for the news.LOL

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 09:08 AM

Last message ito Chuck 0824

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 09:09 AM

In fact, I'd take ANYONE from "West Wing" as my leader. Sure beats the bunch we got now. Still, Martin Sheen's where it's at

Posted by: Rob L. | March 16, 2007 09:16 AM

Hey Chuck, if you want to keep me safe, maybe I could borrow $1000 from ya? I'm hungry, working full time and can't find a part time job.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 09:26 AM

Nah, a buncha those West Wing types were too conservative for us. Gotta be Martin Sheen. At least he's been arrested for our cause.

Posted by: Fellow Fan | March 16, 2007 09:34 AM

Sam, are you are willing to keep the carcinogenic bath water because you like the baby? Sounds like it. Look, no one is suggesting there should not be governmental spending on legitimate projects but the reality of the problem is that the current system does a TERRIBLE job at it (bridge to nowhere, anyone? Hundreds and thousands of DHS dollars going to places like Goat Rope, WY while Chicago and NYC and medium size cities across the country have emergency services resources maxed out?) and simply damages the system in other very fundamental ways (like limiting the citizens ability to petition, Equal Protection and the right to petition are Constitutional guarantees, no options). The damage is too such a degree that if you went with just a simple cost/benefit analysis, you would see that there is a better way that requires (1) no middleman parasitic skimmers like Cassidy, (2) no money to ever change hands except when and only when the government decides to fund a project or enable legislation that requires funding. Models have been proposed here and elsewhere. Models where Senators and Representatives CANNOT be paid ANYTHING but their salary, no favors, no gifts, no buddy-buddy, just them doing the job upholding the Constitution and serving the CITIZENS not the CORPORATIONS like they were elected and paid to do. Corporatism in the form of lobbying and the campaign finance system are choking our democracy to death - EXACTLY what OBL wants. They HATE the freedom our Constitution represents and when you destroy it for them, they win. With Bush helping, he has destroyed one thing: American Credibility. And Bush is working on dismantling the rest of OUR crucial legal document at an alarming rate because he apparently thinks he is Emperor. And the guys who helped him get where he is are the hell spawn of lobbyists and campaign finance. People like Gerry Cassidy. Lobbying needs to be torn out by the roots and citizen rights restored. People like Cassidy need to go to jail. For the rest of his empty soulless life. Corporations need to be put on a VERY short chain and out of the legislative process for the most part. The defense that some good comes from lobby as it stands simply is insufficient and not considerate of the total negative systemic impact of lobbying and the graft it curries. Unless you subscribe to theory that it is all okay because Gerry had a bad childhood, that is.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 09:42 AM

After Chuck's remarks I can see how Todd gets a little hot under the collar- take out the money in lobbying and he could very well be against lobbying or at least not very interested. Stop all lobbying and have TOTAL public financing of elections- pure and simple- cut and dried.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 09:43 AM

SW TEXAS- What do you mean by the real world? Do Hill staffers not have families? Do you not know anything about the life of people that work on the Hill? I have work long days my entire adult life, being incredibly underpaid, trying to raise children, and the rest of my family. Having a holier-than-thou attitude doesnt get anyone anywhere.. What do you mean that you need to babysit us? No one needs you to babysit Hill staffers. Where is the deceit in working for a cause you believe in? Why do you need to be told what is legit and what is not.. How would you propose this happens? The information is out there, I research organizations all the time to find out what their true purpose is.. It just takes a little effort.

Posted by: Samuel | March 16, 2007 09:47 AM

swtexas.. What do you mean that you want to stop all lobbying, cut and dried? How would you do this? What would you define as lobbying?

Posted by: Joe T. | March 16, 2007 09:52 AM

Still waiting for my answer Samuel. Chuck, do us all a favor and go play golf or go see your high-dollar hooker- if wanted to make someone very angry, you have succeeded.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 09:55 AM

Poor Chuck! Someone get that guy a drink. Too early in the day you say? Not for the Chuckster it would seem. I don't care if you don't like the ACLU, but your hatred of cetacean life is a bit worrying. Do you only hate dolphins or are whales included? You want to talk about missing the point? Chuck you may be the poster boy for not getting it. Don't complain if martial law is declared and your guns seized leaving you to drool over the pictures in Soldier of Fortune while they are busy taking away the rest of your Constitutional rights. It is your boy driving the ship of state towards the rocks of fascism. I hope you like the ride, you hyper-partisan nitwit.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 09:58 AM

Joe T check out just6dollars.com
It may not be the answer, but it is a start. Also, I am going to start a nationwide campaign to End All Lobbying as soon as I can find people with courage and enough know-how to help me as I have never done this before. Thank you for your interest. What would I define as lobbying,well gee- duh-rhr uhh- your right! I'm stupid, and I do not know what lobbying is either! Todd, maybe you could help us.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 10:06 AM

Samuel. Now your vested interest in lobbying is showing. Too bad if you don't want to feel like the bad guys. Lobbyist actions speak so much louder than their words. Act like bad people, get treated like bad people. Cause and effect. Lobbyists as a whole are fascism promoting parasites so deal with it. Or you can disprove that as currently formulated lobbying at a bare minimum is the corporatism aspect of fascism and severely damaging to the Constitution and the legislative and electoral processes. No one else has. Feel free to try, K Street Defender. Logic is against you.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 10:07 AM

I wasnt trying to insult you, I am just saying, its easy to say get rid of all lobbyists, but you cant do that without defining what lobbying is... Can a person no longer petition their representative to have their voice heard on specific issues? Or would it only count for corporations? What about non-profits, NGO's, local governments? I am just saying, its easy to make blanket statements, but you might be reaching a little too far. I honestly dont mean to come off as a jerk.. I completely agree that their influence needs to be squashed, and we need publically financed elections, i just think that we need to be smart about how we go abot doing it.

Posted by: Joe T. | March 16, 2007 10:18 AM

"Lobbyists as a whole are fascism promoting parasites so deal with it." That is probably the most ignorant statement yet... Joe T asked for a definition of lobbying, before you make these statements about lobbyists, maybe you should define what/ who you are talking about? I do not have a vested interest in lobbying or lobbyists, I just have worked with them in the past.. If one wants to meet with me to inform me of our varying constituency's position on a given issue, I will listen.. Does that mean I am gonna go out and follow what they say? NO. I am NOT a "K street defender" (good one by the way)... I am just not going to say that all people that lobby are horrible people... What do you do? I am sure someone has lobbied on your behalf.

Posted by: Samuel | March 16, 2007 10:24 AM

I'm so glad that I have a ton of free time to post mindless crap. I dont have any friends what so ever, but I'm sure that shows....

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 10:34 AM

Samuel: No, I do not think anyone has ever lobbied on my behalf...
Are you saying that we should keep the current system in tact just so a hundred or so honest lobbyist can still lobby out of some 20,000 other little fascist out there who could care less about our people, our constitution??

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 10:40 AM

No SWtexas, you cannot have $1000, what you can have is some advice... Instead of reading about lobbyists in the newspaper... Pick up the classified section, find a job.. Or go to school so that you can get a better job... Todd, way to generalize.. I actually do not own any guns, I had enough of that while I was serving our country as a U.S. Marine... I do however like dolphin... I might have to get a tuna sandwich for lunch today... I also dont read Soldier of Fortune.. I am in law school and apparently only have time to read the mindless dribble of you people.

Posted by: Chuck | March 16, 2007 10:42 AM

WOW CHUCK!! A law student? I sure wish somebody like you could correct me when I am wrong, but I never have experienced that?
Why do YOU like lobbying as it is today, and how has it hepled you?
Enlighten me. If I am wrong I'll stand corrected.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 10:51 AM

Todd, I am sure that you have benefitted from the work of a lobby. I am not, nor have I ever said we need to keep our current system. And yes, I think that those 100 people are very important.. I really think that you need to read up on your history, it doesnt do any good to throw around the word fascist.

Posted by: Samuel | March 16, 2007 10:52 AM

I'm sorry Chuck. I didnt mean to yell at you. I'm just in a bad mood right now because Todd and I had an awkward moment involving spanking, and I dont know how to act now. I guess I'll go about my normal business and post comments now one wants to read.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 10:57 AM

I think I am learning, Todd, what makes the people tick. Greed obviously, but they seem to have lost all benefit of common sense, they seem to have no intuitiveness.....nothing to in their conscious that says "hey, there is something here that's not right." I am not as knowledgeable as you, I'm just a realists- something these people call liberalism. But I can fairly, and honestly say that there is no contempt prior to investigation here. That would just be ignorance by choice. If anyone out there who agrees or disagrees with me can correct me when I am wrong I CAN take it. For I a grown man always looking for the next right thing.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 11:06 AM

Who said that I like lobbying the way it is today? It surely has its problems, but there are other issues that are much more important to be dealing with.
Have I benefitted? Probably, I get student loans, I am sure that the NEA has lobbied for such a thing. I use public transportation in DC, I am sure lobbyists have worked to get the funding.

Posted by: Chuck | March 16, 2007 11:07 AM

Thanks fake swtexas(at 1057)s. You are so brave and such a problem-solver. And all those solutions.
But with all due respect, you forgot to say anything about lobbying....sunshine.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 11:12 AM

Nice to see the retarded fake Todd is back. K Street, you need to pick up your game. That guy is clearly a mental patient with a room temperature IQ. Maybe he should go golfing with Bush. They would fit like two peas in a pod. But no one will mistake him for me. And fake Todd? You need to do better than nanny nanny boo boo to rile me up, bunghole. Better than you have tried and failed. I think it is amusing. Like a rude 2 year old.

Sam, you still just don't get the enormity of the total negative systemic impact of institutionalized graft. If you did, you would stop trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Your reasoning is specious. The benefit you speak of has been far outweighed by the cost. If a class of people in a given profession is damaging democracy and the Constitutional rights of the citizen over corporations, then that class of people and profession need to go. Simple as that. You have an irritant, you remove the irritant. Unless you think fascism is a good governance method, which would make you either insane or evil in light of fascisms startling historical record. You don't act crazy or evil, therefore you must simply be mistaken in light of the facts of lobbying as practiced and its net negative impact on America, the American quality of life and Civil Rights. There is no reforming this mess. Strip it out. Start again fresh with better safeguards against the spread of corporatism. But your assertion that some have benefited so the current system works is simply wrong. If my watch worked 23 hours a day but spent one hour a day attacking my wrist and trying to eat my arm, I'd throw the damn thing out and get a new one. The analogy fits, but that hungry watch would be on the prowl more like 10-12 hours a day were it a lobbyist. I will stipulate that not all lobbyists are intrinsically evil but their profession is and too many really evil people are already in play to let the game continue as it is without expecting the worst possible results. Do you honestly thing a school is playing on a level playing field with an oil company? We need a new watch. And we can still get the people's business attended to without the middlemen like Cassidy charging huge amounts of money to get what is yours already by Constitutional decree - Equal Protection and petition. When exit polls said corruption was the number one issue, where did you think the corruption, read "money", was coming from? Remove the money from the front of the system and you remove completely or at least harshly mitigate the potential abuses inherent. This can be done.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 11:14 AM

And Todd, where are you?? Not working, I know. I'm getting aroused thinking of your stupid comments.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 11:15 AM

Forget that, here's the real question -- who would support: Martin Sheen or Keith Olbermann?

Posted by: Fellow Fan | March 16, 2007 11:17 AM

Keith Olbermann in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Another Keith Fan | March 16, 2007 11:19 AM

Chuck, those OTHER problems you speak of are mostly because of this legal bribery, influence-peddling of the Aristocracy in this nation called Lobbying.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 11:23 AM

Chuck - Your question has been answered. Now exactly what do you do for lobbyists? Other than try weakly to prop up their graft scam by pointing to the government doing what they should be doing WITHOUT lobbyist around in the first place - providing for the general welfare and not corporate welfare.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 11:27 AM

I am gay. I am a lobbyist. I lobby for gay rights, because no one listens if we arent thourough. Am I an evil fascist parasite? (well, other than due to the fact that I am gay). What about Emily's List, they help women run for office.

Posted by: Jason | March 16, 2007 11:34 AM

Is there anything in this country that hasn't been corrupted by corporate money?

Posted by: Tom Joad | March 16, 2007 11:55 AM

I dont do anything for lobbyists.. Thats my point, they are not doing what they should be doing.. SOME lobbyists help them do so...

Posted by: Chuck | March 16, 2007 12:02 PM

Ha, that was a great analogy Todd. Yah I found it hilarious that Byrd of all people would complain. The guy's the taxpayer's worst enemy, by far.

Posted by: Bryan | March 16, 2007 12:07 PM

hello again fake sw at 11:15. Gotta be Chuck.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 12:12 PM

Hey ciciinfla, why don't you go back to sucking up on Cassidy's blog. I noticed you really like to compliment him on his job at screwing the average citizen. I think your time is better invested there.

Why do I get so fired up, well unlike you, who has probably never bothered to volunteer your time for anything regarding citizen rights, I have invested countless hours, for no reason other to make sure citizens had a voice in government. I am fired up because citizens are at such a disadvantage in ensuring out interests are kept at the forefront of decision making politicians. And every once in a while, citizens prevail, but it isn't often. It is hard work, for no money, unlike greedy life sucking jerks such as Cassidy. I also give a crap about the future for not only my children, but all children, and these days that future isn't looking so bright.

Posted by: Rachael | March 16, 2007 12:13 PM

Jason - Not necessarily, but you are in an evil parasitic profession as too many practice it. Good luck on your civil rights. Homophobia is stupid. So is fascism. But don't delude yourself to thinking you are playing on an even playing field in your current efforts in the current system. If you had an appointment with a Senator tomorrow and Raytheon's lobbyist called, you'd get kicked to the curb and shuffled off to Buffalo while Raytheon's guys plied their pork and you know it. I can hear the call now. "I am sorry Jason, but the Senator needs to reschedule. How about in 3 months?" It is about access to petition for ALL, not just those paying to play. If anything, a direct money free system should benefit groups like yours without huge asset bases to exploit.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 12:16 PM

No Chuck, I am pretty sure your only point is on your head if you are still addressing that "some good comes from it" argument. Patent crap.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 12:21 PM

And Chuck? Get a refund. You are either failing Con Law or your teacher sucks.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 12:25 PM

It use to be that lobbying was not a dirty word, Ralph Nader use to do it all the time to get legislation passed to protect consumers from harmful products. However, that was before Cassidy and the disease that now plagues our government. Todd's point is that now, how can we separate the good from the bad? Surely the Sierra Club promoting new energy policy to protect us all from global warming is clearly in the interest of all citizens. But how do we create an even playing field? How DO we make sure that good ideas are not dismissed?

Posted by: Rachael | March 16, 2007 12:46 PM

1) I dont know what you are talking about with fake people.. grow up, I have no reason to pretend I am you. 2) I am not failing "Con Law", I go to Georgetown, there are no lousy professors here.. you just dont happen to know what you are talking about. What do you do for a living, what makes what you do so great?

Posted by: Chuck | March 16, 2007 12:51 PM

This is just like the soap opera "all my brats." I took two days off from this story and not one thing has changed -- the same brats talking to themselves and acting morally superior. Yes, couldn't tune in because I was working too hard in fascist corporate america; taking care of my two kids as a single mother, one of whom has cancer; volunteering for an education program; etc... Todd, Rachel, swtexas -- it is clear that you have no such responsibilities otherwise you wouldn't have the time to waste with your moralistic, egotistical blather and your claims to "know" that all lobbyists are soul-less cretins. Who the hell do you think you are? It is amazing how judgemental and belligerent you liberals are, when you are supposed to be so tolerant and peaceful.

But back to "all my brats." Todd continues to misappropriate the term "fascism" and doesn't seem to know that in a fascist system, there is no need for lobbyists at all. It would seem that if you hate lobbyists, you would naturally be a fascist. So I guess this makes Todd a fascist.

Posted by: MeMyselfandI | March 16, 2007 12:57 PM

At last! Yes! Martin Sheen's the guy. He's for real. Might be an actor, but he sure has put in his time on behalf of the cause. I'm sure everyone who's commenting here could rally around Pres. Bartlett again, right? Didn't he flirt with running for office a few years back?

Posted by: Martin Sheen Yes! | March 16, 2007 12:59 PM

Oh, and Rachel -- the Sierra Club?? They have millions of dollars in PAC funds. Their PAC dwarfs all corporate PACs. You say that the Sierra Club lobbying for energy policy is OK; please explain to us the difference. Their methods are the same as Gerry Cassidy's, some would even say more corrupt. They sit in back rooms with their allies, outside of any open process, write legislation for Members of Congress, and then back it up with campaign contributions. So again, please explain why this is in the public interest? Perhaps because you agree with their agenda? I see.

Posted by: MeMyselfandI | March 16, 2007 01:04 PM

Chuck - I wanted to keep my training out of this but since you a being such a badger . . . I am a lawyer, jacka$$. Have been since before you were born most likely. I no longer practice but that does not change what I am by training. Superior training to yours I might add and not because it is a name to throw about (although you would be impressed) when someone calls you out. Weak, boy, weak. What are your credentials again? Student? You must be intractably stupid and failing Corporations as well if you didn't know which legal fiction I was referring to, Chump, er, Chuck. I see a Georgetown degree is about worth what a Yale degree is worth since Bush came on the scene - nothing. You are an embarrassment to your school - I should know, my ex-wife went to Georgetown and she could flip you like a cheese omelet in an argument. Glad you folks had enough money to buy you a degree you clearly are not earning because I know for a fact when I was in school, this would be an impossible time expenditure with the work load. Enjoy being a 3rd rate ambulance chaser, Chuck. If you can pass the bar.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 01:06 PM

MeMyselfandI - Still playing with yourself I see. Nice tactic change, simp. "I know you are but what am I?" How about throwing some rocks or telling the teacher?

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 01:08 PM

Why can't we live in a world where we have a president like Bartlet on the West Wing, and a staff like his? Its sad that the candidates that we have today are the best we can come up with- no one, even boy-wonder Obama has truly inspired me.. Kind of wishing Al Gore would run again.

Posted by: JS | March 16, 2007 01:08 PM

I quote again what the most famous fascist of our time advocated "a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism". Anyone can cut and paste from a Websters dictionary what fascism supposedly means, I'll prefer to use the words straight from the horses mouth. I can site numerous examples of all these "systems of government" that has occured within the last 7 years. Todd is using the term correctly in reference to our current government.

Posted by: Rachael | March 16, 2007 01:21 PM

A lawyer? And you are talking about a profession of parasites...You know absolutely nothing about me.. You just disagree with me, so that makes me stupid. Ambulance chaser? Nice try, I already have a job lined up when I graduate in May, one of the top firms in DC. Yeah, it would be nice for my parents to pay for my education.. My dad is dead and my mother is a high school teacher... So yeah, I'm loaded.. I have loans and was in the military, which is the only way I can pay for it. I'm so proud that you went to Yale, I was there as an undergrad, a great school.. I almost went there for law school but wanted to be in DC, yeah thats right jacka$$, I got in, but didnt need the name to make myself feel good... It was overrated when you went there and is overrated now... Also, I know that you assume that I am a Republican, which I am not.. Again, just because we disagree deosnt amke me a parasite. If you are such a respected man of the law, you should be able to argue without being a totally one-sided alarmist.

Posted by: Chuck | March 16, 2007 01:21 PM

MeMyselfandI - You are so stupid that you cannot differentiate between lobbying and the right to petition and equal protection even after it has been clearly spelled out. The first is institutionalized graft, the latter two are Constitutional guaranteed rights that current lobbying interferes with their proper function. Until you can figure out they are not the same thing, you will NEVER get a clue. Have fun playing with yourself now! It seems to be the something you are good at.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 01:23 PM

Rachel, nice definition of fascism... Although I don't want to imagine a nation without corporate leadership.. There is a place for the private sector in the U.S. He is not using the word correctly, its like when people use terms like "cyber terrorism" to exaggerate a threat- terrorism is the murder of civilians to reach a political change.. That can't be done by hacking into a computer, just as lobbyists cannot be equated to fascists. making false comparisons doesnt help the cause.. there is a need for change, we need to be logical about this.

Posted by: Dr.D | March 16, 2007 01:26 PM

memyselfandI, as I said before- REALISM IS NOT LIBERALISM. Whatever your ism is, is apparently something that you got from letting someone else do your thinking for you. If you think that lobbying is a good thing the way it is, then how?
And look at my 11:06 entry. I'm through messing with these Rush Limbaugh Stepford partisans. I never once said I was left,right,middle,liberal,conservative or anything else. This lobbying thing is bad for ALL OF US including you unless you are one of them, and somehow it may not be good for them either, miss ball-breaker.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 01:32 PM

Aww, what is the matter Chuck? Caught in the web of your own inadequacy? You are absolutely correct too. Lawyers are parasites. I don't practice any more FOR A REASON, student. And what in your limitless legal experience would make you think I would fight fair? Now the lesson to be learned here is not to use a weapon you don't know how to operate. The day a student lectures me about what the job takes is the day hell freezes over, boy. Clueless? You are the one who came in swinging your degree like a cudgel. The only thing I am "assuming" based on your statements is that either you are a moron or a fraud. Since you missed the boat on more than one fundamental legal concept, I am leaning toward fraud and possibly a big mouth wannabe. I could care less about your party affiliation. Both parties suck. You back fascists, you get the boot. Now you can freak out some more and prove how inept at argument you are or, to quote W.C. Fields, you can "Go away, kid. Ya bother me.". It is your career choice to keep looking incompetent. I hope you haven't been bragging about your posts around school. Oh the shame. You can't even read properly. I didn't go to Yale, fool. Bush did. I have a real education. Unlike you, apparently.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 01:38 PM

Suddenly a congressperson is mentioned in a story with out Party and State Designation, If the story is negative and no designation, we have come to learn that can mean only one thing---he was a Democract. So I was shocked to find that Conte was a Republican. Yes, of course it was a negative story about a Republican (what other kind are there?) and we have learned this is the way things are. But now I'm thrown for a loop...have the WP gotten sloppy or tipping right.

Posted by: fanofjapan | March 16, 2007 01:43 PM

After looking at the definition of fascism,well,at first I thought Todd was a little over the edge, but now I see that it the PERFECT description of this.
dr d, you got any ideas for change or are you just showcasing how reasonable you are?
Are you an MD?

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 01:46 PM

CORRECTION - You are the one who came in swinging your INCOMPLETE AND UNEARNED degree like a cudgel.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 01:47 PM

Todd,
Once again, you show your true colors. First off, I don't care what you once failed as in your career, never talk down to me like you know me. Never refer to me as "boy", I am a First Lieutenant in the United States Marines. You can assume anything you want about me old man, it doesnt phase me. I am not missing any legal concepts just because I think that you are an extremist. I don't care how much older than me you are, your biased views prove that you don't have a clue. I assumed that you went to Yale as you mentioned the school directly after mentioned that you went to such a superior law school, maybe you should learn to write more clearly. A real education.. How is a BA from one of the top colleges in the nation and a JD from one of the best law schools in the nation somehow fake? But forget schools, I could care less where you went, I am beginning to think that you are being fraudulent yourself, as you cannot grasp the fundamental concepts of a logical argument.
The day an old disillusioned conspiracy theorist talks down to be is the day I laugh my ass off.... Oh, and good job dropping a Fields quote in there, you are so intellectual.

Posted by: chuck | March 16, 2007 01:52 PM

yeah, incomplete, I am 6 credits away from a degree that I started 6 years ago.. i had to take a little break from taking classes as I was in Afghanistan.. Unearned? You try working your way through school on your own.. What have you every accomplised in your life?

Posted by: Chuck | March 16, 2007 01:56 PM

Dr. D - If you will read my statements carefully, lobbying is an ELEMENT of the decline into fascism, not the totality of fascism. The corruption and corporatism comes from where the money enters the front of the system - Lobbying - and the problems filters through the body politic like a metastasizing cancer. The argument is not false, much to my displeasure. And I have also said that there is a role of corporate participation but it needs to be SEVERELY restricted. As it stands now, the average corporation has effectively more rights to petition than natural persons because they can't afford the "entrance fee" to some weasel like Cassidy or won't pay for what is their Constitutional right on principle. Unless you know a lot of individual people willing and able to pay someone like Cassidy hundreds of thousands of dollars to be heard on an equal footing with the corporate lobbyists, the current system needs to go. It is graft, straight up, no chaser.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 01:57 PM

It is not about how much education a person has Chuck- I cannot understand how in the world a person such as yourself.........you know What? Just pray for the truth.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 02:02 PM

You know MeMyselfandI, the great thing about blogging is that no own can verify anything about you. Having said that, for some reason I find suspect everything you said you were. Just a hunch. Anyway, as far at the Sierra Club goes, unlike, oh lets say Exxon Mobile, Sierra club does not sell a comodity of tangible substance. Except maybe the investment of making sure YOU and everyone else has clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. There is no profit sharing, no NASDAQ symbol, no stock option for the Sierra Club. There clearly IS a difference which was my exact point. If you believe that Exxon Mobile, engaging in behind closed doors manuevering to create OUR energy policy is Democracy, you are NOT, I repeat, NOT in the field of education.

Posted by: Rachael | March 16, 2007 02:04 PM

Chuck, I am glad your six credits away from your unearned degree. It does not change that every lawyer I know is laughing at you right now. Now how does being six credits away from the degree and God knows how far from the bar equate to over 20 years of experience? You are a whining little fraudulent puke. Your tour of Afghanistan? You are not only a disgrace to the legal profession, but the military as well with your childish behavior when busted on not knowing what you were talking about. What have I done? A hell of lot more than you, boy student. When you graduate you STILL don't know how it works in practice, you just have the keys to the car. You may think you know it all, but boy are you wrong. So when the world kicks your ass and but hard, let me be the first one to tell you, "I told you so." And you should still ask about the refund.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 02:10 PM

Actually Todd, I have not read any of your statments- I was referring to a comment by Rachel.. and I think that what you are speaking of is on the other side of the extreme from fascism.. Communism.
No, Swtexas, i am not an MD, I am a PhD. I am not claiming to be an expert here, I am just putting my opinions out there.
Todd, I do hope that you spend a great deal of your time petitioning your Representative, as this seems so very important to you. I have met with Congressman, and have advised them from time to time. I feel that more work can be done at the local level.. But, if you really want to petition your Rep., its really not that hard, sometimes you have to go through staff first, but even my students have been able to get their thoughts through to their Rep. Not to sound smug here, but you might want to spend a little less time writing on these message boards, and a little more time trying to meet with your Rep if its so important to you. Again, I feel as if I am coming off as a prick, I really am not trying to be.

Posted by: Dr. D | March 16, 2007 02:10 PM

This is the last message I will write on this board as its clear you are a lunatic. Again, you could have 50 years of experience, you stil lhave no clue what you are talking about. I still don't see how this is an unearned degree you poor excuse for a man.
Actually, I didnt do a tour "of Afghanistan", I did a tour "in" Afghanistan.
Every lawyer you know is laughing? Wow, its good to know that you and your wife are having a good laugh.
Again, you refer to me as a boy, you have absolutely no repsect, but thats okay. I didnt realize that being a student was such a bad thing, at least I am continuing to learn.. You see, you might have more experience now, but I will always be a better man than you are... "boy student" now you are just getting desparate. Again, do not bother replying to me, I will not be reading it.. You see, the thing is, I have a life, I dont give up because people perceive my chosen profession as immoral, I make the best of it.. Have fun being an unemployed, bitter old man.

Posted by: Chuck | March 16, 2007 02:21 PM

Dr. D - No offense taken, nothing prickish at all in your statments. Yes, I bug the hell out my Representative and Senators. They hear from me often, weekly at a minimum. I am sure they would like me to go away. How long does it take most of you to write these? It really is not that time consuming for me. One or two minutes here, five minutes there. I am not much for blogging or posting normally, I am an old fashioned book guy. I like the way they smell, but computers do have certain advantages. Now once this pathetic PR campaign is over, I will spend no time blogging to the Post and I didn't before this, but to paraphrase the oh so appropriate exorcism rites, "The power of lobbying compels me."

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 02:25 PM

Chuck - Run away! Run away! Go sulk and suck your wounds now. Be careful not to soil you armour. Bitter? No, more like amused. Maybe a little concerned about Georgetown admissions standards. You should hear the people (half of them lawyers) in my office right now laughing at you. It is quite infectious.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 02:29 PM

Thats great, I am glad that you are calling them weekly, surely talking to an intern, possibly one of my students from time to time.... It is important to be in contact with these offices, it keeps them on their feet. I read your last post, and did take minor offense to you calling that man a student, as if it were some derogatory term.. I have been a professor for nearly 30 years now, and some of the best people I know have been students. This Chuck guy is misguided at worst, arrogant at best. These young people are our future, and I am glad to see how involved these people are becoming; it's also great to see that those that serve in the military are studying law and becoming part of the process, there have been all too many bureaucrats pretending like they know what the military needs. I was a Commander in the Navy during Vietnam and know how hard it must be for these men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, so give them a break. Ok, I've said more than enough, good evening to you all.

Posted by: Dr. D | March 16, 2007 02:34 PM

And Chuck? You'd get some respect if you EARNED it. So far you haven't shown minimal competence to practice. Being a student isn't a bad thing, but being too stupid to know when you are bested is. You are the one who put your feet in your mouth, not me. Enjoy that taste. You'll be getting a lot of it in court.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 02:35 PM

DrD
I cannot speak for Todd or anyone else but myself, but the reason I am writing on this message board is:
To convince people of how deplorably deceptive and immoral this "element of the decline into fascism" really is.
To end all lobbying and start over with a clean slate so that good people who are not very knowledgeable, who do not have time to babysit little Aristocratic punks from destroying everything this nation once stood for.
So if you like these people, fine. But if you don't have any solutions, then you are part of the problem.

Posted by: swtexas | March 16, 2007 02:40 PM

Dr. D - I would not have been so hard on him had he not been so obviously and completely wrong in his fundamental conceptual knowledge. It displayed the same kind of raw ignorance as a medical doctor looking in your ear for your spleen. If he got to be a 3L and doesn't know what a corporation is, he should not have been there in the first place nor is he likely fit to practice. Teaching is a noble profession. Keep it up. You sound like the kind of teacher who teaches your students HOW to think instead of WHAT and wow does America need more of that. Welcome to the debate, Dr., and know that I am far from a Communist. I also know a free market is not the way to run everything and right now, we have a free market on both legislation and candidates that is rigged by the players with the most money. Free markets are great for stuff like food and commercial goods, but when you sell legislation to the highest bidder that is fascisms component corporatism when the price of admission becomes out of reach of the average citizen. We are not a truly fascist nation, but just barely until the damage done can be repaired. And the slope is slippery.

Posted by: Todd | March 16, 2007 02:45 PM

SWtexas, sorry, but I really dont know what you are talking about. Lobbying is bad, money in politics is bad, but its completely incorrect to state that lobbying leads to fascism, completely illogical and shows a lack of historical perspective. How did I become part of the problem here.. I guess I made a mistake writing on here. SW, what are you doing to solve the problem?

Posted by: Dr. D | March 16, 2007 02:51 PM

Todd, I just have to ask: Do you have a job?

Posted by: sportsfan | March 16, 2007 02:57 PM

sportsfan - I have to ask. Do you have clue?

Posted by: fool_superior | March 16, 2007 04:24 PM

Sporty! Nice to see you again. I think fool_superior has you covered though.

Nice change to your posting system too, Post IT. That is new since lunchtime. Gerry want the offending citizens e-mail addresses? Is it to weed out the fakers?

Dr. D - You are failing to account for equal protection and access if you discount the role lobbying is playing in our descent into fascism. Do you have $240,000 in 1986 dollars to pay to get your petition heard every time you have a concern? That is what Cassidy admits he charged. Lobbying the word has become value loaded. Lobbying and right to petition need to be distinguished because they are in fact and practice not equivalent. Lobbying is the process to petition and petition needs to be protected, however, the graft overloading the lobbying system (and poisoning everything it touches) can be completely overhauled to minimize corruption and still retain the guaranteed Constitutional functionality of the right to petition. I am not saying anything about the right to petition except it exists and is a good thing. The process to petition (lobbying) is what is broken and bad.

Posted by: toddradian | March 16, 2007 04:42 PM

Dr. D, petioning your elected official only works if they aren't bought by the corporate interest. Here is the most recent example of how citizens are disenfranchised by our government due to corporate take over of legislation.

Dominion Power is attempting to create a new transmission line through the Piedmont of Virginia, through Prince William County into Loudon. There are many credible energy experts calling this a ploy to use citizen land for corporate bottom line profit to ship energy to the northeast. Additionally, Dominion Power also recently wrote it's OWN re-regulation legislation, passed it onto a senator that then submitted it for a vote, which ultimately passed. Dominion Power freely admits it wrote the bill. Now let me tell you what is wrong with all of that:

A)Dominion Power has 19 lobbyists in Richmond, everyday, every hour when they are in session. Citizens CANNOT compete with that kind of frontal assault on legislation. We work, we have families, we have many committments that clearly prohibits citizens from being able to compete.

B)Dominion Power has contibuted over 3.75 million dollars, making it one of the top donors to elected officials. Does anyone think that does not buy votes?

In order to force politicans to bend to the will of the people, to keep their interests above the profit margin of corporations, requires constant vigilance, letter writing, rallys, and phone calls. That requires time and energy and money. Grassroots is hard work and at some point, citizens should be able to trust that their government is working for them and not corporations.

Posted by: Rachaelcre8f8 | March 16, 2007 09:22 PM

Todd- Please crawl back into your hole. You've had your 15 minutes of self fullfilling glory that no one cares about. You are repetitive, lying and self delusional so stop with the facism and other crap you spout. Whether you like it or you are just jealous, at least Cassidy did something in his life that helped others as well as himself. What have you ever done but rant and rave?

Posted by: msjn | March 17, 2007 07:02 AM

msjn - Ohhhhhh. I guess you really told me. I'll crawl back into my hole now and cry myself to sleep. Boo hoo. I have done more than you by a long shot, ace. Or can you not read? Do you think this is ALL I do to combat lobbying's corrupting influence? Then you are an idiot. I am not the focus here, never have been except for you obsessive defenders of graft - lobbying, corruption and the decline into fascism are the focus - and thanks to his PR campaign - that weasel Gerry Cassidy. Have any of you asked what it is exactly Cassidy is selling? Don't even try to pretend what Kaiser is doing is journalism. So come on, insult ME some more. It should be amazing the sheer number of people who think that a personal attack the best way to defeat an argument, but it isn't. You can look at the raw count of insults from K Street Defenders versus serious counter commentary and it is easy to see that the K Street crowd would rather smear than counter. I suspect it is because they in their heart of hearts know what has been said about the nature of their profession is correct - they are graft merchants helping corporatism expand fascism within our system and eroding citizen rights. None of you, but especially you msjn, have disproved what I have said. You sound like a sour grape sucking child. I don't give a damn if you attack me or not or haven't you figured that out yet? When you do that, it bolsters my position, makes you look foolish, and allows me to savage you in the same manner you would savage me. I just happen to be better at savaging than most of you. I think it is amusing. Don't be jealous. This would be the part where you can put up or shut up, msjn.

Posted by: fool_superior | March 17, 2007 07:30 AM

Hmmm, I share a network with fool_superior, but that last post was from me, toddradian. He must have been using my browser this morning. Still, msjn, this is still where you can put up or shut up.

Posted by: toddradian | March 17, 2007 07:38 AM

I have cleared the cookies and reset all the networks browsers to force manual logins so there will be no further confusion on who is posting at this end. Sorry for the confusion.

Posted by: toddradian | March 17, 2007 07:44 AM

Sorry, boss! My bad - I used the puter in your office. I didn't mean to interfere with your pet project. Be glad you guys are dealing with Todd. I wouldn't be nearly as nice to you jerk offs as he is. Have fun trying to best him. I never have, you flying monkeys, and I HAVE been paid to try. BTW, I was one of the laughing lawyers. Have a nice day, simpletons.

Posted by: fool_superior | March 17, 2007 08:00 AM

Gerald Cassidy is an amazing and inspirational man. I'm always fascinated with the extraordinary accomplishments ordinary people perform when placed in trying circumstances.

Kelly Yip

Posted by: Kellyyip1 | March 17, 2007 08:33 AM

With that said, Ralph Reed once told me that political power both ennobles (a chance to inspire and lead) and corrupts (one's soul).

Kelly Yip
kellyyip@aol.com

Posted by: Kellyyip1 | March 17, 2007 08:37 AM

Ms. Yip. I would never have thought I would agree with Ralph Reed on anything. Thanks for the surprise. I also disagree that Cassidy's adversity makes him special enough to justify him and his ilk corrupting the democratic process if that was your implication (which by your Reed quote, I do not think it was). I agree that overcoming adversity is an admirable trait, but in this case, the ends most certainly do not justify the means.

Posted by: toddradian | March 17, 2007 08:49 AM

Todd,You are not as smart as you delude yourself into believing if you do not understand it is possible to hate lobbyists and hate a hateful crank like you even more, simultaneously, for the damage you do to those of us serious about reform. It is not feel repulsed by Todd = Love Lobbyist. It is Todd Is Deeply Disturbed + Lobbyists Are A Blight. Are you a plant by Cassidy to make those of us who want to take a serious hard look at D.C. come off like loons? No one believes you are the boss of anyone (nice try writing an email to yourself addresssed to boss, probably from a padded room with your hands straight jacketed behind your back). Do not worry that we confuse your vitriol with any other posters. No one else comes near to your apogee of psychopathy. Concerned About Democracy.

Posted by: toddnut | March 17, 2007 10:45 AM

toddnut - And thank you for proving my point with yet another personal attack.

Posted by: toddradian | March 17, 2007 02:20 PM

These scum bags are working for your Muslim Enemies America !

Posted by: nicklan | March 17, 2007 02:57 PM

There's a lot of negativity about lobbyists and their influences. Then again, do we really live in a "just" society? A fundamental conundrum in our system is the appointment of Supreme Court Justices. How can one have in a democracy people who weren't elected by the people, who aren't accountable to "the people," making such important decisions? How does one reconcile that fundamental inconsistency?

Ms. Kelly Yip

Posted by: Kellyyip1 | March 17, 2007 09:41 PM

rofl - rachael, honey -

calm down. as a matter of fact, i do volunteer. My profession is an exercise in volunteerism;-D

Once again, the certitude and self-righteousness of your remarks is humorous.

Posted by: ciciinfla | March 19, 2007 04:46 AM

i would like to know why it is impossible for some people to discuss this issue without resorting to juvenile name calling and insults. While I don't agree with everything posted by people, it would be a little easier to take it in, were it not for the personal slams.

A calm demeanor does not indicate a lack of care.

C'mon kids, can't we just all get along?

Posted by: ciciinfla | March 19, 2007 04:55 AM

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