Monday, October 20, 2008

The Lobbyists With a Heart

All for the LUV of $$$$!!! Did you expect anything less?

"Lobbyists try to build good political will with charitable gifts" by Raymond Hernandez and David W. Chen, New York Times News Service | October 19, 2008

NEW YORK - They do not seem the most likely classical music patrons: Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin.

But together, these defense contractors are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to the symphony orchestra in Johnstown, Pa., underwriting performances of Mozart and Wagner in this struggling former steel town. A defense lobbying firm, the PMA Group, even sprang for a champagne reception at the symphony's opera festival last month.

Those are YOUR TAX DOLLARS, folks!!! And you can't even get a mortgage bailout from the fuckers!!!!

The companies say they are being generous corporate citizens. But the orchestra is also a beloved cause of US Representative John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, whose congressional committee hands out lucrative defense contracts, and whose wife, Joyce, is a major booster of the symphony.


"She just loves knowing that we have an orchestra that is the quality of a larger city orchestra," the symphony executive director, Patricia Hofscher, said of Joyce Murtha. "Her friends have come here and been impressed by the quality of the orchestra in a geographic and economic region that, let's face it, are not on the beaten path."

For the first time, corporations and their lobbyists are being required to disclose donations they make to the favorite causes of House and Senate members, and a review of thousands of pages of records shows the extent - and lavishness - of this once-hidden practice.

During the first six months of 2008, lobbyists, corporations, and interest groups gave about $13 million to charities and nonprofit organizations on behalf of members of the House and Senate. The donations came from numerous companies with interests before the Congress, such as Wal-Mart, the Ford Motor Co., Kraft Foods, and Pfizer, and were received by charities connected to more than 200 House and Senate members.

Several also acknowledged that charitable giving is a way to build good will with lawmakers, whose decisions can have a huge effect on their business.

Sorry, readers, but I can't gag down any more corruption...