Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sweeney: More Gifts That Keep On Giving

"Lobbying is the fourth branch of government -- if you know what I mean."

- comment in defense of Congressman John Sweeney by Jasper Nolan, Saratoga Republican County Chairman (Post Star 2/1/2006)

I can't take credit for this since most of the information below has been researched by someone else and was sent to me via email. (Like all great bloggers, I will protect my sources, unless they contact me and ask me to give them a link here, in which case I will.) I have included some additional information and the quote below is not an exact transcription. Here goes:

In his darkest hour, John Sweeney just got a $1,500 contribution from the MeadWestVaco PAC. They also gave him $2,000 in 2004. Along with $2,500 earlier this year.

It seems Sweeney helped MeadWestVaco with an International Trade Commission case. Read Sweeney's own October 16, 2006 press release.

Per an August 21, 2006 press release, ITC is going to impose countervailing duties on Indian companies that were competing with MeadWestVaco. And we do quote here:

  • The petitions for these investigations were filed by MeadWestvaco Corp. (Dayton, OH); Norcom, Inc. (Norcross, GA); and Top Flight, Inc. (Chattanooga, TN) (collectively, the Association of American School Paper Suppliers).

Here is how (to the dismay of our founding fathers who wanted 3 branches of government) lobbying got to be the 4th branch of government: under the Byrd Amendment, those duties are then redistributed to (insert gasp, drumroll, and/or nervous laughter here) MeadWestVaco.

It’s a simple process - making campaign contributions in exchange for corporate welfare that ultimately costs us. A couple of thousand dollars in campaign contributions gets you Pretty easy cost/benefit calculation. What if Sweeney had worked this hard to help out the farmers, the teachers, the average people in the 20th district? We elected him, we pay his entire salary and he does not seem to be very concerned about the challanges we face here.

This isn't the first time eyebrows have been raised regarding favors to Sweeney's campaign donors. Remember his boat deals? What is shocking is how cheaply votes are racked up by corrupt lobbyists. Not only is this congress for sale, it is for sale at rock bottom prices to the lowest bidders.

This summer, the congressman could have worked with his party to deliver new ethical rules, but instead the GOP worked to pass pretend reform. See the Washington Post's Kill This Bill. Which Sweeney voted for.


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