Thursday, July 29, 2010


House Minority Leader John Boehner

John Boehner covets the office of Speaker of the House. No other explanation will suffice as he throws dignity overboard and begins the big hustle being touted as the Cash-for-Speaker Program. News of this dubious promotion was broken by Politico's Jonathan Martin,

The shameless selling of access Congressional power makes Harlem's Democratic Representatives shortcomings look inconsequential. And Charlie Rangel's neck deep in hot water.

Wikipedia's reference to "pay to play" says: In politics, pay to play refers to a system, akin to payola in the music industry, by which one pays (or must pay) money to become a player,.

Boehner's promise to Fat Cats is that they will have special access to him, as Speaker of the House, when they give all they can legally give to Boehner and other Republican interests. Whether you are the person giving the cash or the rainmaker delivering the Fat Cats to Boehner and the GOP you get:
Typically, the payer (an individual, business, or organization) makes campaign contributions to public officials, officials, or parties themselves, and receives political or pecuniary benefit such as no-bid government contracts, influence over legislation, political appointments or nominations, special access or other favors. The contributions, less frequently, may be to nonprofit or institutional entities, or may take the form of some benefit to a third party, such as a family member of a governmental official.

The phrase, almost always used in criticism, also refers to the increasing cost of elections and the "price of admission" to even run and the concern "that one candidate can far outspend his opponents, essentially buying the election."

While the direct exchange of campaign contributions for contracts is the most visible form of Pay to Play, the greater concern is the central role of money in politics, and its skewing both the composition and the policies of government. Thus, those who can pay the price of admission, such as to a $1000/plate dinner or $25,000 "breakout session," gain access to power and/or its spoils, to the exclusion of those who cannot or will not pay: "giving certain people advantages that other[s] don't have because they donated to your campaign." Good-government advocates consider this an outrage because "political fundraising should have no relationship to policy recommendations." Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington called the "Pay-to-Play Congress" one of the top 10 scandals of 2008

Incumbent candidates and their political organizations are typically the greatest beneficiaries of Pay-to-Play. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been criticized for the practice. Many seeking to ban or restrict the practice characterize pay-to-play as legalized corruption.

The opposite of a pay-to-play system is one that is "fair and open"; the New Jersey Pay to Play Act specifically sets out bid processes that are or are not considered fair and open, depending upon who has contributed what to whom.

  • Conference Calls with Guest Speakers*
  • Password protected Website access for political updates and insider briefings*
  • A direct line to a personal contact at the "Boehner for Speaker" campaign*
  • Access to national meetings with elected officials and policy experts*
  • Access to regional and small group events with Republican VIPs**
  • Calls from senior level staffers to personally update you and provide information on Republican activities***
  • VIP access to all events, including roundtables, briefings, breakout discussions, and interactive panel discussions***
  • Meetings with Leader Boehner, and much more***
* Denotes Benefits for $15,000 Contributors or Those Who Help Raise $50,000+
** Denotes Benefits for $25,000 Contributors or Those Who Help Raise $75,000+
*** Denotes Benefits for $37,800 Contributors or Those Who Help Raise $100,000+

See the document for yourself at

All of these nice GOP/Tea Party candidates are running around Kansas and the other 49 States telling us how they plan to get rid of the Democratic Party's debt-ridden and job-killing agenda.

They brazenly omit that it is they, the Republicans, who squandered a budget surplus into record budget deficits, waged two wars off the books, eliminated critical regulatory safeguards leading to the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, and wasted two years saying no to America's Economic Recovery. The Democrats inherited debt and joblessness from these Republicans and they think the American voters will just forget who caused our national trauma?  Rant on Republicans Rant on!

A pig in a poke

If you think Boehner, this Cash-for-Speaker Raw Deal, and his Republican cohorts are going to establish a limited government approach by selling the richest of the rich access to power, then go look in the mirror. Does the reflection remind you of someone who just bought pig in a poke? It should.

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