Monday, April 25, 2016

60 Minutes expose reveals that members of Congress spend up to 30 hours a week on the phone raising money.

Courtesy of Mediaite:  

“The number one priority they tell new members of Congress is: raise money, raise money, raise money,” David Jolly (R-FL) told CBS’s Norah O’Donnell as part of 60 Minutes Overtime. 

The story that O’Donnell was covering for 60 Minutes dealt with the call centers that elected officials spend upwards of 30 hours per week inside of with one express purpose: make phone calls to influential donors to raise money. 

Holy crap! This is stunning!

No wonder nothing ever seems to get done in Washington.

I think that this "Stop Act" is a good first step in getting money out of politics, which clearly is something that needs to happen as asking for money seems to be the job one for politicians in Washington right now.

And then after that we need campaign finance reform and for a new Supreme Court to reverse the Citizen's United decision.

Just imagine how politics would be changed for the better if all of that were to happen.

I'm fantasizing out loud again aren't I?

Still a boy can dream, can't he?


  1. Anonymous2:36 PM

    And, we need term limits! So many men in the U.S. Congress are elderly, stale and now very, very rich and don't represent the folks that put them there in the first place!

    1. Anonymous4:32 PM

      That's why our legislators run for re-election and let their constituents decide whether or not they're being properly represented. If a legislator is term-limited, s/he is less likely to worry about governing in a way to please the voters and more likely to use their leverage to land a high-paying job.

    2. Anonymous5:13 PM

      Correct that, and I would also like to overturn the electoral college. They're supposed to vote their state's decision, but that doesn't mean they do.

      If popular vote were in place we would never had Dubya!

    3. Maple7:30 PM

      Elections function as term limits. I do believe that the non-elected Supreme Court, however, should indeed have term limits. Some have suggested 18 years, others have suggested forced retirement at age 75. Here in the GWN, our Supreme Court age limit is 75, and the vast majority of them retire well before that age. interesting, eh....?

  2. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Quid pro quo. That's why ordinary people without a lot of money get nothing from their representatives, not even jobs bills.

  3. Anonymous2:52 PM

    Hmmmm...gee, I wonder which presidential candidate might have those very same desires: campaign finance reform, reverse Citizens United, etc.
    Who could that be??

    1. Hillary Clinton of course.

      Hell the Citizen's United decision was all about the Right Wing smearing her in a movie made for that specific purpose.

    2. Anonymous4:09 PM

      Just how is she going to do that, Gryph? I have been forever on your side, but how do you expect her to do that as President? She can't!

    3. I just said that she has the desire, I have no idea how anyone, including Hillary Clinton, could get the money out of politics at this point.

      And yet I still think that needs to be done, and it needs to be done soon.

    4. Anonymous4:18 PM

      Yes, but it's a Supreme Court decision and has to be turned around by Congress. Tell me if I'm wrong; I am hoping I remembering my civics right.

      It all comes down to Congress, and for the life of me I can't seeing them overturning any of it. Dems nor Pubs.


    5. Anonymous5:32 PM

      Strong politicians, ethical politicians, and there is yet to be one, but if there ever is one, that one could stand up and say, "I don't want your money and I'll return any and all donations you send me".

      Betcha none of these money grubbers will ever do THAT! They're all in it for the Ego Trip, the Power and the Money.

  4. Anonymous2:55 PM

    O/T Dirty Koch Money From Donor's Trust
    Funds 'Climate Hustle'

  5. Just a thought from your neighbour, I think the money spent on American elections is obscene and criminal. It would be much better spent on your health, education and roads and bridges, in fact anything but elections.
    Elaine in Canada

    1. Anonymous6:15 PM

      We do know that. WE didn't hire the Supreme Court, Bush did.

  6. Back in the mid-1990's when I was still on active duty, I did a lot of Congressional briefings. I was scheduled to brief a Senator one morning at 1030 -- he didn't show up until 1045 and he looked as though someone had just beaten the stuffings out of him -- he really looked whipped.

    I offered to come back later, he said, no, just give me a few minutes to relax. He then told me he was responsible for raising $9,000 EVERY DAY and he hated it.

    I see the only thing that's changed is the dollar amount.

    1. Anonymous3:54 PM

      Yep. There was a problem even before Citizens United which increased the overall amount spent on campaigns by outside groups.

    2. Anonymous4:32 PM

      It's a wonder they are in session to better the lives of people they serve!

      How many days in session are they nowadays? Little more than half a year? For the salary and bennies they get?

    3. Anonymous6:14 PM

      Half a year? Less than 100 days under Boehner.

  7. Anonymous4:30 PM

    Or......just live webcast the phone calls. It'll take reality web-tv to all new depths of political debasement along with yuuuge through the roof ratings.

    Believe me.

    1. Ooo, there ya go. The lines should be tapped and all conversations should be available on the web for review by the public. BOTH ends of the conversation. Imagine the field day those with nothing better to do can have listening to all of the "code" being developed between these two parties who are now exposed to the world.


    2. Anonymous8:53 AM

      There ya go mlaiuppa! As long as were at it, how about a real time map app to show who's calling whom at any given moment.....along with a good solid stats menu w/graphs to slice and dice call data.... It would give folks the means to view who their rep is talking to, how much, how often, and to what effect.

    3. They are Federal employees taking care of private business on company time using company property. They have no expectation of privacy and it isn't illegal to require that their conversations be recorded and available to their employers for review.

  8. Anonymous4:43 PM

    This IS how>
    We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

    1. Corporations do need some constitutional rights like ownership of trademark, copyright, the right to trade, etc.

      What they do not have a right to is voting which means they have no right to spend money on politics.

      So we need some tight laws forbidding corporations and CHURCHES in meddling in politics in any way whatsoever. That means they cannot give money to any political entity be it a candidate, a group or a political organization. Churches should not be allowed to preach politics from the pulpit, nor endorse one politician or political party over another to the congregation. If they do they should lose their tax exempt status immediately!

  9. Anonymous5:06 PM

    Looks like 60 Minutes has been watching John Oliver. This segment aired on April 4th - Gryph, you'll want to check out the interview with Steve Israel at the end, typical Oliver brilliance!

    - sid

  10. Anonymous5:29 PM

    Stop giving politicians money, that's a start. Their begging makes me ill.

  11. Anonymous6:13 PM

    It is not legal for them to do this. Never has been. The problem is our Reps are only in for two years, so once they find out how little work they get to do for the money they make, how they make nice contacts that will insure a cushy job when they leave, and how nice a health care plan is, they decide they want to stay. And stay. And that take money, lots and lots of money.

  12. Anonymous6:39 PM

    perfect example of damage caused by republican chosen justices.

  13. This is why we need to get money out of politics. We need to find a way for those that wish to SERVE THE PUBLIC to run for office without having to bankrupt themselves or be beholden to the wealthy of this country. Those with money shouldn't own our government and those without money shouldn't be barred from running for office.

    We should not be paying these clowns with taxpayer dollars so they can spend the majority of their time begging for money to use to get re-elected.

    They only work 30 hours a week anyway so they should be using all of that time to actually get something done, not spend it selling themselves to the NRA and Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Agra, etc.

    There needs to be a process where those running for office all get the same amount of money. No fundraising.

    I have some ideas about cleaning up lobbying too.

  14. I include myself in this comment. It is so much easier to express our outrage in blog posts than actually doing anything other than voting. I realize Sanders is persona non grata here, but the revolution he's talking about is a fundamental shift of ideas and priorities. For the first time last night, I heard someone on a news review program say that people are not asking for free stuff. They are asking for a rethinking and reshaping of priorities. How about we shift the health debate from health insurance to healthcare? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shouldn't be dependent on whether or not you're lucky enough to afford a good health insurance plan.

  15. David Jolly was on a local (South Florida) CBS affiliate news program Sunday talking to Jim DeFede about this. He hates having to Dial for Dollars (I don't blame him) and he did say they are 'expected' to raise an obscene amount of money every day! I def think something needs to be done about this at least for Reps. because their 2 years terms have turned into doing nothing except try to get themselves elected for another two years and it's a self-perpetuating problem.

    He didn't seem very confident the bill would go anywhere, sadly.

  16. Anonymous6:36 AM

    If I spent 30 hours a week talking to people on the phone instead of doing my job I'D BE FIRED. Just putting that out there.

  17. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Now I understand why neither Lisa Murkowski nor Dan Sullivan have any time to work on benefits women veterans have earned.


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