The July 30, 2019 debate with Democratic candidates for president covered little ground. Much of the discussion centered around healthcare in which the two leading contenders – Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – were calling out the terrible role that pharmaceutical and insurance companies play in the ecosystem of healthcare. Each took a turn to slam the amount of money the industries spend on lobbyists.
Sanders said that the pharma and insurance industries spent $4.5 billion on lobbyists last year. He was wrong. They spent a total of $441 million according to OpenSecrets.org, off by a factor of ten times.
Put that aside.
Sanders asked all of the Democrats running for office to pledge that they would not take any money from these two industry groups, as it put them in direct conflict in being able to negotiate healthcare honestly and effectively after these groups paid their way into office.
However, what was not discussed is the much more toxic money that public sector UNIONS pay into elections. These are groups that are sitting directly across the table from elected officials in negotiating their salaries and benefits. The union lobbying dollars are blessed bribes. Graft. It is a direct conflict of interest worthy of banana republics.
But the Sanders/Warren camp won’t discuss the poison, because they contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrats. The socialist psychos would rather paint the entire lobbying fight of mega multi-national corporations squashing the poor little guy.
Here are some union lobbying figures for 2018:
Carpenters and Joiners Union $41.5 million
Service Employers International Union $41.5 million
Laborers Union $31.5 million
American Federation of Teachers $31.1 million
American Federation of State/County/Muni Employees $14.1 million
That’s $160 million just from these five unions, of which 99% went to Democrats.
By way of comparison, here are top multi-national corporations payouts for lobbyists:
Bloomberg $95.9 million (100% for Democrats)
Las Vegas Sands $62.4 million (100% for Republicans)
Microsoft $14.1 million (87% Democrats)
Amazon $13.6 million (69% Democrats)
Koch Industries $12.1 million (99% Republican)
Sanders called out the Koch brothers, and in the past he has slammed Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands owner. Those two are the epitome of the bad billionaires for the socialists, presumably because they are top givers to the Republicans.
Somehow, they neglect to mention the lobbying money of “Fahr LLC” which gave a whopping $73.1 million in 2018 – all to Democrats. Fahr is the middle name of Tom Steyer, a billionaire Democrat who is spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying people in congress to fight climate change and to impeach Donald Trump.
The leading liberals talk about the evils of lobbying money – but very, very selectively. They pretend to be more ethical in talking about the corruption of lobbying dollars, but only for those contributing to Republicans.
There is nothing more pernicious that allowing government unions to contribute money into elections, and it happens at the federal, state, county and local levels every day.
In New York, “government unions collectively spent more on lobbying last year  than the state’s biggest trial lawyers, landlord, tobacco and hospital interests combined. And topping the list, as usual, was New York’s powerful conglomerate of public education unions.” Would it surprise you that New York is a deep blue (Democratic) state?
While I admire the socialist twin’s calls to stay away from pharma lobbyist money, I consider their voices vacuous unless there are louder calls to stop the most sinister lobbying in the country: from public sector unions.
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