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Quote Author Cited
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. James Madison
It is more profitable for your congressman to support the tobacco industry than your life. Jackie Mason
Sadly we have government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the lobbyists. That is no way to run the Senate. Ted Cruz
Spin laws into gold. Sam Wilkin
What do Saddam Hussein and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle have in common? Neither man wants America to drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Family Research Council
Lobbying is just another form of advocacy. It’s like trying a lawsuit. Haley Barbour
There’s a real fundamental need for us. You think we have a bad system now? Without us lobbyists, just see what kind of government we would have them Paul Miller
Government exists to protect the interests of the powerful from the will of the people. Vince Taylor
The environmental movement will never be able to come remotely close to matching the corporations and their auxiliaries dollar for dollar in influencing the electoral and policy-making processes…. Accordingly, campaign finance reform ought to be at the very top of the environmental movement's legislative agenda. Philip Shabecoff
The corporate flacks, hacks, lobbyists, and influence peddlers, the practitioners of modern PR ... have become a kind of occupation army in our democracy. John Stauber
Do not be frightened into their surrender by the alarms of the timid, or the croakings of wealth against the ascendancy of the people. Thomas Jefferson
You have convinced me that you are right. Now go out there and force me to do it. Franklin D. Roosevelt
There is no reason for a lobbyist to give us gifts. They are supposed to give us information. Louise Slaughter
The Cabinets who rule the destinies of nations from the various capitals of Europe are but the tools of the moneyed interest. Their quarrels are not dictated by sentiments of national pride or honor, but by the avarice and lust of power on the part of the class to which they belong. James Connolly
I noticed that the highly organized lobbies in Washington were producing results regardless of the justice or injustice of their demand. Walter W. Waters
The AFL-CIO giving money to the Democratic Party has all the appearances of dinosaurs mating. John Naisbitt
A liberal doesn’t sell out to the special interests. George McGovern
We live in an age of organizations with anodyne names that conceal their real agenda. Verlyn Klinkenborg
A child can't see through campaign promises, but you can. Anonymous
Nagle's Rules Anonymous
One handful of money is stronger than two handfuls of truth. Anonymous
The principal reasons that special interests can extract their price from government is money .... Those who do not accept money from PACs are those who have other sources. James G. Abourezk
This, Mr. Chairman, is a proposition to establish there [in Tupelo, MS] a [Federal] fish hatchery. We have the ideal place for a fish hatchery. Why, sir, fish will travel over land for miles to get into the water we have at Tupelo. Thousands and millions of unborn fish are clamoring to this Congress this day for an opportunity to be hatched at the Tupelo hatchery. John Mills Allen
State legislatures tend to be dominated by suburban and rural interests. William J. Althaus
It is very important at this juncture to eliminate the influence of big money and special interests in politics. John Anderson
Attacking lobbyists is a good lobbying technique. Wright Andrews
Most people working day in and day out do not have the time to come to Washington to look out for their interest. Moreover they don’t know how. Wright Andrews
Those who have lobbyists are more likely to get what they want …. Those who have more money [to spend on lobbying] are more likely to prevail. Wright Andrews
PACs represent thousands of little people. Beryl Anthony
Here is still another very objectionable bill. It is so outrageous as to be ridiculous, but it needs to be looked after and I hope there will be no difficulty killing it. John D. Archbold
Half the lobbyists in this town claim credit for the sunrise at least once a week. Bruce Babbitt
[Referring to lobbying:] You get a job in Congress or on a presidential campaign, step up to the administration, and finally go on to easy money. Fred Barnes
[Our movement] needs to look like a grass roots effort. Roy Beck
Farmers who are legislators are the easiest to buy and seduce. Henry Ward Beecher
Members of state legislatures are owned by doctors and lawyers. That's why workers' compensation cannot be solved. Anthony Beilenson
The special interest is the other buy’s interest and general interest is your own. Jagdish Bhagwati
Lobbying, in large part, is conducted to prevent change from happening. Jeffrey Biggs
[Lobbying] has reached such a position of power that it threatens the government itself. Its size, its power, its capacity for evil; its greed, trickery, deception and fraud condemn it to the death it deserves. Hugo Black
Priorities are set by legislators, regulators and industry interests. The consumer gets the left-overs. James Blaszak
A legislator has thousands of issues he must decide. Five minutes of access to present your case is very valuable. Thomas Hale Boggs Jr.
Who do you have coming to see you about the subsidies? Business people, no one else. Thomas Hale Boggs Sr.
We target people who are genuinely undecided. It's not a good use of money to target senators who are flat opposed or who are already with you. Jack Bonner
Nobody ought to be absolute; everybody ought to be protected against arbitrariness and wrong decisions by the representations of others who are being affected. Louis D. Brandeis
The conflict between the policies of the administration and the desires of the financiers of big business is an irreconcilable one. Concessions to the big business interests must, in the end, prove futile. Louis D. Brandeis
There's no interest more special than yours. Cary Brazeman
We need people willing to do things because they are doing what is right, not because some powerful trade association wants it done. Richard C. Breeden
After this election only three people will be able to see the President. Billy Broadhurst
What Congress does is respond to pressures that are upon it. Hank Brown
Toshiba was able to purchase access to those who were writing the legislation. They won, but what they did was very offensive. John Bryant
All legislative bodies which control pecuniary interests are as sure to have a lobby as an army to have camp followers. Where the body is, there will the vultures be gathered together. James Bryce
... the trouble is, once you give in to a Voting Bloc, you become an addict. Just about every politician in New York is a political junkie. William F. Buckley Jr.
The power of the crown, almost dead and rotten as prerogative, has grown up anew, with much more strength and far less odium, under the name of influence. Edmund Burke
[Describing "political alienation:" The feeling that politics is a racket for a few insiders and is meaningless to the rest of the people. James MacGregor Burns
America’s real majority is suffering a minority complex of neglect. They have become the real foes of Negro rights, foreign aid, etc, because … they feel forgotten, at the second table behind the tightly organized smaller groups at either end of the U. S. spectrum. Horace Busby
If you [members of Congress] vote against us, we're going to throw your ass out of office. William Bywater
It seems another way that skills learned in law school can be used for less-than-admirable ends. Guido Calabresi
If you get your provision in the first draft of a bill, then the opposition has to get it out to defeat you. Arthur Cameron
You cannot rely on House or Senate staff to pass a piece of legislation for you, but if you have antagonized staff, they can block you. Arthur Cameron
Spend most of your time with the people who are against you. Your friends are going to vote for you anyhow. Arthur Cameron
Women are not a special interest group in the usual sense of the term. We are half the population. Virginia Anne Carabillo
The worst enemy of good government is not our ignorant foreign voter [immigrants], but our educated domestic railroad president, our prominent business man, our leading lawyer. John Jay Chapman
As government grows bigger and more directly involved in the economy, the question of who gets what, through the medium of the lobbyist as broker, is of paramount importance. Marquis Childs
Everyone else is represented in Washington by a powerful lobby ... But there is no lobby for the people. Shirley Chisholm
Japan is running an ongoing political campaign in America as if it were a third major party. Pat Choate
On streets where statesmen once strolled, a never-ending stream of money now changes hands—tying the hands of those elected to lead. Bill Clinton
Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle. Barber Conable
We're frightened by the interest groups. We act like silly nincompoops. We can't make cuts that cause some sting. We can not even do a thing. Silvio O. Conte
When I bought a new car, the folks back home were sure the lobbyists had gotten to me already. Silvio O. Conte
Nine tenths of the callers at the White House want something they ought not to have. Calvin Coolidge
In their hours of timidity the Congress becomes subservient to the importunities of organized minorities that the President comes more and more to stand as the champion of the rights of the whole country. Calvin Coolidge
My greatest value derived from the fact that I had access to almost everybody. Thomas G. Corcoran
When I left government, it appeared I could get some rather unusual things done from the inside. Thomas G. Corcoran
Three out of four [White House] comments on our rule making were cribbed right from industry briefs. Douglas Costle
The American Rifle Association is one of the most powerful lobbies in America. But it wouldn't be possible unless they had the support of people. Walter Cronkite
I was dismayed by ... the terrible divisiveness isolating so many citizens from the great American community that makes us a people rather than an assortment of factions. William J. Crowe Jr.
A majority of Senators placed on the Committee on Interstate Commerce were men whose sympathies were with the railroads. Shelby M. Cullom
We have an access problem; the wrong people have the access. Mitch Daniels
It seemed to be the custom of the attachés, when in doubt [regarding favors], to refer the stranger to Mr. Judah P. Benjamin, the "Poo Bah" of the Confederate Government. Varina Davis
Almost any member of ours is more effective with his elected representatives than I am. Horace Deets
Almost any member of ours is more effective with his elected representatives than I am. Horace Deets
Government is everywhere to a great extent controlled by powerful minorities, with an interest distinct from that of the mass of the people. Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
It's very difficult to score in this city (Washington DC), so pick your targets and hit 'em. Thomas A. Dine
Two thousand years of painful experiences have forced us into round-the-clock political activity. Thomas A. Dine
It's not difficult for a business to launch thousands of pieces of mail on Capitol Hill, and that scares ... everyone. Bryan L. Dorgan
They who possess the prince possess the laws. John Dryden
We want political power in our country for our philosophy of life. This means we've got to get involved more and more in politics. David Duke
The sense of being involved, of helping the Administration, helps my clients. Daniel Dutko
Political action committees first and foremost want winners. They're not sentimentalists. They're not theorists. They're not philosophers.... They want to buy a piece of a winner. Thomas F. Eagleton
There's the stench of money around this building [the Capitol]. Thomas F. Eagleton
When you're home all the time, you don't have as much courage. Don Edwards
A friend in court is better than money in your purse. English Proverb or Saying
Lobby? That's certainly not what the position is all about. Glenn English
Health-care policy is choked by an aristocracy of special interests. If we don't take these groups on and rein in costs, health care will continue to bleed our economy white. Alain C. Enthoven
I can't think of a better way to spend a morning with somebody than riding around a golf course, letting 'em win. Steve Eure
We do not engage in lobbying as such. However, I do make contact with members of Congress when requested to do so. Royce L. Givins
As one voice must labor speak—to reward its friends and punish its enemies. Samuel Gompers
The oil and gas lobby, with the vast amount of money at its disposal, is, I believe, the most diabolical influence at work in the nation's capitol. It has for years succeeded in blocking the assignment of public-spirited members to the tax-writing committees of the House and Senate, and also intervened in the election of leaders and assistant leaders in both Houses. Al Gore
Political reactions from Wall Street, whether they [are] right of wrong, could eventually influence the real economy. William Greider
There are two Americas. One which influences government and economic policy and the other which must live with the results. William Greider
Access is an earned, essential raw material for the lobbying process but vastly overrated as a finished product all by itself. No dam was ever built ... solely on the basis of access. Robert K. Grey
I'll get 30,000 post cards on an issue before I can even find out that a bill has been introduced. Wyche Fowler Jr.
I hope I use them more than they use me. Barney Frank
It is now possible to say that the judgment of the people has often been wiser than the judgment of Congressmen or even of the experts. For one thing, the public has no axes to grind. Pressure groups aren't at work on the general public, as they are on legislators. George Gallup
The insurance industry has proven by expenditure ... and its legions of pin-striped lawyers, that it is capable of tying up the will of the people. John Garamendi
The Constitution would not actually be a live enterprise without lobbies because that's the way one petitions for the redress of grievances. Leonard Garment
[Addressing businessmen regarding politicians:] I don't know why you're not involved in their business; they're involved in our [expletive] business every day. Thomas M. Gaubert
vested interest Henry George
Lobbying is declared to be a crime. Georgia Legislature
Substance doesn't do diddly-squat if you don't also have access. Chuck Fishman
Resolved that all persons or corporations employing counsel or agents to represent their interests in regard to any measure pending at any time before this House or any committee thereof, shall cause the name and authority of such counsel to be filed with the clerk of the House. George Frisbie Hoar
It's one thing to fight individual members of Congress on individual issues, but if you fight the institution, it will collectively fight back. Julius W. Hobson Jr.
No one wants to appear that they are buckling to pressure. Tim Huchensen
Clean, Commercial and Communists. Collis P. Huntington
I believe with $200,000 I can pass our bill. I do not think we can get any legislation this session for land grants or changing line of road unless we pay more for it than it is worth. Collis Potter Huntington
If we want to influence the discussion in Congress, we can't oppose everything. Karen M. Ignagni
Separate the true charities from the lobbying groups who wish to masquerade as charities. Ernest J. Ishtook Jr.
In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society—the farmers, mechanics, and laborers—who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. Andrew Jackson
The rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Andrew Jackson
It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Andrew Jackson
Even tiny special interests are made up of people whose votes are important to someone. Brooks Jackson
Nothing happens in America without pressure. John E. Jacob
All know the influence of interest on the mind of man, and how unconsciously his judgement is warped by that influence. Thomas Jefferson
Doing consulting and government relations on the hill took up a lot less time than running a record store and brought in a lot more money Josh Hastert
I have never seen such lobbying before as we have had in the last few weeks and such crookedness and complicity among members [of congress]. George Washington Julian
I represent whomever I work for. Ronald C. Marlenee
Members of Congress like us for our information, but they love us for our money. Howard Marlowe
It matters not one iota what political party is in power or what President holds the rein of office. We are not politicians, or public thinkers; we are the rich; we own America; we got it, God knows how, but we intend to keep it if we can by throwing all our tremendous weight of our support, our influence, our money, our political connections, our purchased Senators, our hungry Congressmen, and our public-speaking demagogues, into the scale against any legislation, any political platform, any Presidential campaign that threatens the integrity of our estate. Frederick T. Martin
The public interest is more than the sum total of the interest groups. David Mathews
The national interest is not simply the sum of our special interests and attachments. Charles McC. Mathias Jr.
If you don’t find out who’s paying for these groups then you don’t know what they’re up to. Christopher Matthews
Whenever I tell people I am a lobbyist, there is an embarrassed pause. Arnold Mayer
We forget that we all are the people; that while each of us in his group can shove off on the rest the bill of today, the debt is only postponed; the rest are passing it back to us. We have to pay in the end, every one of us. Samuel Sydney McClure
On Capitol Hill money doesn't talk. It bellows. Ed McMahon
Don't beg, don't threaten and don't assume you're always right. George Meany
One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who only have interests. John Stuart Mill
Hardly a week goes by where somebody doesn't tell me that they won't support me unless I vote a certain way. George J. Mitchell
… the irresistible power of concentrated public opinion John N. Mitchell
We always find that taking a fairly hard-line position means our membership gets the best deal possible. John Motley
Gucci Gulch Daniel P. Moynihan
You can't be a public affairs specialist if you're actually working on the public's affairs. Steven Mufson
This incident shows how complex the lobby law is. Douglas La Follette
A faction may beat a faction, at a pretty fair and even conflict; but in a fair and full contest, it can never beat the people. The great art of factions is to keep the decision from the body of the people. Samuel Langdon
It's hard to mobilize various interest groups ... when its for the benefit of everyone. Joshua Lederberg
The munitions manufacturers and the war lords are in the saddle. William Lemke
The United Mine Workers and the CIO have paid cash on the barrel for every piece of legislation that we have gotten… John L. Lewis
The friends of domestic industry should meet annually to prepare the necessary legislation for Congress after discussing the measures and gathering the facts. [This was one of the earliest suggestions for a special interest legislative program. Friedrich List
The consumer is the only man in our economy without a high-powered lobbyist in Washington. John F. Kennedy
The effective supervision and surveillance of the lobbyist remains as the continuing challenge to the people and the Congress. John F. Kennedy
Mr. Bush has eliminated the middle man and simply allowed lobbyists to run our government. Paul Begala
Coffin sales people would like to have a plague every year. Chinese Proverb
Everyone who lobbies represents someone’s particular point of view. John Edwards
The lobbyists have erected a brick wall around Washington DC—a wall that keeps them in and keeps you out. John Edwards
Any effective national effort seeking to stabilize our burgeoning numbers through reduction in fertility rates (or any other strategy for that matter) has to concurrently demonstrate to the electorate that livelihoods will not be adversely impacted and may even be enhanced. Peter H. Kostmayer
The explosive political issues of our time are issues of values rather than interests. Ron Brownstein
The National Rifle Association are a bunch of extremists. Rudolph W. Giuliani
You name me a profession and I’ll name you a lobbyist that represents them. Ray LaHood
Everybody has an agenda. Angela McGowan
The wisdom of the few may be the light of mankind, but the interest of the few is not the profit of mankind, nor of a commonwealth. James Harrington
The special interests drive both parties to their extremes. Karen Hughes
The great Government we loved has too often been made use of for private and selfish purposes. Woodrow Wilson
Beware of all men who would turn the tasks and the necessities of the nation to their own private profit or use them for the building up of private power. Woodrow Wilson
In a free government, the few, finding their schemes and views of interest borne down by the many, to gain the power they cannot constitutionally obtain, always endeavor to get it by cunning and corruption, conscious at the same time that usurpation, when once begun, the safety of the usurper consists only in grasping the whole. William Manning
Our hope is that an omnibus bill is put together so we can work through our friends on the leadership staff to insert the language at the very end of the process, instead of working through the normal appropriations process—which involves too many people and could jeopardize our legislative fix. Jack Abramoff
No group in this country should be permitted to influence our policy to the point it could endanger our national security James Forrestal
Nature has ordained that the man who is pleading his own cause before a large audience, will be more readily listened to than he who has no object in view other than the public benefit. Livy
Self-interest speaks all sorts of tongues and plays all sorts of characters, even that of disinterestedness Francois de La Rochefoucauld
The people are weary of detecting the voice of a corporation manager in every political utterance, in the legislature, the Governor's messages, in the expressed opinions of mayors of cities and the Senators sent by the State to Washington, and even in the decisions of judges on the bench. William Randolph Hearst
Money speaks louder than words in Washington. Laurenellen McCann
What is being bought by PACs is access ... Can my Uncle Fred walk into a senator's office? Of course not! Gary Hart
Corporate power in the political process is a reality.... Why violate the law by bribing public officials when there are legal and more traditional methods of persuasion that are more effective? Among these methods are campaign contributions, advertising, lobbying, and government-business job exchanges. Fred R. Harris
... corporate power ... is not only economic—the ability to set prices without regard to market pressures or to manipulate consumer demand. It is also political—the ability to use the public government to obtain private economic goals. Corporate power means the ability of big corporations to have more than their fair share of influence over the decisions of government. Fred R. Harris
With shrinking resources, interest groups are pitted against each other. Daniel Hamburg
The interest of the State is in intimate connection with those of the rich individuals belonging to it. Alexander Hamilton
The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson Franklin D. Roosevelt
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people Theodore Roosevelt
We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world – no longer a Government of free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men Woodrow Wilson
The lobbyists are a kind of permanent other government. Jill Abramson
We’d be crazy to let corporations get anywhere near our government. The only reason they want to influence government is to plunder—to steal from children. Robert Kennedy
We probably had very strong influences, shall we say, on about 100 Congressional offices. Jack Abramoff
The financial firms—the same ones who were involved in the 2008 meltdown—are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And frankly, they own the place. Richard Durbin
We have witnessed for more than a quarter of a century the struggles of the two great political parties for power and plunder, while grievous wrongs have been inflicted upon the suffering people. We charge that the controlling influences dominating both these parties have permitted the existing dreadful conditions to develop without serious effort to prevent or restrain them. Ignatius Donnelly
Political leaders, elected by the public and vested with the power to shape public life, owe it to citizens to set better standards regarding their use of money, and their conduct, both in and out of office. Robin Hodess
It is out of nature that any man should think it good that his own order should be repressed, curtailed, and deprived of its power. If we go among cab-drivers or letter-carriers, among butlers or gamekeepers, among tailors or butchers, among farmers or grazers, among doctors or attorneys, we shall find in each set of men a conviction that the welfare of the community depends upon the firmness with which they, — especially they, — hold their own. Anthony Trollope
A dinner lubricates business. William Scott
Lobbynomics William F. Patry
The publishers profess to be the agents of heaven in establishing virtue and therefore that they ought to receive some subsidy from the government. I can ask no stronger refutation to this claim … than the utterly unscrupulous methods pursued by them in seeking to influence Congress on this subject. William Howard Taft
Pharmaceutical companies have the highest number of lobbyists and they pay them the most. A lot of them are former legislators. Harriet Washington
The special interests are protected in Washington and the public interest is submerged. John McCain
Most lobbying is pro-business, in the sense that it promotes the interests of existing businesses, not pro-market in the sense of fostering truly free and open competition. Luigi Zingales
Washington is rigged to favor people who have an army of lobbyists. Elizabeth Warren
I can’t afford a lobbyist. I am the 99 percent Anonymous
I learned to pull wires in the Washoe Legislature, & my experience is, that when a bill is to be put through a body like that, the only thing necessary to insure success is to get the reporters to log-roll for it. Mark Twain
There is many a powerful voice in politics that represents but a small vote. Lewis F. Korns
You think the military-industrial complex is powerful in Washington? The Health Care complex spends 4 times as much on lobbying. Steve Brill
America’s super-elite has been particularly effective at using the tools of a political democracy to protect its minority privilege. Chrystia Freeland
All corporatism - even when practiced in societies where hard work, enterprise and cooperation are as highly valued as in Korea - encourages inflexibility, discourages individual accountability, and risks magnifying errors by concealing them. Margaret Thatcher
In the United States, the two-party system of the old days is seemingly still preserved. But this is only a camouflage of the real situation. In fact, the political life of the United States . . . is determined by the struggle and aspirations of pressure groups. Ludwig von Mises
All modern political parties and all modern party ideologies originated as a reaction on the part of special group interests fighting for a privileged status … Ludwig von Mises
In no form of government is there an absolute identity of interest between the people and their rulers Thomas Babington Macaulay
The banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place. Richard Durbin
The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action . . . I will not stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out. And I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now. Barack Obama
Not all special interest groups are bad. Robert Byrd
All you need is money, endurance, and powerful friends. And the more money the better. E. Howard Hunt
There's no lobby for more spending on Black people in the cities. Jack Germond
One of the lessons I think nearly all women need to learn, is, that when we are dealing with busy people, no matter how much interested we may be in a subject, we must put what we have to say in the briefest possible form. This is even more important if the person to whom we are talking is listening because of our interest and not because of his own. We may be able to impart some of our enthusiasm to him, if we do not first bore him to death and make him impatient because he is being asked to listen to too many words. Eleanor Roosevelt
… lobbyist-larded Washington Kevin Phillips
Three industries in particular—finance, real estate, and insurance—benefit from the system, which they achieve by lobbying heavily and systematically contributing to political campaigns in order to retain and fortify their privileges. Desmond King
In dealing with those who share his bed, the enlightened ruler may enjoy their beauty but should not listen to their special pleas... Han Fei
The existence of an immensely powerful military-industrial complex constitutes a danger to democracy, both internationally and domestically, because it follows its own logic and operates independently of popular participation. Alfred Maurice de Zayas
… men who are governed by self-interest will combine, whether white or black, and the generous and selfless will similarly unite Jose Marti
These [rich peoples] movements sell their efforts not as benefitting the rich alone—that would be too … tacky. Instead they claim to protect freedom, promote growth, safeguard the Constitution or fend off the ever-more-intrusive government. Carlos Lozada
… There’s a lot of [tobacco industry] financial clout up here, and they do their best to reward their friends and punish their enemies …. They’re not really trying to accomplish an agenda, they’re just trying to stop one from ever being mounted against them. Michael Synar
He [President Dwight D. Eisenhower] came under enormous pressure to authorize the purchase of expensive military systems, often from retired officers who had joined corporate boards. Lawrence David Freedman
Segregation is giving America a black eye overseas and is hurting American Business J. Irwin Miller
Political lobbying is like propositioning women. You get slapped a lot of times, but then you get some ‘yeses’ as well.” Lyndon B. Johnson
They could care less about the public. The public comes in third. Number one is keeping their power. Number two are the special interests, the people footing the bill. Finally, the public good might be third — if they can profit from it. If there's no profit, they could care less. Jesse Ventura
… the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes. Andrew Jackson
There are many who say in effect that public opinion has little to do with war, that it is explained by the influence of the vested interests who profit by it — armament makers or groups of capitalists. But even when we have admitted that those interests do exert great influence, it only pushes the question further back. Why are the mass of men, millions, powerless in this matter as against a tiny minority … who profit by the general disaster? There are undoubtedly some who say to the millions in effect: "We should like you to go to war because it would expand our profits." But why do the millions obey? Norman Angell
Too many business have successfully lobbied for special favors and treatment by seeking mandates for their products, subsidies (in the form of cash payments from the government), and regulations and tariffs to keep more efficient competitors at bay. Crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market. But it erodes our overall standard of living and stifles entrepreneurs by rewarding the politically favored rather than those who provide what consumers want. Charles Koch
When the corporations have their paid agents in the labor unions as they have their paid agents in the legislatures, and in the executive councils of the great parties, the necessity for reform in corporate management is clear. Morley Safer
I continue to be moved by the knowledge that a group of organized people can effectively pressure government if they come up with data instead of rhetoric. Louise Reiss
Special interests are interested in whatever's special to them. P. J. O'Rourke
No politician can sit on a hot issue if you make it hot enough. Saul Alinsky
The increasing supply of lobbyists should have driven the price of lobbying down, not up. … The most credible explanation … is that clients grew more and more confident that their lobbyists could deliver something of value in exchange for their fees. … The reason companies started buying, in other words, was that Congress began selling. Thomas Frank
You can get from a politician whatever you demand in this country. The great irony is that everybody complains about how it runs but not enough people direct their force and power directly at the politicians and make demands upon them. Ours is a system that abhors remoteness. If you're remote from this political system, it'll kill you. Mario Cuomo
You cannot move a piece of [energy] legislation through Congress in the year 2013 unless the American Petroleum Institute proposes it. You cannot move legislation without their consent. They are a de facto fourth branch of government. Tyson Slocum
The use of such means and such agents [paid lobbyists] will have the effect to subject the State governments to the combined capital of wealthy corporations, and produce universal corruption, commencing with the representative and ending with the elector. Speculators in legislation, public and private, a compact corps of venal solicitors, vending their secret influences, will infest the capital of the Union and of every State, till corruption shall become the normal condition of the body politic. U. S. Supreme Court
The Saudis fund the spreading of a Nazi-like hatred of Jews. Norman B. Coleman
The Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, the Relief of Free Negroes unlawfully held in Bondage, and for Improving the Condition of the African Race. Anonymous
Donald J. Trump promised to drain the swamp of lobbyists and influence peddlers. Yet, Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has spent millions to influence the US government. Erdogan feels sufficiently immune that he watched his personal security beat up peaceful protesters in broad daylight just minutes after meeting Trump at the White House. The government of Turkey has bought an army of advocates, including high profile individuals with ties to the Trump administration, lobbying firms, and thinks-tanks. The Flynn Intel Group was paid $500,000 to represent Turkey’s national security interests. Flynn belatedly disclosed the transaction, as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act, after his Turkish ties were exposed.... Lobbyists are well remunerated. Turkey pays the Gephardt Group $141,000/month; Amsterdam Partners gets $50,000/month (for working on the Gulen extradition); Greenberg Traurig, Giuliani’s law firm, receives $40,000/month; Capitol Counsel gets $32,000/month; Mercury $20,000/month; Madison Group $20,000/month; McBee Signal $20,000/month; Jim Arnold $20,000/month; MediaFix $9,000/month. Turkey paid APCO Associates $741,000 in 2016. And yesterday, Turkey signed a fixed fee representation agreement with Burson-Marsteller to provide integrated public relations. Work includes media outreach, monitoring and analysis, event support, stakeholder engagement, and social media counsel. The deal was announced just days after Erdogan security attacked US citizens protesting Turkey’s human rights record, which the D.C. Metropolitan Police called a “brutal attack on peaceful protesters.” Lobbyists typically represent foreign interests, no matter how heinous. K Street lobbying firms will almost never turn down lucrative contacts. David L. Phillips (International Affairs)
Those who tell us to be in touch with our own desires are often merely trying to make us believe that what we want is the thing that they are selling. […] We're used to that kind of persuasion, for political candidates as well as commercial products. Amy Althouse
They [The National Rifle Association] not only punish people who do not follow their line, but they dehumanize them. Michael Synar
The fact that the alcohol lobby doesn’t want a particular kind of research to go forward should be a strong reason to fund it immediately” Nicholas G. Evans