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Edwards, Obama
Press Lobby Issue

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards both sharply attacked Sen. Hillary Clinton's statement on Saturday that she would continue to accept money from lobbyists because they "represent real Americans."

In an interview at a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Edwards said "Democratic candidates, and for that matter all candidates, should just say we're not taking these peoples' money anymore because it's the way to take their power away from them, and it's the way to bring about the change that this country needs."
Edwards says lobbyists "rig the system."

Obama, in an interview while campaigning in Le Mars, Iowa was even more direct in criticizing Clinton. "I profoundly disagree with her statements," Obama told the AP. "This campaign is going to come down to whether you believe that it's enough just to get somebody other than George Bush in the White House to fix what ails Washington, or do you think we need to set a fundamentally new course."

He added, "If you don't think lobbyists have too much influence in Washington, then I believe you've probably been in Washington too long."

After two weeks in which candidates of both parties have criticized Obama's statements on foreign policy, with Clinton calling one of his stances "naive," Clinton's comments at Yearly Kos, a convention for liberal bloggers, has offered Obama a chance to tout his "change" theme while attacking his chief rival.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Post Editor  |  August 6, 2007; 6:01 PM ET
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Next: Bombing Bush's Foreign Policy










She can't say, 'oh, if you (audience) approve
of the lobbyist, then they DO influence my vote,
and gee whiz i work so hard for them"
but if you don't like the lobbyists
(insurance companies, etc) than -
well- they can't buy my vote"

She is so full of it.

Ayone else notice that she
has no plan for american's
HEALTHCARE while she takes
tons of money from the
pharmacuetical and insurance companies???

Posted by: julieds | August 7, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Edwards and Obama ought to go to their good friends at the labor unions, Planned Parenthood, "community organizations," etc., and tell them to fire their lobbyists. Think they would?

Posted by: mshimazu | August 7, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Man Hillary another fiasco waiting to happen. I can't wait till she is "The First Female President" so that all of those voters who voted for all of those who voted for Bush can say... "If I could do it all over again."

I respect Hillary...but if it wasn't for her husband pro's and con's..she would be the Democratic Equivalent of Fred Thompson..

Posted by: Kappazkupid | August 7, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

There's no doubt in my mind,that the influence of money represented by lobbyist from corporate and powerful groups has greatly affected the way our government operates. And for this reason, I firmly believe that a huge change is in order. Politicians are clever enough to say that they do nothing illegal or immoral, but if you just dig deeper on their activities and the laws and dealings they make in congress you don't need any proof that they are corrupt. The laws they make in congress overall benefit these big corporations and powerful groups than they benefit your average americans. And what is so interesting is that they tout their achievements, saying how good it is for us.But if you look closer and read the fine prints of the laws they enacted, nothing is further from the truth. I may not be able to cite an example here cause of the space that it requires, but I challenge anyone who say otherwise and I'll prove to you.I'm not talking about one particular party, cause everybody knows it happens,and often, regardless whose party is in power. I may have high regard for Bill Clinton for the achievements he made when he was in the W.H.,but even him is not blameless when it comes to this. And more so I would say that he perpetuates this kind of patronage. And you should not look further than the campaign of his wife,Hillary, where does her campaign funds mostly come from? The answer my friends come from the big lobbyists,rich corporate executives,powerful groups that any bunch of regular americans cannot match nor even come close to it. And if Hillary thinks that we can close our eyes,swallow this bitter pill of truth, and support her simply because she'll fight those bully republicans to the end, she better think again. Cause I am supporting Barack Obama,the only true candidate that will be an agent of change in Washington. Have you ever wonder why a lot of average americans contributing to the campaign of B.O.? Cause we are so hungry for a new kind of politics and we want real change not just cosmetics.As already proven, We can top big corporate contributions if every regular americans help in his campaign,be it in small contribution or otherwise. Cause in the end, what counts most is our vote and our support not the money we put in it,no matter what any poll say, cause God knows who are the people behind these polls. If you look at the connections of these people, they are mostly directly or indirectly influenced by the big machinations of Washington. GO BO!

Posted by: ascorpiodal31 | August 7, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I love Obama's quote, "If you don't think lobbyists have too much influence in Washington, then I believe you've probably been in Washington too long." He was probably thinking of Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County who has financed his campaigns with lobbyist money and is now financing the campaigns of many other Congressmen the same way in his position as head of the Congbressional Campaign Committee. Instead of raising lobbyist money for Clngressmen in close races across the country, why isn't Van Hollen raising money to get us out of transportation gridlock in the Washington area?

Posted by: robinficker | August 7, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Folks: Take a look at history, are founding Fathers, were not poor by the community standard. The Boston Tea party was conceived by Samuel Adams to save the price of his India Tea, that he had in warehouse! What changed, unless the American Dream is now to be poor. If so why do so many want to come to this Country, it cannot be for are legal system, which now only the rich can afford>

Posted by: bahall-az | August 7, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

This, amomg other issues, is why I find Billary so appalling. I served as Philadelphia coordinator for Jerry Brown in 1992, and I can tell you candidly that they are the invention of the dread, obese, media consultant Mandy Grunwald. It is a shame that Hillary is in the race at all since as putative front-runner she is is sducking up campaign $ all over America as fast and as greedily as she can.

Posted by: larry1918 | August 7, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Money money money! Only the rich can play the political game in this country. What a shame. I once thought I'd like to serve my country in my state legislature. I went to the county's political boss and offered myself as a candidate. He didn't know me because I had never been active in his party. But that wasn't the problem. His first question to me was: How much money do you have? When I said none he said I couldn't be a candidate. It seems this is the area that needs reform. With only the rich able to reach the levers of democracy, how do poor people get represented? They don't. They must depend on the largess of the rich. And while the rich may throw them a bone every once in a while, the real beneficiary of political power are the rich themselves.
We could change all this by limiting ALL MONEY spent in a campaign to say, $1,000 and then force the media to acceot a certain amout of political advertising, pro bono ... as the lawyers say about representing the poor. As it is, the media is already making TOO MUCH MONEY on political ads. They, too, should be made to sacrifice wealth for the sake of the political process. Don't forget, it is the political process that is supposed to keep this country great. The ugly little secret about our democratic republic is that it doesn't because the political process is manipulated by the rich and the rest of us lie to ourselves to maintain our self respect.

Posted by: JLancellotti | August 7, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The lobby issue is minor compared to the elephant in the room that nobody wants to mention -- the $41 million that Bill Clinton spent speaking to the same lobby groups. When groups pay $100,000 to $250,000 for the privilege of hearing an ex-President speak you may think that they are paying for more than just the same old bromides that Bill has been pushing for the last seven years. They probably have an eye on his wife, who is a sitting Senator with some influence in the party.

When she and Bill left the White House, they were reportedly $10 million in debt. Since 2000, Bill has earned a truly astonishing $41 million speaking in front of lobbying groups, special interests, PACs, and in one case what is probably a front for the Chinese government. This is while Hillary is a Senator who introduces and cosponsors bills that these parties have an interest in - including bills to temporarily suspend the duties on a whole raft of imported products from China and Japan while Bill was earning six-figure fees from industry groups in those countries.

It would be a fairly long article to detail all of Bill Clinton's questionable earnings while his wife was in Office - it takes a number of speeches to reach $41 million even at more than one hundred thousand dollars a speech. I can certainly understand why he decided to earn as much as he could, but it presents some very troubling ethical dilemmas for his wife.

Bill Clinton earned over $700,000 from the Chinese Company CLSA, a brokerage and private equity group. They own ALOK Industries, Ltd., which "possesses vertically integrated, state-of-the-art production facilities for Home Textiles, Woven and Knitted Apparel Fabrics, Garments and Polyester Yarns." Hillary Clinton co-sponsored over 25 bills to eliminate tariffs on various imported products. Among these are "knitted or crocheted fabrics of cotton", "artificial filament single yarn", "cosmetic bags with a flexible outer surface of PVC", and "certain woven fabrics of cotton." A cynical person might wonder if CLSA made a good return on their $700,000 investment.

Bill Clinton earned more than $1.2 million speaking in front of real estate industry lobbying groups and companies - such as the National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Banker's Association. At the same time, his wife sponsored a bill that was much desired by the realtors - the "Community choice in Real Estate Act" which prevents banks from competing with realtors or mortgage bankers.

Some of Bill's speeches boggle the mind and make me wonder if he is trying to sabotage his wife's ambitions. He earned $300,000 from the "Australian Council for the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China", which is pretty clearly a front group for the Chinese government. He made $800,000 from "Gold Service International" which is a Columbian "development" group. (One wonders what kinds of products they develop.) He earned $125,000 from Ness Technologies, Inc., which specializes in outsourcing IT jobs.

There are some intresting ironies in Bill's haul. He earned $100,000 from a company that makes campaign trinkets like Barack Obama's much-mentioned keychains. He got $125,000 from Compuware Corp., whose CEO Peter Karmanos is currently Romney's top campaign contributor. Although he got nearly $4 million speaking in front of various Jewish interest groups, he also earned more than $1 million speaking in front Abu Dahbi "conferences" set up in conjunction with his favorite Network Marketing company "The Power Within." Bill Clinton got paid $200,000 by Info USA, which owns the polling company that is used by CNN.

None of this is a great secret, you can see it in Hillary's financial disclosure reports. She got burned on the first one that she filed (her campaign manager was indicted for lying on it) so she has been pretty good about reporting all of her income -- as far as we know.

Posted by: George14 | August 7, 2007 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Hillary was just being honest. Obviously it would be great if lobbyists didn't have influence on our political process - but the reality is politicians need them to raise money to win elections.

I don't recall Obama or Edwards introducing any major public financing of their elections in their 2 and 6 years terms as Senators, respectively. So they can't really say they've done anything to change the system.

It's pretty easy to throw red meat to a bunch of left wing bloggers - it's another thing entirely to try and build a coalition to lead the entire country.

I think as Obama and Edwards continue to try and attack Hillary on this issue, they will look shrill and out of the mainstream which only helps her out. They are getting desperate at this point, b/c their messages of "hope" and "two americas" is not catching on - so they will latch on to anything at this point they perceive to weaken Hillary.

Good luck boys, you have a massive uphill battle, and right now you just look like scrappy little school boys trying to get the teacher in trouble.

Posted by: priusdriver | August 7, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: HORNET12 | August 7, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

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