Wall Street Threatens To Cancel GOP Fundraising

Wall Street firms are threatening to cancel GOP fundraising over banking tax proposal

Image: "Wall Street sign on Wall Street" by JSquish, Wikimedia Commons (CC_BY-SA_3.0) http://bit.ly/1kvyKWi
Image: “Wall Street sign on Wall Street” by JSquish, Wikimedia Commons (CC_BY-SA_3.0) http://bit.ly/1kvyKWi

Wall Street firms are threatening to turn off the money hose that fuels Republican election campaigns, according to a recent article in Politico. One GOP lobbyist told Politico that “commitments for big-dollar fundraising have been “canceled for the foreseeable future.”

What happened? Rep. Dave Camp had proposed a tax bill that would cut into the profits of large private equity firms.

Lobbyists from the big banks, among them Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan, are trying to stop the proposal in its tracks.

And they seem to be quite successful. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) backpedaled and told lobbyists that Camp’s proposal was just a “draft.”

At the same time, Democrats are rubbing their hands over potential campaign funds coming their way. The head of the Consumer Bankers Association put it this way:

[T]here’s no doubt some champagne corks were unleashed in Democratic circles last night. They got an early election gift

Democracy in America, 2014.

Lobbyists Pretend Not To Be Lobbyists

Lobbyists Pretend Not To Be Lobbyists

K Street NW street sign with DC flag and "EVACUATION ROUTE" markings, at the northwest corner of Farragut Square. 12 February 2011. By Ben Schumin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
K Street NW street sign with DC flag and “EVACUATION ROUTE” markings, at the northwest corner of Farragut Square. 12 February 2011. By Ben Schumin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

(Almost) Nobody loves a lobbyist.

Corporate lobbyists, who cluster around K Street in Washington, D.C. are approximately as popular as the bubonic plague among Americans. That is, except for the miniscule minority of people who send them to Washington to buy off politicians with potential campaign contributions.

Ok, that might be a little polemic, but you get the picture. In 2011, a Gallup poll found that seven in ten Americans thought that lobbyists had too much influence.

Yes, lobbyists as a group have a huge popularity deficit. And the profession has taken notice of that.

Just put a new label on it, and we’re good to go!

Case in point: In what can only be called a clever public relations maneuver, the umbrella organization of lobbyists in the US is changing its name due to the unpopular image of the profession, as Politico reports.

The American League of Lobbyists will vote to adopt a new name, the Association of Government Relations Professionals.

‘Government relations professionals’ sounds less like ‘lobbyists,’ at least it does not contain the word ‘lobbyist.’ But the general business of this group of professionals in Washington will hardly change because it has a brand new shiny label attached to it.

Will people fall for it? That remains to be seen. But it is quite obvious that after Citizens United (2010) and with the upcoming McCutcheon Supreme Court case on the horizon, corporations and wealthy individuals are working harder than ever to subvert American democracy by funding (re-)election campaigns or sponsoring primary challengers to politicians not working (enough) in their favor.