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Congress Members Who Took RIAA Cash 287

Posted by kdawson
from the et-tu-barack-et-hillary dept.
palewook writes "The Consumerist posted a story containing the contact information of 50 United States Representatives & Senators who accepted RIAA money during their last election campaign. Seems like a good time to let a few people know how you feel about RIAA shills."
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Congress Members Who Took RIAA Cash

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  • Does it matter? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by initialE (758110) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:04PM (#19364481)
    In the end it's the cash that's going to determine the next election, not what you read on /.
    • by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:10PM (#19364527)

      In the end it's the cash that's going to determine the next election, not what you read on /.
      Next?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I guess she's not getting enough from the offshorers at Tata Consultancy Services [tata.com].
        • Yeah, and it's funny as hell that she's become such a boogeywoman to right-wingers. She's more conservative than a lot of Republicans.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bhirsch (785803)
            In other words, anyone who does something you don't like is a conservative?

            Clinton is big on socialism -- that does not mean she (or any other Democrat/Socialist) won't take corporate political contributions. After all, that is how corporations survive socialist governments.
        • by gfxguy (98788) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @07:46PM (#19367159)
          I don't think $2000 is enough to really "buy" anything.

          Most of the people listed got $1000, and they probably don't even know the RIAA donated to them.
      • by OmegaBlac (752432) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:51PM (#19364839)
        There will be a next election in the US. And one after that. Totalitarian/Fascist governments only take power because the good people stand around and do nothing. If Americans are sheepish enough to standby and allow Bush or any politician to appoint himself dictator-for-life, destroy the fundamental principles on which this nation was founded, and eradicate democracy, then maybe freedom is too much for them to comprehend and they deserve Big Brother/Sister to think for them.
        • by pallmall1 (882819) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @02:27PM (#19365071)

          ...any politician to appoint himself dictator-for-life, destroy the fundamental principles on which this nation was founded, and eradicate democracy, then maybe freedom is too much for them to comprehend and they deserve Big Brother/Sister to think for them.
          Yes, you have just described Hugo Chavez and Venezuela.
    • Concur. What fascinates me is the capacity of humans to look at this sort of thing and appear shocked.
    • Cash (Score:3, Insightful)

      by simpl3x (238301)
      Did you see how much it costs to buy a congress critter! Nearly nothing. You could raise that much before noon.

      WTF, these people are selling their souls for peanuts. What we need is an "open" lobbying fund.
      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        Did you see how much it costs to buy a congress critter! Nearly nothing. You could raise that much before noon.

        WTF, these people are selling their souls for peanuts. What we need is an "open" lobbying fund.

        Problem isn't so much that politicians get bought, it's that they don't stay bought.

    • Re:Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:28PM (#19364691) Homepage
      Wow. How very defeatist. "Oh corruption is rife, so let's give up and resign ourselves to being fucked over for the rest of our lives". Good attitude.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:10PM (#19364523) Journal
    Lobbyin is the weakest part of US democracy. I am really not a US basher (a colleague says I am a disguised CIA operative), but I don't understand what place lobbying has in a democracy. I don't care how transparent it is, it's still a bribe.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:17PM (#19364591)
      Rebuild the Capitol so that the front door leads directly to the Congress chamber. No lobby, no lobbying.
    • by Original Replica (908688) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:20PM (#19364619) Journal
      It's more that it's just very difficult to stop, without severely interfereing with the ability of common people to support their prefered candidate. ie: "If I can say good things about this candidate I like, why can't I put a favorable ad in the paper or on TV for him?"
      • by Sunburnt (890890) * on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:25PM (#19364665)

        It's more that it's just very difficult to stop, without severely interfereing with the ability of common people to support their prefered candidate.

        It's really that hard to draw a line between individual and corporate sponsorship?

        • Can the CEO of a major corp give a donation? Can said CEO work repayment into their annual bonus with ease? It's pretty easy to circumvent any obvious laws prohibiting corporate sponsorship, and then it become that much harder to see who is giving $$$ to who.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jZnat (793348) *
            Set a monetary limit (including the value of any indirect bribes given to them) per person. Make it a felony to try to bribe politicians above this limit or for colluding with others to influence them.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by gerrysteele (927030)
              Should it be made a felony to bribe a politician AT ALL perhaps?
            • Damn 'activists' should get a real job.
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by beyondkaoru (1008447)

              Set a monetary limit (including the value of any indirect bribes given to them) per person. Make it a felony to try to bribe politicians above this limit or for colluding with others to influence them.

              aside from the 'colluding with others', that's how it is. large organizations/companies/whatever get their members and/or employees to donate, and give their people bonuses for cooperating. so, 4k each from a thousand employees can make a big difference. the corporation itself donates too, but it's relatively insignificant as demonstrated here. i don't know personally if the riaa member companies (sony etc, you know, the real evil folk, riaa is just a front for us to get angry at) use this tactic, but i wo

          • by Sunburnt (890890) *
            I concur with JzNat, and would add the necessity of making the limit really small, something in the order of $250, with an annual review to adjust for inflation in terms of media advertising costs.
          • Even if laws were easy to circumvent, you could still make it harder to coordinate without someone involving lots of people, shifting money around in suspicious ways, and increasing the risk of getting "caught" doing something you obviously know is wrong.

            If, instead of companies being able to contribute a big lump of money, they had to get 100 employees to make little donations, they still might be able to do that. But it's be harder to set that up, it'd be harder to coordinate, and it'd be harder to get a

        • Yes, because there are ways to cheat. If you let any individual sponsor something, then any company can as well as they can simply use one or more of their workers as an individual for the purposes of sponsoring. Ban any corporate sponsorship and they'll just find a way around it (Okay Bill, we're going to give you a 2,000,000 bonus and you're going to donate 1,900,000 to X fund to sponsor X thing or Y bad thing will happen to you etc.)

          I hate lobbying as much as the next guy (who is on /. and hates lobbying :P) but don't try to make it seem like a small problem, so long as you allow ANY sponsorship (which isn't always a bad thing, especially individual sponsorship) there will be corporate lobbying, no matter how many laws you put up to try and stop it. Every law has a loop-hole and these companies have armies of lawyers experienced at finding loopholes. Say you make the max contribution for a company 10,000 or something, they'll just create a whole bunch of sub-corps and have each donate 10,000 to get back to their original contribution. That's just a single example, everything you do to stop it will have a loophole by nature of needing to allow unaffiliated individuals the chance to help.
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Sunburnt (890890) *

            Say you make the max contribution for a company 10,000 or something

            Say we get rid of this destructive legal fiction that identifies corporations as persons, and set their max contribution to zero.

            While I'm at it, I'd really like a pony.

          • Ban any corporate sponsorship and they'll just find a way around it (Okay Bill, we're going to give you a 2,000,000 bonus and you're going to donate 1,900,000 to X fund to sponsor X thing or Y bad thing will happen to you etc.)

            In that case, that would be "money laundering". Given how much of a hassle it is now just to open a checking account, I'd say that prohibitions on money laundering could be enforced, putting the DHS to use for good instead of evil.

          • by Coward Anonymous (110649) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @06:09PM (#19366623)
            Actually, it's very simple to thwart lobbying and corporate money. You need three basic rules:
            1. If you can't vote, you can't contribute money.
            2. Your contribution per election is limited to $X where X is on the order of a few thousand to perhaps tens of thousands of $
            3. One's monetary contribution right is protected equivalently to the right to vote (i.e. just as it is illegal to buy a vote or to force a vote, it is illegal to buy a contribution, to force a contribution, etc.). I think the only debatable exception to the contribution=vote equivalency is if the contribution should be anonymous or not. In any case, if your army of lawyers can find a loophole in this, well they can force votes outright for less money.

            It's simple and airtight. Now you just need to find an elected body that isn't corrupt to make this law...
      • by jez9999 (618189)
        Whilst I agree with your point, the US attitude seems to be like saying that you won't bother to criminalize murder, because you'll never eliminate it. Surely the point is that you should be taking as many stringent steps as possible to make lobbying/bribery very difficult? Adopt a 'The Less, The Better' attitude.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      See, the thing is it's actually very difficult to get congresscritters to actually do their work and *read* the bills they are signing or striking. So we have a whole type of highly overpriced lawyers whose sole job is to do that work for them, and then explain it to the critters in plain English, while skewing the results towards whatever company paid them the most.

      See? It makes perfect sense :-P
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bheer (633842)
      The problem with lobbying is that if you ban it, things just move underground and become unaccounted for. This way at least you know who's in bed with whom. If you think legislators from Europe (say, or really anywhere in the world) don't have special interests, you're dreaming.

      • I think politicians in general are the scum of the world. Everywhere. It's a question of how well does the system keep tabs on them, and I think the US system is a bit weaker than some of the european ones. I do think that some of the politicians in Europe (expecially in countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, etc) are in fact more corrupt than the worst in the US. And let me not go into the European Union level. But still, look at some things, for example the crap the food industry in the USA managed to pull!
    • by HighOrbit (631451) * on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:51PM (#19364845)
      Lobbying, in itself, is not the problem. Lobbying in its pure form is nothing more than persuasion or advocacy. In fact, I would argue that lobbying is beneficial in a technically complex and diverse society where various groups need to have knowledgeable people pressing their case to lawmakers who could never be expert on the details themselves. Lobbying is important in a pluralistic democracy.

      The problem is that the lobbyists can "bundle" donations in order to give fat checks to lawmakers. Bundling is a technique of pooling money from several donors to get around limits on individual donors.

      Only one form of campaign finance reform will ever really work. All others will ALWAYS fail. The one that will work is to enact the following - Allow only registered voters who are eligible to vote for a candidate/issue may donate to that candidate/issue. Only registered voters in a district have any business influencing elections in that district. People from California, New York, or anywhere else have *NO* legitimate reason to donate to a candidate or referendum issue in Nebraska, but I would be willing to bet Nebraska Senators and Congressmen raise most of their cash from out-of-state interests. So there is the problem, and I've given the solution.

      Of course nobody who is vested in the current system will ever go along with that proposal. It doesn't matter whether its the politicians or business groups, labor unions, or 'advocacy' groups like on both the left or right like the ACLU, AARP, or NRA. They all believe they have an interest in the current system.
      • by stomv (80392) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @02:37PM (#19365151) Homepage
        There are 100 US Senators and 435 (voting) US Congressmen. All of them vote on US legislation which has a direct and immediate impact on my life: the laws with which I must comply, the taxes for which I must contribute, and the social services for which I may be eligible.

        Since all 535 of these men and women will have a substantial influence on my life, why again shouldn't I be able to influence the elections of all 535? Taking it a step further, why shouldn't I be able to support groups which are interested eliciting the same reaction I'm interested in for any or all of the 535 legislators?
        • by aldheorte (162967) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @03:03PM (#19365303)
          I'm not sure I agree with the post you replied to because it becomes a complex issue, but you are already represented by your two senators and your representative. That's your maximum representative entitlement in the federal government. How would you feel if you strongly supported a candidate for your representation and a bunch of people in the next state over funded another candidate who won using that money to vote for their interests instead of yours?
      • by Rocketship Underpant (804162) on Sunday June 03, 2007 @05:24AM (#19369719)
        "Lobbying, in itself, is not the problem."

        I agree with you up to that point.

        Speaking as a non-American, I observe that the problem is not lobbying. The problem is you have a system where any kind of immoral or oppressive law can be be imposed, for a period of infinite duration, by a small group of people (Congress) who bear no responsibility for the crap they bury their country in. And by definition, every single law that is added to the books takes away your liberty in some way. Everything that's actually bad was already a crime 200 years ago.

        No, the slim possibility of not being re-elected is not an example of a Congressman "bearing responsibility" when it comes to laws that take away your freedom.

        Your Constitution was designed to prevent this problem, but no one pays it any attention (except Dr. Ron Paul), so it's worthless.

        Naturally, having this enormous power, and no corresponding responsibility, in the hands of a small group of people attracts the very worst people, and the very worst laws. Lobbying isn't the problem. The fact that your system seems expressly built to invite corruption and abuse is. Compare the freedom a typical American 150 years ago had compared to today. In most respects, viewed on a large scale, the decline of the US has proceeded at an extraordinarily fast rate. If fascist and socialist legislators keep passing hundreds of stupid laws every year and spending trillions of your great-grandchildren's money, where do you think the country will be in 50 years?

    • I don't understand what place lobbying has in a democracy. I don't care how transparent it is, it's still a bribe.

      So, where would you draw the line? Where does liberty of expression end and lobbying start?

      Suppose there's a law stating that no one can donate more than $1000 to any candidate. How would that stop me from selling marketing services to some candidate at a $100 thousand loss for my company? When the other candidate comes, "sorry, we do not offer that service anymore, here, check our catalog for

      • by Sunburnt (890890) *

        Suppose there's a law stating that no one can donate more than $1000 to any candidate. How would that stop me from selling marketing services to some candidate at a $100 thousand loss for my company? When the other candidate comes, "sorry, we do not offer that service anymore, here, check our catalog for our new price list".

        I'd imagine a conviction for conspiracy to conceal election fraud would stop you for a few years, depending on the skills of your lawyer and the zeal of the prosecutor.

      • by MrMr (219533)
        Suppose you formulate the law slightly smarter, like making any donation with a value of more than $1000 illegal?
        • by mangu (126918)
          But, as I said, you don't need to make a donation to help a candidate. Selling $1 million worth of services at a price of $900 thousand would be perfectly legal. Even assuming it were illegal, how would you audit every company to make sure they weren't favoring one or the other candidate?
    • Lobbying is the weakest part of US democracy.
      No, it isn't. That honor would go to the television news cycle.

      Think about it -- the ONLY qualification for a lobbyist is an ability to connect those in power with people who really care about something. You don't need to get a license, or pass a test, or (AFAIK) even be a citizen. You cross the T's, dot the I's, and in most cases report what you spend and give so "Clinton supported the RIAA!" can be screamed in the next election. And when all that's said and done, the honorable whomever still gets to do whatever the heck they want to until the next election.

      And the alternative is worse -- instead of sending professional intelligent people to Washington, they could just rally folk and spam Washington, drowning out any other issue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by karim7783 (987023)
      Well, after seeing Mr Obama's name on the list, I went and submitted the following Post under the category of "Ethics" -- I cannot believe that Senator Obama, a man who asked for the debates to be licensed under the "Creative Commons" could have the nerve to accept money from a group of extorting corporate gluttons like the RIAA who are KNOWN for pressing charges against people who have NO means to defend themselves. And the fact that Senator Obama is a Democrat, makes me truly wish that I was NOT!! What ev
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PhysicsPhil (880677)

      Lobbyin is the weakest part of US democracy. I am really not a US basher (a colleague says I am a disguised CIA operative), but I don't understand what place lobbying has in a democracy. I don't care how transparent it is, it's still a bribe.

      Curiously enough, lobbying is one of the three constitutionally protected professions in the United States. The First Amendment ensures that all citizens have the right "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".

      For those who are interested, the othe

  • Benefits vs. Costs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PresidentEnder (849024) <<wyvernender> <at> <gmail.com>> on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:11PM (#19364535) Journal
    The biggest contribution on the list is $9000; most are $2000 or less. If you knew about the public opinion on the RIAA, why would you take money from them? It seems like the negative publicity f having taken money would outweigh whatever you could do with the money.
    • by Rydia (556444)
      Nerds on the internet is not "public opinion." I'm sorry, they act terribly, but just because a group of people think something, especially as insular a group as the one that frequents slashdot, does not mean there is any sort of public support for it.
    • by dcavanaugh (248349) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:20PM (#19364611) Homepage

      The biggest contribution on the list is $9000; most are $2000 or less. If you knew about the public opinion on the RIAA, why would you take money from them? It seems like the negative publicity f having taken money would outweigh whatever you could do with the money.
      Unfortunately, you are mistaken. We, the voters, have done a poor job of holding these people accountable for much of anything. RIAA is just one of many special interest groups whose low 4-figure contributions make up the funding of a campaign. I suspect if someone looked at the non-cash perks being tossed around by lobbyists, the results would be interesting.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by kestasjk (933987)
        Perks like truly DRM free music and an up-to-date list of RIAA IPs to put in your torrent filter. Put in their shoes could you really say no?
    • by evanbd (210358)
      So... make sure they know that. Call them up and complain.
  • First of all, this is who the RIAA donated to, not who "accepted" their money. I would say nearly all politicians will except money from anyone, except entities who are clearly negative to the mainstream (and the RIAA is NOT "clearly negative" to the mainstream).

    One of the ways the RIAA operates is by donating money to politicians who then enact favorable legislation on their behalf. Don't let the optimist in you believe that this doesn't work. It does.

    Second of all, these amounts are ridiculously small. Does anyone seriously thinking $1,000-$9,000 is going to buy major legislation? That won't pay for their gold letter opener on their desk. Sheesh, if that's all it takes to pass legislation, I'll pay a couple thou to get MY pet legislation passed.

    In short, what's the story here?

    • by Loconut1389 (455297) * on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:18PM (#19364593)
      That gives me an interesting thought- what if the RIAA gives that money to the ones that -don't- support their cause in the hopes that you won't vote for them next time.
      • by OmegaBlac (752432)
        The only people that would care about such a thing would be people who frequent /., digg, arstechnica, and the other tech/geek sites. Face it, the majority of the US population does not really know who the RIAA let alone whether they are "evil" or whatever. The rest of the US population voters do not care for these type of issues as they do not truly no what it is that they have lost to the RIAA/MPAA/BSA/TCG.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KKlaus (1012919)
        But since Iocane comes from Australia...
    • I'll pay a couple thou to get MY pet legislation passed.
      Please don't. I tried this before but in hindsight I realise that letting my goldfish determine how the country was run was really just putting them under too much stress and pressure for their tiny brains and hearts to deal with.
      • by Sunburnt (890890) *

        I tried this before but in hindsight I realise that letting my goldfish determine how the country was run was really just putting them under too much stress and pressure for their tiny brains and hearts to deal with.
        That's why I've felt so bad for the Republican Congress since 1994. At least they've been honest with us. P.J. O'Rourke (approximately): "Republicans are the party that tells you how government never works, and then they get elected and prove it."
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by palewook (1101845)
      article is from ppl that accepted the money, anyone that canceled the check didnt make the list.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      Second of all, these amounts are ridiculously small. Does anyone seriously thinking $1,000-$9,000 is going to buy major legislation? That won't pay for their gold letter opener on their desk. Sheesh, if that's all it takes to pass legislation, I'll pay a couple thou to get MY pet legislation passed.

      In short, what's the story here?


      Question is: if someone hasn't agreed to lobby about RIAA, why would RIAA pay him even $1. Because they like USA? And thus just randomly send 50 politicians some pocket change?

      Thin
      • by norton_I (64015)

        Things in politics are simplified: if you're suspect in immoral or illegal activity, you should step down.


        That is the stupidest thing I ever heard. Unfortunately, that is often the way things *do* work, but it should not be.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by qbwiz (87077) *

        Question is: if someone hasn't agreed to lobby about RIAA, why would RIAA pay him even $1. Because they like USA? And thus just randomly send 50 politicians some pocket change?

        Well, there's an alternate theory, where politicians already would vote that way, and the RIAA wants to give their campaigns money so that they'll stay in office and be able to continue to help them. It's not exactly great, but it's not nearly as sleazy as the bribery that otherwise would be going on.

    • (and the RIAA is NOT "clearly negative" to the mainstream)

      Really? Where was that survey that showed that the RIAA was considered by people to be the worst corporation in the US? I think they exceeded the distaste shown for Enron and their Ilk.
    • The story is that the actual contributions made to these Congresspeople by media corporations far exceeds the amounts shown. The MPAA is known for having friendly law firms make donations to their cause .. they weaseled around the regulations that way, and still got the law they wanted.

      But you're right in the sense that total amount of campaign contributions received by all of Congress is a drop in the bucket, compared to the amount of money the movie and music industries rake in. And that amount is a pi
  • Dem-Repub Breakdown (Score:3, Informative)

    by natedubbya (645990) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:13PM (#19364543)

    By my count in the article, that's 28 Republicans and 21 Democrats. Of the presidential candidates, the two Democrats Barack and Hillary are on there.


  • $2500 is the average (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dattaway (3088) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:14PM (#19364555) Homepage Journal
    The bribe is about the same for Democrat or Republican and just happens to be about the same as a RIAA "settlement offer."

    Cheap sellout bastards indeed!
    • by Kingrames (858416)
      Maybe that means that these 50 are actually software/music pirates and are actually on our side.

      The RIAA just got their positive/negative signs confused or something.

      it's at least likely, I mean come on, they're morons.
  • by Aeron65432 (805385) <(agiamba) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:15PM (#19364565) Homepage
    I think one very important thing to note about this list is it is pretty equally divided between Republicans and Democrats.

    Only further proves Ron Paul's quote (to paraphrase) when he said to watch out when Republicans and Democrats worked happily together, because the taxpayers and citizens are screwed.

  • ... we prefer to call it "pre-voting". And don't think that who ever those 50 senators are running against in the next elections aren't going to get some "donations" as well. By the time the candidates get to the actual ballots, all of your "democratic" influence is just for show. I'll vote for the guy with a good informative website and not a single TV commercial or trip to my home state.
  • by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:27PM (#19364681) Homepage
    Is it just me who is shocked, shocked by how little it takes to buy a Congressman these days? I mean, in days gone by it would have been hundreds of thousands, a job for the kid to allow him to work through college, a few first class tickets to somewhere nice...

    Now its like $1000-9000. I mean I could buy a Congressman for that amount of money. If Slashdotters just collaborate then for $50 a head we could get Congress to ban Microsoft...

    Either the RIAA is stingy or Congressmen are desperate for extra cash.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sunburnt (890890) *

      If Slashdotters just collaborate then for $50 a head we could get Congress to ban Microsoft...

      You must be new here.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday June 02, 2007 @02:04PM (#19364941) Homepage

      Either the RIAA is stingy or Congressmen are desperate for extra cash.

      Might I posit "both"?

      Now its like $1000-9000. I mean I could buy a Congressman for that amount of money. If Slashdotters just collaborate then for $50 a head we could get Congress to ban Microsoft...

      Really, considering the amount of influence donations/lobbyists have, why don't more people organize around the issues that are important to them, raise money, and buy their own congressmen? At this point, we really should.

    • by IANAAC (692242)

      If Slashdotters just collaborate then for $50 a head we could get Congress to ban Microsoft...

      Or, you could do a quick google search to see just how much Microsoft contributes across the political board. It's in the millions.

    • by erareno (1103509)
      ...Because the McCain-Feingold Law (aka BiPartisan Campaign Reform Act) LIMITS the amount of money an individual doner can give to a candidate (legally, at least). Individuals are allowed to give $2k before a primary and then $2k more after the primary. Corporations get something like a $5k limit.

      Of course, where there's a will, there's a way.....

      The NRA, for instance, gets around this by getting almost every single one of it's memebers to donate money to candidates in trouble. These donations quickly a

  • Lobbying = Freedom of Assembly + Freedom of Speech

    This might seem like inexpensive representation. $2000 to influence a vote. From the elected official's position it works like one of those diagrams cuts of beef [gutenberg.org]. Slice of RIAA, slice of Big Oil slice of Greenpeace, etc. Selling your position piecemeal is quite lucrative.

  • Lotsa posts on this thread are focusing on how small the dollar amounts are etc.. I just want to know why it was these fifty politicians who recieved the cash.

    Oh wait. The article doesn't say that these are the only fifty who accepted RIAA money, just that these are fifty who did. There is not enough info presented to determine anything.

    Now, if they had posted voting records for fifty pols who took cash and fifty that didn't this would be a decent article. As it is, though, this is just filler.

    Regards.
  • by MarkByers (770551) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:38PM (#19364759) Homepage Journal
    I would like there to be a list published of the people that bought RIAA CDs, thereby providing funding to these crooks.
    • by Bryansix (761547)
      Most people don't know when the label is part if the RIAA. Some bands don't even know when DRM will be placed on their CD's. Switchfoot posted an article about the problems with the Sony Rootkit shortly after their CD came out and they found out about the problem. They even had an article on how to defeat it for a short while before being forced to take it down.
  • Shouldn't they be giving the money they raise to the artists?
  • "Do you now, (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @01:52PM (#19364851)
    or have you ever, given money to the RIAA?"

    Is there some inalienable right to free music? If you think the market is overpriced, go hear a local band or pick up your own noisemaker and have some fun with it. Maybe if the RIAA executives hear a bunch of Slashdotters' singing they'll come down on their prices.

    In a country whose long-term drift toward fascism has accelerated into a rush, there are far more important issues that we should be raising hell about.
  • Much as I despise many of the companies that donate money to politician's campaign funds, there's really nothing to see here. Any corporation over a certain size is likely to give money to both the incumbent and the top challenger in each senate race, and the politicians are going to take the money and only give it back if there's a particularly large public outcry over some particular donor (like if the donor is a felon looking for a pardon, or something along those lines.)

    -jcr
  • DEM-REP
    21-28
    $54,000-$67,465 $121.465 total. Not a large amount of money. Especially to each individual. Wonder what they actually got for that.
  • Not a huge impact. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ewhenn (647989) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @02:22PM (#19365051)
    What does $2000 buy you? Like 0.75 seconds of TV ad time? IMO, this is being blown way out of proportion.
  • by presarioD (771260) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @02:37PM (#19365149)
    ...how in any democracy on this planet, even in the banana republics, if a politician is caught receiving money from a private or corporate entity it is a huge scandal that will inexorably lead to the demise of that politician, and in this country it is celebrated and institutionalized under the banner of "fund-raising".

    What is really even more weird and always laughable is how people are always ready to defend this type of "democracy" even with their lives... tsk tsk tsk tsk *shaking head*...
  • RIAA shills, sounds so criminal, tawdry, and perverse.

    Can we just call the Reps and Senators RIAA employees?

    We have no representation with taxation in the US and EU.
  • Given the responses I've gotten from Sen. Leahy, and some of the noises I've heard from him in Washington, I really expected him to be on this list.

    He's not.

    Makes my *next* letter more urgent to write. Maybe he's merely misguided, and really does think "it's all about the artists."
  • Only 50? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PMuse (320639) on Saturday June 02, 2007 @05:07PM (#19366253)
    It's hard to believe that this list is complete at 50 office holders. Is 50 really enough to ensure success? Wouldn't they have tried to acquire closer to half of the federal office holders (536/2+1=269)? That money (269* ~$5000 = $1.4 million) is a drop in the bucket.

    Did this list really backtrack all of RIAA's members and their proxies? The recorded music industry [opensecrets.org] gave $3.1 million in the last presidential election cycle (2004) and $2.4 million in the off year (2006). Not every company in the recorded music industry is RIAA, but these recipients got a lot more money [opensecrets.org] overall than TFA reports.

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