(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Money buys the world, both the Dem side and the other. In fact, I’ve said far too many times – the goal of Money is to enable Republicans and neuter the Dems. It’s why the rachet works.
And by Money I mean the big boys (Our Betters) who own both sides of every bet. Money is why progressives never win, even when Democrats do.
One of the biggest problems with lobbying in Washington D.C. is the extent to which so many influence peddlers work behind closed doors, refusing to disclose their clients or register their work with the ethics office. Newt Gingrich became the poster boy for this phenomenon with the revelation that he was paid $1.6 million by Freddie Mac’s lobbying office, a fee the former Speaker laughably tried to downplay as part of a contract for “history” lessons. But Gingrich isn’t the only politician working as an unregistered lobbyist. I have uncovered video that shows liberal icon Howard Dean discussing his government affairs work for corporate interests. [..]
Dean has been lobbying without disclosure for about three years. In 2009 after his stint as chairman of the Democratic Party, Dean joined the law/lobbying firm McKenna, Long & Aldridge as a non-attorney “Strategic Advisor.” The firm’s lobbying practice has a wide range of clients, from health care, to insurance, to even Keystone XL beneficiary TransCanada. The firm website says Dean “focuses on health care and energy issues, as well as providing expertise derived from his extensive experience in public office.” The firm seems to advertise Dean as a lobbyist, despite the fact Dean has not registered as a lobbyist.
One of the most under-reported political stories of the last year is the devoted advocacy of numerous prominent American political figures on behalf of an Iranian group long formally designated as a Terrorist organization under U.S. law. A large bipartisan cast has received substantial fees from that group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), and has then become their passionate defenders. The group of MEK shills includes former top Bush officials and other Republicans (Michael Mukasey, Fran Townsend, Andy Card, Tom Ridge, Rudy Giuliani) as well as prominent Democrats (Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark). As The Christian Science Monitor reported last August, those individuals “have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak in support of the MEK.” No matter what one thinks of this group – here is a summary of its activities – it is formally designated as a Terrorist group and it is thus a felony under U.S. law to provide it with any “material support.”
There is more from Jeremiah Goulka, formerly a lawyer from the Bush administration and an Iraq analyst for the RAND Corporation, in these two op-ed articles posted by Greenwald at Salon:
THE IRAN WAR HAWKS’ FAVORITE CULT GROUP
Despite the flurry of support by some prominent politicians as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scrutinizes its case, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a dissident Iranian group based in Iraq with a propaganda arm in Paris, is no enigma.
The U.S. declared the MEK a terrorist organization 13 years ago partly because the group is thought to have assassinated three U.S. Army officers and three U.S. civilian contractors in Tehran in the 1970s. The group’s pep rallies feature U.S. politicians lured with high fees to come speak on its behalf. The MEK wants the U.S. government to take the group off its terrorist list – as the E.U. and U.K. have already done. But before that happens the group requires close scrutiny.
INVESTIGATIONS BEGIN INTO MEK SUPPORTERS
The U.S. Treasury Department has begun an investigation into nearly two dozen prominent former government officials who have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to promote the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian dissident cult group that has been designated by the State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) since 1997.
These officials include several prominent George W. Bush Administration anti-terror officials like Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge, Homeland Security advisor Frances Fragos Townsend, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, UN ambassador John Bolton; as well as former Republican Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani; former Democratic governors Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Howard Dean of Vermont; ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh; and retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton. These former officials have given speeches at home and abroad urging the State Department to remove the MEK from the FTO list.
I was a supporter and admirer of Dr. Dean when he ran for the Democratic nomination in 2004. I met him at a conference in 2009 and had a conversation with him about humanitarian aid. As of late, I’ve been extremely disappointed with many of the things he’s said and policies he has espoused. I should not have been too surprised at this, since most of the Democrats that I supported have left me hating the stuff that they do.