Corporate lobbyists don’t just influence politicians but are used by politicians to influence the corporations.
But this Washington Examiner story shows that lobbyists don’t just help corporations to influence politicians. They also become means by which politicians influence corporations. In fact, politicians can get corporations to spend money for a government project on which the government is specifically forbidden to spend money.
Under the headline, “Hillary’s K Street friends bring in the corporate cash,” Timothy P. Carney writes,
In the late 1980s, Congress forbade the use of federal funds for a U.S. pavilion at World Expos. The Bush administration generally declined to contribute a pavilion to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. As she came into office, Clinton decided that a pavilion was a priority, because Chinese officials saw the U.S. abstention as an insult.
So Sec. Clinton in 2009 set out to raise tens of millions of dollars from giant U.S. corporations. In order to do so, she called on her cadre of lobbyist friends. Their job was to hit up their clients and other corporations.
This fundraising effort was run by longtime Clinton operative Kris Balderston, described by authors Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen as “the political fixer who could help her build unique networks connecting her State Department to other government agencies, the nonprofit sector, and the corporate world.”
Balderston today leads the Washington D.C. office of lobbying and public-relations firm Fleishman Hilliard. This is typical. All of the players in the Clinton world get rich by parlaying their “public service” into lucrative gigs lobbying or flacking for the corporate clients they were previously regulating, subsidizing, or otherwise working with.
In this way, Hillary Clinton got corporations to essentially act like an arm of the executive branch that was not accountable to Congress. Weirdly, it reminds me of the Iran Contra scandal. Of course, Hillary knew that none of these corporations was doing this from motives of charity. They expected to be rewarded in various ways. So essentially Hillary Clinton was committing herself to care for and protect the agendas of these corporations. But these promises would never be openly acknowledged. Taxpayers and voters would never be openly told that Clinton was now obligated (even more) to these corporations.
This was essentially a secret government.