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If you haven’t been under a rock lately, you know that the Bush Administration is proposing a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street. What you might not know is that there have been 258 parties this year alone for members of the House Financial Services Committee-the very folks who are making crucial decisions about this legislation-a number of them hosted by lobbyists for the finance, insurance, and real estate industries.
For example, last week, on September 16, lobbyists were invited to a “financial services” luncheon for Rep. Dean Heller at the Capitol Hill Club. The cost for entry was $500 for individuals, $1,000 for PACs. Heller has collected $190,252 from the financial sector for his congressional elections out of a total of $1,242,583, or 15.3 percent.
Then there was the invitation from the Real Estate Roundtable PAC on September 14 for folks to join Rep. Gregory Meeks to watch the New Orleans Saints play the Washington Redskins play at FedEx Field. The cost: $1,000. Meeks has taken $1,015,432 from the financial sector over his congressional career, 27.8 percent of his fundraising total-$3,657,984.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”