Saturday, December 21, 2013 10:26 PM
Even if lobbyists cannot legally contribute from their personal funds, they all seem to control the PAC's of their clients and can send funds from that source, so the prohibition on personal funds is virtually meaningless. Either way, the recipient knows that the lobbyist was responsible for getting him the money.
The real threat to democracy was a system originally set up by Basnight, and now perpetrated by Thom Tillis. The special interests are encouraged to contribute to a fund controlled by the presiding officer of the legislative body instead of to individual legislators, and the presiding officer doles out the contributions to various candidates in his party. The lobbyist then only has to deal with the presiding officer's staff instead of each legislator seperately. The presiding officer, being in control of the money, uses it to control the individual legislators. This is nothing but a corrupt system, and Tillis is the new Basnight.
In the last session, we saw the special interests repeatedly buying Tillis this way, and Tillis cared nothing for Republican principles if they got in the way of what the special interests who were giving him money wanted. A good example was severely watering down the E-verify laws on employment of illegal aliens, which is completely contrary to Republican principles, but was asked for by agricultural special interests that were funding Tillis. Tillis even tried to get driving permits for illegal aliens.
Lobbyists giving money to Berger, Jr. does not bother me at all, but Tillis' wheeling and dealing with agricultural special interest and selling out the interests of NC citizens does. Tillis is running a corrupt Basnight-style system and it stinks.