(CLYDE FITCH REPORT)
By Webb Hubbell
When it comes to politics, one thing is on everybody’s mind: How do we end the dysfunction in Congress, stop the war between political parties and return to a day when elected officials work together for the common good? Right now, Republicans blame Democrats, who blame Republicans, some of whom blame the Tea Party Republicans for refusing to work with moderates in their party, let alone the Democrats, while progressive Democrats hold their noses when voting on middle-of-the road proposals from their own leaders. And nobody these days wants to work with President Obama, who claims that nobody wants to work with him (or have him visit their state during election season).
Advertisement - story continues below
So it’s easy to focus on and blame politicians and political parties for our crumbling infrastructure, our failing schools, our lack of immigration reform, and throw up our hands and give up on the lot of them. But to do so would be to focus on only part of the problem. There is an elephant in the room we call our political system and it shouldn’t be ignored — the influence of special interests not just in D.C., but in our state houses as well.
In the nation’s capital alone, more than $3 billion has been spent on lobbying Congress and Federal agencies since President Obama took office. This does not include billions each year spent on campaign contributions and unreported lobbying activities. No state legislature or state executive branch is immune from the influence of special interests or lobbying, either.