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Everything You Hate About D.C. Is in the Podesta Divorce

Five ways the divorce reveals Washington’s corruption.

by
Myra Adams

Bio

April 21, 2014 - 9:56 pm
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It is well-established that Americans do not trust the federal government and believe that government itself is the nation’s top problem. Naturally, much of that ill-will is focused on Washington, D.C., with its partisan elected officials, inept bureaucrats, bloated government, corruption, and those influence-peddling Washington lobbyists.

The Podestas’ “lobbyist vs. lobbyist” divorce provides the perfect platform for the average American to justify why they harbor such negative feelings. At this writing, Tony and Heather Podesta, multi-millionaire owners of separate influential lobbying firms, are embroiled in a nasty separation with the curtains pulled back so they can both use the media to gain an edge in their divorce proceedings. The juicy court documents are truly a peek into elite life in Washington, and beautifully illustrate five reasons why Washington’s way of doing business is completely broken.

1. Washington lobbyists have excessive influence

Says Tony Podesta: “I see lobbying as getting information in the hands of people who are making decisions so they can make more informed decisions.”

On the surface this sounds rational. However, what Mr. Podesta neglects to say is “the people who are making the decisions” are beholden to lobbyists like him for campaign cash if they wish to still have jobs after the next election. “Informed decisions” are often unduly influenced by lobbyists, and that is precisely why lobbyists’ clients hire them in the first place. The system is a circular gourmet food chain.

2. Bigger government means all sectors of the economy need guide dogs that are sniffing for special treats

In order to deal with ever expansive, overcomplicated, and intrusive government, lobbyists are hired by their clients to seek favorable treatment, special exemptions, or relief from something. Then of course there is always a desire for a larger piece of the government pie with contracts or grants.

Sometimes lobbyists even have a hand in helping to write legislation, policy, and regulation while continually fueling Washington’s engines with campaign checks. Often in anticipation of a big pay period, the “buy your lobbyist a new vacation home” and “pay your kid’s tuition to Harvard” are pet names attached to complicated new regulations, policies, or legislation.

The system is not only a circular food chain, but a 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet.

3. Lobbyists make millions while average Americans make $51,371

Tony’s firm earned $13.4 million in 2013, down from $54.8 million in the election year of 2012.

Heather’s firm earned $3.7 million in 2013, also down from 2012 when she earned $14.5 million. (Be sure to check out both their client lists.)

Thus, after 11 years of marriage, and charges of Heather’s unfaithfulness, their contentious divorce is centered on who gets the $5.6 million mansion in Washington, as well as homes in Virginia, Italy, and Australia. Then there is the “world famous” art collection with 1,300 pieces estimated to be worth hundreds of millions, in addition to the jewelry, investments, and both businesses with prestigious Fortune 500 clients. Most intriguing will be the valuing of the “Podesta brand” that Heather insists she helped build. Splitting these assets will buy the best divorce lawyers in the city their “new vacation homes.”

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All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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It certainly helps to have a name like PODESTA..
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
“I see lobbying as getting information in the hands of people who are making decisions so they can make more informed decisions.”

Sadly, this is true. One staffer once mentioned in a discussion that lobbyists are seen as vital. Say a Congressman has a vote on issue X coming up which the Congressman and staff know little or nothing about. Their options:

1. write memo to relevant Federal agency (if known) asking for info and wait 4-6 weeks while they avoid the issue or send in wishy-washy, avoid any controversy statement that is devoid of information OR

2. call up lobbyists and get a full color presentation and meeting within days. Plus you might get a nice donation in the deal too from the group paying the lobbyist.

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Term limits, true Balanced Budget and Return to States of their forgone Rights are starting points to reigning in this Washington DC We The elite People of Culture of Corruption in every corner of this small enclave of privilege and benesse. If this Existing form of governance is allowed to continue, USA will be no better than any third world tin-horned dictatorship...and mind you, that is just around the corner with current US SCOTUS a corrupt entity unto itself. Even this bunch of gold diggers is on the prowl for Washington DC Gold. Soon, USA will be what all good "socialists" have fought and died for over the years, namely: a two-tiered economy. UBER RICH AND DESTITUTE POOR. Pray. Amen. God Bless America, Join a local Tea party, urgently. Register to vote this upcoming mid-term. God Bless Our USA.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lies, betrayal & big money...I smell a screenplay in this story.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good informative article, Myra --shows how big money and connections play an outsized role in our government. Lobbyists bribe professional politicians for laws beneficial to their clients and professional politicians extort money from lobbyists by threatening to pass laws detrimental to their clients.
To career pols getting reelected is Job #1 --and that takes big bucks so that's how lobbyists and career pols get so rich. How to stop it without violating anyone's constitutional rights? Pass term limits on congress! That is the one thing both career pols and lobbyists fear most. www.termlimits.org sign the petition to help move the proposed term limit amendment on congress.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Term Limits" won't stop this...that's a "pipe dream"!! The most "connected" pol's will simply line up their supporters to run for office & use the Lobbyists to get them elected...so the original "elected" will be "pulling the strings/puppet-master" from a safe distance...meaning...when their corruption scandal finally sees the light of day, they will be well protected & the current "elected" (operating on their orders) will "do the time", while "their puppet-master" will get off scot free.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, that's right, so let's keep doing what we're doing!

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hated it the last time this article was posted. Now I must relive it?

Oh, the Humanity.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here is the problem -

The right to lobby is at the heart of the First Amendment. Lobbying is a combination of the right to free speech and the right to petition the government. Shall such rights be granted only to groups popular with the media? Shouldn't landlords, for example, have the right to have their side heard? Or oil companies?

The only way out is, as Par4Course says below, to drastically reduce laws and regulation - on all levels of government.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The right to lobby is at the heart of the First Amendment. Lobbying is a combination of the right to free speech and the right to petition the government."

No, it's not. That's the Established Wisdom, but it's not true. Not even close to being true.

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrats are for the little guy /s.

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only way to reduce the money spent on lobbying is to reduce the power of the federal government, a cause few current politicians have any interest in.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
HYPOCRITICAL - Not hypercritical
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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