Published On: Tue, Dec 20th, 2011

Can we stop the out-of-control corruption in Washington, DC?


Can we stop the

out-of-control

corruption

in Washington, DC

Julian Georgiou, Healingtalks Contributing Writer

(Healingtalks) The criminal and widespread extent of corruption in Washington, DC is unprecedented. It is nurtured by a group of lobbyist, among them those representing major pharmaceutical companies, and who buy elections and the bills they need to pass. Today there are few morals, ethical or other restrictions in this process.  Washington has been bought.  Longer and more costly elections insures the deepening of this corruption.

A dramatic example of Washington no longer representing us

Here we can consider the stunning case of Jack Abramoff.

He was a Washington lobbyist convicted in 2006 of serious mail fraud and conspiracy. His work in bribing Congressional representatives and their staff his involved some 100 or more US Congressmen offices!

Abramoff’s  conviction led to the further conviction of prominent White House officials – including J. Steven Griles and David Safavian, U.S. Representative Bob Ney, and nine other lobbyists and Congressional aides.

Abramoff spills the beans

Abramoff served about 3  1/2 years of a 6-year sentence in federal prison. This was before being released early and to the custody of a Baltimore halfway house in 2010 (Wiki). Abramoff now tells the story of what happened, including the huge and alarming depth of systemic corruption in Washington.

Abramoff interviewed

60 Minutes Special on Abramoff is a rare look by an outlet of mainstream media, and from behind the scenes at what is a decaying US political system.

‘CBS News correspondent, Lesley Stahl, was so visibly shaken, she was furious and besides herself (Mercola). The new report reveals how in return for gifts and special treatments, countless Congressional members lined their pockets, being obligated then to vote yes for legislation and tax breaks that were favorable to the clients of lobbyists.

CBS News Special


’60 Minutes’ Blows The Lid Off Congressional Insider Trading

How the political corruption is tied to Big Pharma and our health

The pharmaceutical industry is the largest lobbying force in the U.S.

Last year, the industry spent over $244 million to influence legislation or obtain tax breaks. There can be little doubt that their zenith profits are, in large measure, due to the vast control they wield over Congressional members – and other federal agencies (Mercola).

pharmaceutical lobbying clients

What can be done?

Overall we need new legislation to have only publicly funded elections, helps to take the lobbyists out of the picture, stripping some of their influence. It is not a cure-all but a step in the right direction. According to Wikipedia, some form of “clean election” legislation has been adopted by ballot initiative in Maine, Arizona, North Carolina, New Mexico, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. It was also adopted by legislative action in Connecticut and at the municipal level in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Portland, OR. However, the systems in Massachusetts and Portland were later repealed, while Vermont’s was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court on First Amendment grounds.

The following organizations and their websites help to explain and offer support for The Fair Elections Now Act :

Related articles

References

Keywords

Jack Abramoff, washington lobbyist, pharmaceutical industry, campaign finance reform, publicly funded election campaigns, clean elections, pharmaceutical lobby, drug company lobbyists

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