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Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Wichita Eagle gives us a breakdown on lobbying money

From Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner;

We should all be aware of who the big spending lobbyists are here in Kansas. We need to know what kind of money our politicians get for their votes.
Recently The Wichita Eagle listed lobbyists and how much they spent on politicians. Of the top 10, only three were for organizations other than businesses. Those three were Kansas State Council of Firefighters, $10,424, Kansas Organization of State Employees, $9163, and although it fights for corporate interests, The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, paid $8,538.The rest were corporations spending on Kansas congress persons for their influence. They are;

1. Kansas Bankers Association, $26,514
2. AT&T and affiliates, $12,877
3. Kansas Contractors Association, $11,371
4. Kansas Livestock Association, $10,500
5. Kansas Credit Union Association, $9,764
6. Cox Communications, $9,188
7. Kansas Electric Cooperatives, $8,242
--Source: Kansas Ethics Commission

Also according to The Wichita Eagle, lobbyists’ spending has grown faster than inflation. It has grown all but two years since 2002, creating a 197 percent climb in less than ten years.
Lawmakers can receive gifts such as food or drinks. Lobbyists often take legislators to lunches and there is no limit to how much they can spend. Yet they are restricted from accepting gifts worth more than $40 or entertainment worth more than $100 from any one entity each year. Lobbyist helped a lot of legislators with money to see George W. Bush, at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce annual, meeting in November when he was here.
Top receivers of lavish gifts include
Senator Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, leads the pack in perks from lobbyists so far this year with more than $2,400 worth of meals and entertainment.
According to the Ethics Commission, Bruce raked in $2,199 worth of meals and beverages ranging from 26 cents to $100. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce fed Bruce the most — $340 worth. .
House Speaker Mike O’Neil, R-Hutchinson, Senator Ray Merrick, R-Stillwell, round out the top three. Representative Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, is fourth and has received more from lobbyists than any other Wichita area lawmaker so far this year with $2,016 worth of meals and gifts.
Landwehr was present at a “no-income tax for Kansas” rally about a month ago. Her husband tried to push a protester for interrupting her speech.
These offices held by Kansas legislators are not much different than the creeps in out US Congress. They make it to the office and they take bribes from lobbyist, selling their votes to the highest bidder.
This is one reason so many people have joined the Occupy Wall Street movement. They want a democracy and not an auction.

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