Government of the special interests, by the special interests and for the special interests

From 1987-1992, I ran the political programs division of The National Association of Realtors — then the largest trade association in the world and operator of the largest political action committee. As vice president for political programs administration, I had oversight of the PAC, an “independent expenditures” program that could dump millions into targeted races and an “issues mobilization” operation that also spent millions on ballot initiatives that favored the real estate industry. Our mission was simple: support, influence and when possible control the passage of legislation that benefited the business of selling real estate. We represented 800,000 members of
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Tea party struggles to regain lost glory

Displaying the kind of political hypocrisy that drives political hyperbole, the tea party is trying to discredit the growing and widespread anti-corporate protest movement as a sham grassroots operation driven by unions and other special interest groups. In a case of the pot calling the kettle black, the tea party — itself bankrolled by the energy Koch Industries energy conglomerate — is sending in infiltrators to try and identify paid union activists. Videos claiming “debauchery” and “terrorism” now appear on tea-party affiliated web sites.  One video claims to show a anti-wall street protestor defecating on a police car but sources
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Americans overwhelmingly support Obama’s jobs plan

Republican filibusterers in the Democratic-controlled Senate doen’t care much for President Barack Obama‘s jobs bill. They proved that by blocking floor debate on the bill Tuesday. A new poll, however, shows Republicans are ignoring the will of the people, who approve of the President’s job plans by nearly a 2-1 margin. The latest survey by NBC/Wall Street Journal shows 63 percent of those polled approved of Obama’s “Americans Jobs Act,” while 32 percent oppose it. The American public apparently also likes Obama’s plan to repeal tax loopholes for the rich — something ardently opposed by Republicans who depend on the
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What happened to Ron Paul?

Ardent followers of Texas Congressman Ron Paul — a two-time contender and two-time loser in past Presidential campaigns — felt this could be his time to seek the Presidency. Buoyed by a tea party movementthat he is often questionably credited with founding and back for another run with the same populist message that brought in massive amounts of campaign cash — but few actual votes — in 2008, Paul appeared ready to build momentum for a 2012 run. But momentum — and tea party support — are fickle mistresses and Paul found himself left behind as the tea party shifted
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Romney cruises to another debate win as Perry’s fade continues

The overhyped GOP debate Tuesday night reinforced the momentum of frontrunner Mitt Romney and continued the slide into political oblivion for former flash-in-the-pan contenders Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. Romney, riding high going into the debate with a high-profile endorsement by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, cruised through the evening by looking far more Presidential than any of the other pretenders to the throne while avoiding any major gaffes or wounds from his challengers. While others tried to land punches on Romney, the former Massachusetts governor avoided any direct hits and deflected attacks with ease. The Bloomberg/Washington Post debate was
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Perry crams for do-or-die debate

With the GOP running out of saviors and Herman Cain’s fortunes rising, former Presidential front runner Rick Perry is doing something he’s never had to do before in his political career — actually work hard to prepare for a debate that can either rescue his flagging campaign or drive the final nail into its coffin. Most political experts tell Capitol Hill Blue that Perry faces a do-or-die test tonight.  He’s dropped to third in most polls and his numbers continue to dwindle after dismal debate performances and increased questions about his racism, cronyism and jobs claims that don’t jive with
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Even Palin’s few remaining supporters didn’t want her in the race

Sarah Palin thinks her supporters are sad she decided not to run for President. She’s wrong. Sarah’s faithful didn’t want her to run anyway. Which begs the question: Why follow her in the first place? Appearing on Fox News Thursday, Palin — who announced a day eariier that she would not seek the GOP Presidential nomination — apoligized for her cult-like following for stringing them along for months with candidate-style actions before saying “nada” to a run. “I apologize to those whom are disappointed in this decision,” Palin told Greta Van Susteren.” “I’ve been hearing from them in the last
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Cain: It’s all the fault of the poor and unemployed

GOP presidential wannabe Herman Cain says Wall Street isn’t to blamefor the millions of Americans out of work. It’s not the Republicans. Nah, the blame for unemployment lies with thoese who don’t have jobs. That’s right. If you’re out of work, look in the mirror. It’s all your fault. Want to reduce unemployment? Simple. Get a job. That simplistic answer may explain why Cain is the latest frontrunner contender in a GOP Presidential field where frontrunner ebb and flow like the tide. “Don’t blame Wall Street,” Cain told The Wall Street Journal this week. ”Don’t blame the big banks, if
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Remembering Steve Jobs

In 1982, 27-year-old Steve Jobs walked into a meeting of the Washington Area Computer Users group to talk about the Apple II, a “personal computer” he and Steve Wozniak created in a a garage a few years earlier as part of their new computer company. I owned an Atari 800 in those day, a rival computer based on the same processor. As I listened to Jobs speak, I realized this brash, long-haired young man from California was a visionary. The Apple II, like the Atari, was more game box than computer in those days but Jobs talked of a future
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Is a ‘Cain Mutiny’ underway in the GOP?

Herman Cain is the latest “big thing” for a frustrated Republican Party searching frantically for a contender — any contender — to unseat President Barack Obama. Meanwhile, former flavor of the month Rick Perry is plummeting in the polls. A new CBS poll puts former Godfathers Pizza CEO Cain tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the top of the crowded GOP field for the presidential nomination. Romney has 17 percent — up one percent from two weeks ago — while Cain jumped 12 points for a tie for first. Perry fell 11 percentage points — to 12 percent
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