By on June 3, 2009

So reports the Detroit Free Press. For some perspective, The Center For Responsive Politics says GM spent $500,000 in the first three months of the year on independent lobbyists, compared with $2.8 million on its in-house lobbying corps. This “may cause some unique situations,” says to the president of the American League of Lobbyists. And that’s a hell of an understatement, considering that GM will soon be owned by a government led by a man who vowed to limit the influence of lobbyists in his administration. A GM spokesman declined to say whether the administration has given it guidance on lobbying activities.

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19 Comments on “GM Keeping In-House Lobbyists...”


  • avatar
    lutonmoore

    This is like a slow nightmare.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    “considering that GM will soon be owned by a government led by a man who vowed to limit the influence of lobbyists in his administration.”

    But technically, can an employee of the federal government be considered a lobbyist?

  • avatar
    motron

    Truth be told, even government agencies have lobbyists. They just call them “Directors of Legislative Affairs” and so on. Somebody has to be making their case in front of Congress. That’s not the problem. The problem is when “making the case” involves cocaine, hookers, and campaign contributions.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    “This is like a slow nightmare.”

    This IS a slow nightmare.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    Somebody has to be making their case in front of Congress.

    Maybe I need a lobbyist. Oh wait – I guess I have one now.

  • avatar
    menno

    What’s that word?

    Oh yeah.

    ClusterNSFW

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v391/dogsledder54/lobbyists.jpg[/IMG]

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v391/dogsledder54/lobbyists.jpg

  • avatar

    Putting aside the issue of a government owned company lobbying the gov’t, the idea of lobbyists as boogeymen runs counter to the First Amendment – people (including businesspeople) have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

    That the system has devolved into buying influence isn’t surprising since there are humans involved, but at it’s heart lobbying is a vital part of our democratic republic.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    @Ronnie,

    Lobbying appears to have taken the place of citizen input. Most people don’t care about calling their representatives, so instead, we have corporate interests supplanting the interests of citizens.

    We are all too damn drunk and happy with our iPhones, flat screens and deep fried ice cream. These things are nice, but look at the cost.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    At least when they seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last year they fired the lobbyists.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    My opinion about lobbyists changed when I heard a state politician explain their role.

    One of the most important purposes of a lobbyist is to inform our representatives on issues they don’t know much about. For example, my representative grew up in the city, but the legislature was considering a bill regarding chicken farming, which he knew nothing about. Rather than make an uninformed decision, the chicken farm lobbyist helped teach him the technical and business aspects about the issue. Incidentally, nobody showed up with an opposing lobby.

    So the caption in the photo is correct, actually, and it’s a good thing. It can be hard for politicians to decide stuff on their own. There actually are people at GM who know their business better than the politicians.

    Lobbying for kickbacks is another issue, but unfortunately it is the stereotype we’ve been conditioned with. Get rid of the lobbyists, and we’ll end up with a dumber Congress.

  • avatar
    grifonik

    Rather convienently, this could be a mechanism for tax dollars to fund one political party.

    Tax Payer $ –> GM Lobby –> Democrats?

    Is there anything in place to guarantee it won’t happen? Probably not.

    Is there an incentive to do it? You betchya!

    The predictable result; it will happen. (Or maybe I’m just too much of a pessimist)

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    but the legislature was considering a bill regarding chicken farming, which he knew nothing about. Rather than make an uninformed decision, the chicken farm lobbyist helped teach him the technical and business aspects about the issue.

    the idea that the government is making laws on a subject on which it knows nothing and has to be lead by the nose is….um troubling.

  • avatar
    apt34

    As has been alluded to, there is indeed a legitimate role played by lobbyists. However, the excess that some lobbyists do is what we often hear about.

  • avatar
    T2

    Paul Hogan once quipped that the police regard a member of the general public as being either a perp or a possible perp.

    I feel the same way about the paid lobbyist.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Not sure who used it first the other day, but the noun Quagmire is starting to suit the GM/Chrysler mess spectacularly well.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    the idea that the government is making laws on a subject on which it knows nothing and has to be lead by the nose is….um troubling.

    The problem is that world has been getting more and more complex, but the way government has handled it lagged behind.

    If congress (in both federal and state level) actually informed themselves through real education sessions, they would be able to make more meritorious decisions.

    Unfortunately that’s not the kind of people we elect because voters are idiots. Hell, look around you, how many people do think vote for candidates because they are well educated and capable of enunciating nuanced positions?

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