The Dark Side of the Convention

>> Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Democratic Convention is the place to be right now. Denver is the center of the political world and so everyone from delegates to politicians to journalists has flocked. One thing to remember though is that where the powerful go so do the special interests and the lobbyists. These people are not there to party and have a vacation, these people are there to work.

They way they work is to set up parties and receptions. They invite lawmakers and power brokers to these events. They invite some to pitch their money and there interests and they invite others for a job well done. If you doubt that you can read this piece by Glenn Greenwald at

Last night in Denver, at the Mile High Station -- next to Invesco Stadium, where Barack Obama will address a crowd of 30,000 people on Thursday night -- AT&T threw a lavish, private party for Blue Dog House Democrats, virtually all of whom blindly support whatever legislation the telecom industry demands and who also, specifically, led the way this July in immunizing AT&T and other telecoms from the consequences for their illegal participation in the Bush administration's warrantless spying program. Matt Stoller has one of the listings for the party here.

The blue dogs are a blight on the Democratic Party. The one thing i cant stand about them is not that they are more conservative than i would like, they are, but its that they refused to stand up as a classic conservative or a liberal. they threw the 4th amendment under the bus for campaign contributions. You cant balme everything on the BD though. They just happened to be the ones serving corporate interests on this particular bill. They are not at all alone in their attitudes, as Greenwald illustrates

It was really the perfect symbol for how the Beltway political system functions -- those who dictate the nation's laws (the largest corporations and their lobbyists) cavorting in total secrecy with those who are elected to write those laws (members of Congress), while completely prohibiting the public from having any access to and knowledge of -- let alone involvement in -- what they are doing. And all of this was arranged by the corporation -- AT&T -- that is paying for a substantial part of the Democratic National Convention with millions upon millions of dollars, which just received an extraordinary gift of retroactive amnesty from the Congress controlled by that party, whose logo is splattered throughout the city wherever the DNC logo appears -- virtually attached to it -- all taking place next to the stadium where the Democratic presidential nominee, claiming he will cleanse the Beltway of corporate and lobbying influences, will accept the nomination on Thursday night.

While you watch the powerful speeches by public officials keep this ATT event in mind. The glitz and the glam are one side of the convention, the corporate money and lobbying is the other.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

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