Reform Advocates Spoof Unsavory Lobbying Practices
Posted at 4:11 p.m. on Oct. 21
If the video of the stripping senator didn’t make you lose your lunch, the new “feeding frenzy” spot from Represent.Us most certainly will.
In its latest assault against conventional politics, the nearly year-old public advocacy project depicts an encounter between an unscrupulous lobbyist and morally suspect lawmakers, all of whom take turns shoving food and drink in each other’s increasingly messy faces at a fictional dinner meeting.
The gross-out negotiations, which include discussion of sneaking a publicly opposed provision into a must-pass bill, come to an abrupt halt when an activist attempts to inject herself into the conversation — an invasion of privacy that scatters the political insiders to the four winds, leaving the petition-waving interloper stuck with the tab for the garish feast.
The nightmare scenario is just the latest wake-up call Represent.Us has shared with the voting class. The grass-roots organization is continuing to build support for its Anti-Corruption Act (386,000-plus signatories and counting), a comprehensive plan designed to purge politics of dirty money.
Per spokesman Mansur Gidfar, the group will continue its online recruiting efforts (the goal is to amass 1 million supporters) and expects to bring the bill to Congress in 2014.
“Once we have a critical mass of endorsers and have shown we can unseat opponents, we’ll look at getting it introduced,” Gidfar said of the legislative timetable.
Disgraced uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff — who sits on the group’s board alongside former Lousiana Democratic Rep. Buddy Roemer, GOP strategist and “No Labels” co-founder Mark McKinnon and former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter, among others — knows all about currying favor with elected officials.
And he knows how hard it can be to reject all the goodies the K Street crowd has to offer.
“We want to help each other,” Abramoff said of man’s natural inclination to return a favor. “It’s just a problem when you’re a public servant.”