About This Series | Chapters:

Chapter 6

A charming hustler from Malden, Mass., shows Schlossberg-Cassidy a new way to solicit clients and make more money.

Robert G. Kaiser

One important reason why the lobbying firm called Schlossberg-Cassidy began to make serious money was William Cloherty, a rotund Irishman from Medford, Mass. Cloherty was aptly described by the expression "a piece of work." His friends often called him a leprechaun, but he was an oversized leprechaun.

By the time he met Cassidy in the late 1970s, Cloherty barely resembled the teenage halfback for Hull High School on the South Shore, near Boston, who in the late 1950s had "gained six point seven yards per carry," by his own account. Cloherty might be 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and he looked nearly as broad as he was high. Bright, energetic and full of wit, he had an anecdote for every occasion. Some of them actually checked out, while others were embellished over time.

Cloherty talked fast in the accent of working-class Boston. But he would waste little time before informing a new acquaintance that he graduated from Harvard College (class of '62) and served in Venezuela in the Accion project in the '60s, working with slum-dwellers in Caracas. Later he worked for Tufts University as a troubleshooter in the administration there, and briefly for Boston University as well. He came to Washington in 1979 to work on a project in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. That ended in 1980, which prompted him to approach Cassidy with an idea.

William Cloherty, left, speaks with Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) at the 30th anniversary party for Cassidy & Associates. (Susan Biddle/TWP)

The two had met in 1977 through John Silber, the ambitious, driven president of Boston University who would become one of Cassidy's biggest clients. Cloherty and Cassidy hit it off; Cloherty described his original meeting with Cassidy as "one of the fondest memories of my life." In 1980, Silber was paying Cloherty $1,000 a month to act as BU's part-time agent in Washington. Cloherty decided he couldn't be much use to BU as a solo operator in the capital. "I said John, what you want to get done, the best way I can really help you is get you signed up with Schlossberg-Cassidy ..... with Gerry Cassidy," Cloherty recalled. Silber did sign up with Schlossberg-Cassidy, and two months later Silber cut off Cloherty's $1000 a month. "That was fine with me."

Cloherty had a better idea, which he then brought to Cassidy directly. He offered to develop business for Schlossberg-Cassidy from other universities. "I can do this in a way that will cost you nothing," he recalled saying. "'Oh, tell me about that, I like that idea!' I remember Gerry perking up the way he does."

Cloherty's idea was to find new business for Schlossberg-Cassidy in return for a percentage of the fees paid by any clients he brought to the firm. "Just give me ten percent of the fees in perpetuity," Cloherty remembered proposing. And he recalled Cassidy's reply: "We can't do it in perpetuity, because the Magna Carta prohibited contracts in perpetuity. So I said well, 99 years." The deal was struck.

Cloherty, a natural salesman and an indomitable enthusiast, would pore over newspapers looking for leads to possible clients. One he found in the New York Times was a story buried deep inside the paper (Section D, page 23) about a new project in imaging research at Brooklyn Poly Tech (now Polytechnic University). The story identified Prof. Bernie Bulkin as leader of the effort. Bulkin himself recalled what happened:

"He got my home number and called me at home ..... He came [to visit Poly] right away. He was immediate and persistent."

Cloherty's memory: "So I ..... call up the fellow. And I would accurately say, 'I'm from Washington D.C.' Immediately all sorts of sugar plums would go off in their heads. 'I saw your article, and I'd like to come up and talk to you about it.' 'Oh, when could you come?' 'This afternoon!' ..... I didn't in any way misrepresent myself, I just said I was from Washington and would like to come and talk to you about the article."

Brooklyn Poly signed up as a client with Schlossberg-Cassidy.

On another occasion Cloherty dropped in on his old pal Terry Holcombe, who had recruited him into Accion, a private peace-corps-like group working in Latin America. Holcombe had become vice president for development -- fundraising -- at Columbia University, where Cloherty visited him. Holcombe confided that he had a big problem.

Michael Sovern, president of the university, was anxious to rebuild the chemistry facilities at Columbia, to create appropriate laboratories for the distinguished chemistry faculty to conduct its research. This would cost $30 million. "We didn't have any alumni that I could find who would give in that range," Holcombe recalled. Cloherty offered Holcombe a new option for finding the money -- hiring Schlossberg-Cassidy.

Sovern recalled that he had heard about Schlossberg-Cassidy's success helping to win three big earmarks for Tufts. He knew it would be controversial with his colleagues at other universities if he sought an earmarked appropriation to pay for his chemistry lab, but he had no better idea, so he signed Columbia up. It remained a client of the firm for years. Over a period of several years, Columbia received about $28 million in federal appropriations for its new chemistry labs. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and two New York City congressmen, Democrat Charles Rangel and Republican Bill Green, provided the key Congressional support.

Columbia agreed to retain Schlossberg-Cassidy for an initial fee of $10,000 a month. After nearly two years the monthly retainer went up to $17,500, and later to $20,000. Over six and a half years Columbia paid a total of $1.3 million -- to help win $28 million. Cloherty's share, under his deal with Schlossberg-Cassidy, was $130,000, though he didn't have to do much after he signed up the client.

For Cloherty, success followed success. He signed up Northwestern University, the New England College of Optometry, Atlanta University, the University of Southern Mississippi and more.

Cassidy wanted Cloherty to join the firm, take an office in L'Enfant Plaza, but Cloherty wasn't interested: "I wanted to stay a little bit separate." Cassidy asked if he'd like some slick brochures to support his sales pitch. No thanks, Cloherty replied, just give me newspaper clippings announcing the "grants" -- earmarks -- you have won for your clients, and "a simple list, plain paper, no letterhead, of the educational institutions and how much they received. You know, Tufts University -- twenty-seven million dollars. That was for their nutrition center. ..... "

Cloherty's sales pitch was direct: "I said well, there's a new business developing in Washington. We don't do research grants, we don't help you get a grant through NIH or something, but if you have a particular need here, for a state-of-the-art facility, I can't make any promises, but there's a chance we can get it funded by Congress." In other words, he was selling earmarks.

This was an unusual way to make money. One long-term client could put tens of thousands of dollars in his pocket, though he never really did any work on its behalf.

"There was always an issue when you signed a client up. To some degree the reason they signed up was that you had met them, and there was a bond that had to be established. One of the key things was to seamlessly wean yourself off the account." Cloherty tried to coach the clients he signed up on "how to be an effective client." He would observe that "there are two people in that shop, and you ought to insist that Cassidy handles your account. You have a right to insist, you know, you're the paying customer."

Why not Schlossberg?

"I could see as I began to bring in clients that the amount of toughness and determination to get the goal accomplished was light years higher for Gerry Cassidy than for Ken. Ken was a very amiable guy, very affable, loved to chat with him. But not somebody that would go through the brick wall, necessarily, not somebody who was not going to be denied."

Washington Post research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.

Tomorrow: A trip to buy a Brittany Spaniel becomes the catalyst for an ugly divorce.

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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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Seems like this one mostly avoids being an attack piece. But then there's still those weasel words, like "In other words..." And the teaser for the next story - "money machine really hums" - yeah, how dare they make money! For funding research centers, too. Not bridges to nowhere. I guess this all doesn't technically violate the Kaiser Rule but it's still obvious the Post is slanting this against him and his firm.

Posted by: Martin | March 11, 2007 09:46 PM

William Cloherty, left, speaks with Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) at the 30th anniversary party for Cassidy & Associates. --- Well . . . a picture is worth a thousand words and that about says it all, doesn't it? Ban lobbying. Ban it today. Starting with Cassidy & Associates. Lobbying as currently formulated is fascism. Limit corporate participation in the legislative process. Someone is sleeping on the job of this little PR venture if they thought that was a good photo selection.

Posted by: Todd | March 11, 2007 11:45 PM

Todd, you took the words "write" out my mouth! Nothing like having a picture of Tom Delay to say a thousand unspoken words.

Martin, Kaiser doesn't have to slant it. Do you remember the number one exit polling comment in the last election? Corruption in our Congress was at the top of the list.

Posted by: Rachael | March 12, 2007 07:18 AM

Yeah, nothing like a picture with Tom Delay. Check out what you get in google images when you search Tom Delay and Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Seymour | March 12, 2007 07:56 AM

Hahahahaha. I just did. Too bad the Post won't let you copy images into the comment setion. There's a great one with Hillary and Delay. Anyone know any other cool photo search engines?

Posted by: Cody C. | March 12, 2007 08:04 AM

Not to suggest, of course, that Hillary has ever met with lobbyists or even disgraced politicians. But you never know!

Posted by: Seymour | March 12, 2007 08:31 AM

..."I can't make any promises, but there's a chance we can get it funded by Congress." In other words, he was selling earmarks.

The arrogance of lobbyists knows no bounds.

It is such a shame college presidents have no shame either. No wealthy alumni to help fund a new center? Stick it to the taxpayers!

Now, lobbyists and lobbyist defenders will say it is a Constitutional right to petition members of Congress. But where in the Consitution say that earmarks are just part of the system? I agree with Todd - ban lobbying (at least the part dealing with money, i.e., corruption. People can still send petitions to members of Congress as permitted by the Constitution).

Posted by: DC Dave | March 12, 2007 10:28 AM

Funny. Put me in with Martin, I guess. Todd, how is lobbying "fascism"? Have you ever heard of the right of petition? That means that citizens are allowed to discuss their issues with lawmakers. That means you can hire people to discuss issues with lawmakers.

Raechel, where is the corruption here? I don't see where Cloherty or Cassidy is doing anything wrong here.

Posted by: sportsfan | March 12, 2007 10:48 AM

Posted by: Frank C | March 12, 2007 11:06 AM

Sportsfan - Fascisms primary features are nationalism (Either you are with us or against us! America goes it alone!), authoritarianism (I am the Decider!), militarism (I am going to whatever I like with the military and screw We The People if they don't like it!), corporatism (Can you say no bid contracts and billions missing without ANY DOJ follow up?), totalitarianism (It started with Bush attacking habeas corpus, illegal wiretaps - also done with corporate assistance, at a price - and his illegal signing statements.), collectivism, anti-liberalism (If you disagree with Bush you are a traitor or a cut and run terroristocrat!), and an opposition to laissez-faire capitalism (again the words no bid come to mind). Some would still argue that fascists are anti-communist but with communism almost a moot point, this is irrelevant to this subject. Let us focus on the corporatism part of that equation. If you cannot see that the current pay to play lobbying system is the very definition of corporatism, then you must not be paying attention or you misundertood what fascism is to start with. The right to petition is guaranteed to all citizens, not just those with enough money to though at K-Street and graft merchants like Schlossberg-Cassidy. They also filter money through to candidates through our woefully pathetic campaign finance system. I have heard with my own ears board members of Fortune 100 companies call campaign finance Purchase A Candidate and lobbying Purchase A Law. I would suggest you carefully examine how the current lobbying system works and tell us all how it is NOT fascism or at a minimum its component element of corporatism.

Posted by: Todd | March 12, 2007 11:30 AM

throw at K-Street . . . hoist upon my own spell check.

Posted by: Todd | March 12, 2007 11:34 AM

Frank C you're great. Thar she blows! Literally. Hillary and lobbyists. I also learned that you could put URLs in Post comments. Appreciate the tips.

Posted by: Seymour | March 12, 2007 12:07 PM

Sportsfan, the story has only just begun. I am a little concerned that you don't seem aware of how lobbying has twisted our Democratic process. Clearly, the beginning of this firm had the right intentions, but once the PAC "married" the consulting firm, i.e. now a lobbbying firm, government corruption was truly set free! Allow me to refer you to Todd's most recent clarification on how corporate lobbying has created a disease so deep within our government, that people, like you, think this is the way our founding fathers intended our Democrcay to work. Jefferon did NOT intend corporations to have the same citizen status as an actual individual citizen. Let me give you a great example of our government works now. Dominion Power of Virginia(Subject A) writes a re-regulation legislation sure to make them billions in the end, and then ever so kindly hands it to a VA State legislator(Subject B), who, also by bizarre coincidence, has accepted thousand upon thousands of dollars from Dominion Power's lobbying apparatus. Legislation that is clearly bad for Citizens(Subject C), will increase their monthly bills, passes without a pause. (A+B)-C= F (F for failing Democracy). Does anyone have any question about this particular math problem?

Posted by: Rachael | March 12, 2007 12:37 PM

Seriously, this is one overhyped rotten tomato. Kaiser, why do we care? I listen to the Post Politics Podcast every day and that poor reporter has to somehow sound interested in this turkey of a story. Why the heck did the WaPo eds green-light this thumbsucker?

And, I have to admit, this is sounding more and more like a hit piece. What a waste of time.

Posted by: Max | March 12, 2007 12:40 PM

Has anyone at the POST ever considered that the bulk of this corruption would go away in a nanosecond if we just went back to the Founding Fathers' concept of limited government? If the elected "Johns" on Capital Hill had less of our money to throw around partying, we might have fewer hookers (aka lobbyists, bureaurats, supplicants, etc.) walking the streets.
(I use that metaphor with sincere apologies to those who practice mankind's "oldest profession," since they generally provide something of perceived value in exchange for what they've been paid. That puts them a notch up on most other "professionals" who work in the District.)
Speaking for those who live that vast "flyover country" where money has to be EARNED rather than just "earmarked," most of what passes for "government" in our nation's capital appears to be a sick joke.
After many decades of broken promises to "clean up" corruption, it's petty clear that corruption is simply an inevitable part of government. The more government we have, the more corrupt and less responsive the governing process will be.
Every time we here in "taxpayer land" vote to "throw the bums out," we simply get a new set of parasites, while the former set scurry off to K Street to commence even more lucrative careers as lobbyists for Cassidy or some other McGovern liberal-turned-privateer.
Maybe the Brits had it right in 1814 after all!

Posted by: deepquote | March 12, 2007 12:47 PM

Oh Rachael, you are indeed a woman after my own heart. I like the smart ones who pay attention.

Posted by: Todd | March 12, 2007 01:01 PM

That's pretty much the story of this story. If this thing is going to be a book I hope they didn't give you an advance.

Posted by: Zzzzzzzzzz | March 12, 2007 01:07 PM

sportsfan, after getting thoroughly smoked by Todd and Rachael, I would love it if you could somehow proove them wrong- I bet they even wish they were wrong. But we all know that they are right, so come on- proove it.

Posted by: swtexas | March 12, 2007 01:16 PM

Todd & Rachael, your own incendiary rhetoric is self-defeating. I can agree the system isn't perfect (and I have no love for Dominion or what they're doing with that godawful power line across northern Virginia) but you're still treating legitimate practices as illegitimate. Gimmicky fake math problems and declarations of fascism... I don't even see the point in responding further.

Posted by: sportsfan | March 12, 2007 01:40 PM

"we all know that they are right"

Such powerful argumentation!

Although I'd like to swear you guys off, I admit I am curious what remedy you want. What's your proposal -- and tell me how it wouldn't violate the First Amendment?

Posted by: sportsfan | March 12, 2007 01:42 PM

Lobbyists exist because they want cold, hard cash from The Man. Get rid of earmarks, and simplify the tax code. Install a flat tax or fair tax and get rid of earmarks - today!

Posted by: Phil | March 12, 2007 01:53 PM

O.K. sportsfan, what Phil said along with taking away the opportunity for the exchange of money, stock tips, gifts,etc.
There just does not seem to be a system in place to keep these people honest- not even an ability to know the difference between the good and bad, honest or dishonest. But I admit I may not be knowledgable enough to say, I just goin' on what I see as common sense. Get rid of lobbying altogether, so we do not have to spend a bunch of money, tax money, busting these guys out all the time. Do I make sense?

Posted by: swtexas | March 12, 2007 02:15 PM

Total financing of elections, maybe. But for starters, how about more transparency in lobbying. Kaiser alluded to Cassidy's support for that at the beginning of this series (if anyone can remember that far). Hope he returns to that theme before the series concludes -- whenever that blessed time may be.

Posted by: Solomon Solution | March 12, 2007 02:19 PM

Great idea Solomon- but who is gonna MAKE it transparent- the media? They are no longer independent, so they tell us that we want Anna Nicole transparency, all for the sake of a rise in their stock values.

Posted by: swtexas | March 12, 2007 02:34 PM

By the way Todd And Rachael- you guys totally ROCK! Thank You

Posted by: swtexas | March 12, 2007 02:37 PM

swtexas -- as I've pointed out in the comments on previous editions, Cassidy himself is calling for public financing of elections. I'm not sure about that myself, but it seems you have an ally in the big bad lobbyist himself.

Not sure if this link will work, but here goes:

Posted by: sportsfan | March 12, 2007 02:54 PM

Thanx man- I really mean no respect sportsfan. But that stuff just did not sound like incendiary rhetoric to me.

Posted by: swtexas | March 12, 2007 03:03 PM

O.K., now that Sportsfan has taken his toys and sulked all the way home, the discussion may continue about how to fix this immense problem. I guess, first is, how did the world use to work before lobbying became the driving force it is today? Todd, any thoughts? More later....


Posted by: Rachael | March 12, 2007 03:04 PM

submitted before my sentence was done...

Elena from "Forgetting Elena" by Edmund White, the tragic herione, dies at the end, trying to force those around her to experinece life for real. What is the building of a fortune worth if in the end your life was surreal, no real friends, but those who want only access to money and political power. Washington is a game, now and it is up to citizens to stop the game before it is the demise of us all.

Posted by: Rachael | March 12, 2007 03:50 PM

Just stopping by and saw the Hillary lobbyists mention above. Anyone know if my current heartthrob Barack Obama also a lobbyist problem? Any photos of him with Tom Delay, even? I hope not.

Posted by: No Hillary Fan | March 12, 2007 03:58 PM

Hey, I didn't say I was going anywhere. And it's amusing to me you say you're interested in "solving" the "problem" when all I hear is yelping about perceived wrongs.

Posted by: sportsfan | March 12, 2007 04:01 PM

No Hillary Fan...sure, what do you think his buddy who got him his house (Redko or some name like that) was?

I still am enjoying this series. I think lobbying serves a function in our society, the question is to what level and how much should it.

You lobby your wife/husband for something, your kids lobby you for money, it's an important facet of life.

Posted by: Bryan | March 12, 2007 04:17 PM

OK Thanks Bryan. Yeah, I remember that now. Is that as bad as Hillary and lobbyists/Tom DeLay?

Posted by: No Hillary Fan | March 12, 2007 04:34 PM

The 1st Amendment? Please. Do not introduce any more legal topics to the discussion you clearly do not understand. Part of the PROBLEM is that the SCOTUS wrongly said and still promulgates the very bad decisions behind the idea that money is equivalent to free speech and ergo lobbying is protected free speech. That is simply nonsense and the very root of graft.
When it comes to equal access and petitioning Congress, free speech should not cost a citizen one single dime. Corporations should not be able to petition for legislation at all as they are not natural persons. Only individual citizens should be able to petition with enough voter support for their initiatives. Lobbying could be accomplished with a 20 page issues statement. A form with a supplemental filing of 30 pages for a total of 50 pages to address a complex issue. This form should be free. Any citizen who can collect enough verified registered voter signatures to meet a practical functional threshold number, say 1000 signatures as a round number, can submit the form to Congress. Petitions would have to be reviewed by the appropriate Congress members within a REASONABLE time period, say 18 months. At the end of that time period the RESPONSIBLE Congressional members would have to introduce the concerns presented into the Bill process OR give a full public disclosure of why they have not done so. If a proposed bill is rejected without going into process 3 times then there should be judicial review as to why it has not been introduced and offer remedy if available. This should be done at taxpayer expense to remove the cost of litigation obstacle and litigation costs could be kept to a minimum by using technology and using judicial review panels instead of juries for this task. If the bill dies in committee, on the floor, by veto, by SCOTUS decision or is overturned by subsequent legislation, then so be it.
No one should ever take a Senator or Representative ANYWHERE, for ANY REASON, or EVER give them gifts of ANY KIND. Nor should they be allowed to gift or graft Congressional family members while they have legislation pending. Aside from investment income, once you become a member of Congress, you should have to prove that the ONLY MONEY YOU MAKE is your salary and that being a Senator or a Representative is your only job that you are required to do 5 days a week and 40 hours minimum. Period, you hear me you lazy parasites in Congress? REALLY WORK.
But here is where the lobbying and campaign finance act in fascist concert to only provide only pre-approved "corporate friendly candidates". If you don't think that Cheney is and was Halliburon's man to this day, you are a fool. Now wave bye-bye as the VPs unindicted co-conspirators move to Dubai.
When you see the abuses done by the Neocon Republicans during the last two Presidential elections (which AG Gonzales has "miraculously" not pursued) or see someone like Hillary Clinton, nominally running for President, swear her loyalty to Israel and AIPAC (a foreign government and one of their lobby/PAC groups -- she did this very thing on C-Span a few weeks ago) before she has even taken the oath of office to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States you should be telling her "Sorry! Wrong candidate! We are electing the AMERICAN President . . . not the President of Israel or the President of Some PAC or Lobbyists." Now, sure there would be details to iron out on mechanics, but a system LIKE this would not only go a long way to alleviating corruption and the spread of fascism, it would better serve Free Speech than the current graft machine.

Posted by: Todd | March 12, 2007 04:50 PM

Now who is yelping, sport?

Posted by: Todd | March 12, 2007 04:51 PM

swteaxas - Thanks. You did a good job too.

Posted by: Todd | March 12, 2007 04:52 PM

Todd, Ive been reading all your comments and you've raised some questions and said some interesting things. Made me think. But why'd you suddenly bring Israel into this? And AIPAC? Anyting else that's Jewish bothering you these days?

Posted by: Smoot | March 12, 2007 04:57 PM

Smoot. No. I like Jews. Dated a couple even. She just happened to be swearing her loyalty to Israel and AIPAC. It could have been swearing her loyalty to Moldova and MOLDIPAC (if there is such group) and it would have been just as inappropriate. So if you are trying to paint me the anti-Semite to somehow discredit me, WRONG, try again. The key parts of what was offensive in her actions were the FOREIGN POWER and the PAC part in case you did not catch that. Are there K-Street fascism issue bothering you to the point that you would be so stupid as to launch that particular type of attack against me? Afraid of you or someone near you losing a job? Your kung fu is very bad. Bring pads if you are going to play with me this way. You want to fight dirty and uncivil, I can strike real REAL hard.

Posted by: Todd | March 12, 2007 05:28 PM

Hi Sportsfan, glad you are still here. I believe I actually gave my crazy solution earlier. Expect our elected officials to do the research and due diligence before they vote on a bill. They must have time to do some work, besides work on their next election.

Posted by: Rachael | March 12, 2007 05:39 PM

In January of 2003, Cassidy was elected to the Board of Trustees of Boston University. In that same year, BU paid Cassidy $800,000 in lobbying fees.
Just as a reference point, their next highest paying university that same year was USC at $360,000. http://chronicle.com/stats/lobbying/2004/detail.php?ID=2&orgType=firms

In the summer of 2003, BU hired Dan Goldin, former head of NASA, to be its next Presdient. "According to BU sources and members of the presidential search committee, Silber -- as a member of the committee and a Goldin supporter -- commanded such respect and fear that some committee members kept their doubts about Goldin to themselves. Silber came to embrace Goldin at the behest of a BU trustee, Gerald S.J. Cassidy, whose role in the search process suggested a conflict of interest to several committee members. Cassidy is head of a Washington consulting firm that has earned millions of dollars in lobbying fees from BU over the years; he is a close friend of Silber and Goldin; and, by helping negotiate a multimillion-dollar contract for Goldin to succeed Silber, Cassidy probably stood to gain continued business and support from BU in future years, the BU sources say."

But alas, a few months later in November of 2003, the Trustees voted NOT to hire Goldin after they HAD hired him and paid him $1.8 million to go away before he had worked a day. But it's nice to know that BU doesn't hold a grudge against Cassidy for the Goldin fiasco because as of 2006, at least, they were STILL paying Cassidy to lobby for them and they even upped the price to $960K according to OpenSecrets.org's lobbying database.

So Martin and Max and Zzzzzzzz...is this a "hit" job or slanted? Perhaps if you could be patient through the "foreshadowing" of the early chapters, you might find a story worthy of telling the taxpayers. Can anybody tell me why a university would pay a lobbyist $960K a year to get tax dollars that their Congressman and Senator could and would and should request for them for free? Look, those are my tax dollars and yours they are lavishing on BU---and you can call me paranoid but I think there is something wrong with this picture.

Posted by: Mary | March 12, 2007 07:50 PM

Sportsfan, do you know the Cave Allegory by Plato? here is a cut and paste:

"In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave. Behind them burns a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave. The prisoners are unable to see these puppets, the real objects, that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see."

Ultimately, the modern version of this is the movie the Matrix(one of my favorites). What people believe to be reality is not, merely life orchestrated by a larger more powerful entity. I freely admit that my simple answer, to expect people we elect to do what they are suppose to do is clearly idealistic, but at least I am able to look into the real light of day and see what you clearly are too afraid to admit. Don't throw stones at me because I see what is obviously so wrong in our society.

So "sportsfan", stay in your cave, facing the wall, while the puppeters dance for you. Todd, swtexas, and I, and others will continue to look directly into the light.

p.s. Todd, glad you clarified your point, had me a little worried there.

Posted by: Rachael | March 12, 2007 08:02 PM

Mary....you go girl!!

Posted by: Rachael | March 12, 2007 08:07 PM

Rachael, sorry to have caused concern. I thought in context of discussing improper influence on legislative process that it was clear what I found offensive about Sen. Clinton's behavior. But I didn't book her gig that day so I went with the example I had. I would never do anything purposefully to concern a woman who quotes Jefferson.

Posted by: Todd | March 12, 2007 10:12 PM

The PAC in AIPAC stands for Public Affairs Committee, not Political Action Committee.

Posted by: Get your facts straight | March 13, 2007 06:07 AM

get your facts straight - Like it makes any difference at all, Mr. Apologist Lobby Defender.

Posted by: Todd | March 13, 2007 07:27 AM

This country doesn't have a chance if we don't get rid of lobbying and the LIARS of Washington, which would be about 99% of everybody. Washington has put their word and truth in a cave somewhere. We need some new people who can find that truth, and stop the lying and stealing, and makeing the little man pay for it all.

Posted by: Vic Bailey | March 14, 2007 12:01 PM

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