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Meet the deep-pocketed Biden Bros: lobbyists for arms dealers, for-profit health-care, Azerbaijani oligarchs, Comcast

Published: October 25, 2019
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Source: Boing Boing

As Joe Biden cruises towards his latest (and final?) humiliating defeat in a Democratic primary, The Senator from MNBA is talking a big game about how he will reverse his decades-long dependence on massive cash infusions from America’s richest, worst people to sustain his political career.

And it true that his (anemic, underfunded) campaign isn’t directly taking money from big corporations. But since Citizens United, campaigns no longer have to climb into bed with the ultra-wealthy and their terrible corporations in order to become beholden to them: thanks to PACs and Super PACs, a literally unlimited amount of money can get behind a candidate like Tailgunner Joe in a bid to propel a corporate-friendly "centrist" to the presidency.

Enter Larry Rasky, a key figure in the creation of the Biden Super PAC, and also founder of Rasky Partners, lobbyists for Raytheon, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and the Republic of Azerbaijan (as well as former clients like the Education Finance Council). Rasky is joined by fellow lobbyist Steve Schale, whose clients include the Florida Hospital Association, JetBlue Airways, State Farm Insurance, Walt Disney Parks, AT&T, and the Associated Industries of Florida.

The Biden campaign has been in bed with America’s most notorious lobbyists literally since day one, when the campaign launched at a private party held at the stately mansion of Comcast’s chief lobbyist.

Biden has articulated the problem with big-money donations in the past, noting that privately financed elections allow those donors greater access to politicians than ordinary Americans.

“Lobbyists aren’t bad people, special-interest groups are not bad people, but guess what? They’re corrosive,” said Biden during a 2007 campaign event.

“It’s human nature. If you, Lynn, bundle $250,000 for me, all legal, and then you call me after I’m elected and say, ‘Joe, I’d like to talk to you about something. You didn’t buy me. But it’s human nature, you helped me, I’m going to say, ‘Sure, Lynn, come on in,'” he explained.

Joe Biden’s Super PAC Is Being Organized by Corporate Lobbyists [Lee Fang/The Intercept]

 

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