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White House Petition To Investigate Dodd For Bribery 596

Posted by samzenpus
from the follow-the-money dept.
Walkingshark writes "Chris Dodd's recent statements complaining that congressmen who receive donations from the RIAA and MPAA should toe the line has spawned a firestorm of anger on the internet. Among the bits of fallout: a petition on the White Houses "We the People" site to investigate him, the RIAA, and the MPAA for bribery! This petition gained more than 5000 signatures in 24 hours and is still growing. When the petition reaches 25,000 signatures the White House is obligated to respond to it in an official capacity."
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White House Petition To Investigate Dodd For Bribery

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  • Lobbying vs Bribery (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Warlord88 (1065794) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:22PM (#38784541)
    Seriously, what's the difference between lobbying and bribery?
  • Yeah right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:23PM (#38784547)
    That would result in pretty much every lobbyist and politician in America being investigated for giving or taking bribes. We will not see this happen, just like we never saw electronic voting machines being properly audited.
  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:28PM (#38784601)
    I mean that.

    Sincerely,

    Signature # 7,023
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:43PM (#38784783)

    It's pretty insightful at how pretty pointless they are.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-online-petitions-that-prove-democracy-broken/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @05:59PM (#38784973)

    I have a valid ID for the website, but whe attempted to sign in to sign the petition, it wouldn't allow it, even after turning off all my blocking add-ons for the site, and restting my password several times. I've left a feedback via their site form. Hopefully, that still works.

  • by deanklear (2529024) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:01PM (#38784997)
    Carlin was mostly right.

    The question is, are you going to sit there and take it, or are you going to educate yourself and fight back? I'm afraid Carlin fell for an old trick: a tiny minority of powerful people telling the vast majority that they don't have any power. The term that has been coined for this is "antipolitics." Yes it is pervasive, and the message contained in the media and the whole platform of right wing anti-government and left-wing anarchist philosophies.

    The truth is that we have (compared with the rest of the world) relatively free and fair elections, relatively uncorrupted government, and the capability to change our government however we want to if we are willing to sacrifice some time and money to make the change happen. The truth is that most Americans have the government they deserve. We have achieved the technical definition of democracy, but we are letting new forms of aristocracy corrupt it.

    "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."
    --Plato
  • by Discopete (316823) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:02PM (#38785007) Homepage
    CNN had an article, as did my local News website. AlJazeera.com had a bit on it.
    BBC.com has an article entitled "Congress Halts Anti-Piracy bills" that discusses it.
    USAToday.com has a short article about it. It seems that most news agencies are bundling it as a blurb in articles about the bills being pulled.
  • Such Gall! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:53PM (#38785525)
    I love gall (the other kind, not bile). Dodd has gall for standing up to America and admitting who he really worked for, bravo! While others shrink away and obfuscate, Chris comes forward and cuts to the chase. I suspect he never plans to run again for public office (except the presidency, of course). With his connections in Congress and the White House, there is no chance of any legal reprisal. Kudos for standing up and telling the truth about who gets their way in Washington.

    Now, when is somebody going to admit that the entire two-party system is rigged? Chris, you're on a roll; here's your chance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @08:37PM (#38786583)

    I actually worked for a period of time with a former deputy counsel at the Federal Election Commission - What most people don't understand is that the definition of "bribery" here implies that the recipient was doing something illegal - which representatives weren't. By the legal standards, absolutely nothing wrong occurred (the ethical part is another matter). The sad fact is that it's perfectly acceptable for someone to tell a congressman that they will "give you X amount of money" if they vote a certain way, introduce a bill, etc.

    I know a decent amount about this stuff because I spent a number of months pursuing a concept that was right up this alley - it allowed average people to band together to help influence legislation by providing a way to collectively say something like "20,000 people will give you $10 dollars each if you introduce legislation to save the whales and vote yes". The idea was to balance out corporate and special interests (in an admittedly sort of perverted and crazy way. The money would actually leave donors hands and sit in a pool until some conditions were met to release it). Was serious enough about it for a while, and we actually ended up interviewing as finalists in Las Vegas for TechStars (not 100% sure why they were interested lol, but they invited us out, although we ultimately didn’t get in). I eventually decided the whole thing was probably too crazy and I needed a real job.

    I worked with the lawyer to vet the whole thing and make sure we wouldn’t end up getting sued by the FEC. He had concerns, but the idea of holding money over people’s heads in exchange for votes wasn’t one of them. He didn’t even bat an eye about it. I honestly have no idea what actually counts as a “bribe” anymore after working with him. Maybe there are still ethical concerns (violating congressional ethics rules, that is, not general ethics), but legally, I’m pretty sure this isn’t even remotely a concern.

    The website is still up as it was when we applied to TechStars and such if you care to look at the concept – http://oltest3.heroku.com was the testing site. The site’s name was OpenLobby (openlobby.com will just bring you to the landing site. ) Shame it didn’t work out. :)

    If you want a great read on how fcked up campaign finance is, check out "Unstacking the Deck: A Reporter's Guide To Campaign Finance". A bit outdated now, but I found it hard to read without thinking that half of congress deserves to be thrown in jail.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @08:57PM (#38786725) Homepage

    Chris Dodd as bag handler collecting a whack of cream from the top has just made himself unemployed. Being a public idiot when you bought off politicians refuse to obey your orders, will get you fired every time.

    He has effectively made a bad situation much worse. Now any attempt to pass those two pieces of legislation will come of as bribery and corruption. Of one industry setting up legislation to competitively destroy another industry for commercial advantage.

    Everyone knows it was about old world mass media regaining control of what information the public gets, about shutting down every influential blog, forum and web portal not owned or controlled by mass media. Basically to shut down means by which Obama and quite a few Democrats got elected.

    All politicians have now seen which way the wind is blowing, in the battle between the internet and the idiot box, the internet is kicking the idiot box's ass and with it the ability of old world mass media to control the public mind space.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @09:01PM (#38786743)

    "...but if enough stink is made he'll be a less effective mouthpiece."

    Better yet, he'll become the political equivalent of tainted meat, fit for not save the rendering tub. He will be effectively removed from circulation, and that is a win, plain and simple.

    When he is reduced to scraps from the tables of the corrupt, then it is time to focus on the next corrupt politician/lobbyist. Maybe a regular petition campaign, that draws attention to specific examples of corruption, would be picked up by more media (independent, I'm guessing) and this might have some real, positive benefit/results. The White House took a stand against SOPA/PIPA--signing this petition is a way of backing them up on that decision, of standing behind the President. I suppose that the President could interpret every petition signature as a vote next election, and I am guessing he would be correct in that assumption, especially if he takes action in response to that petition.

    I'm refreshing that petition in my browser, and see people signing it at about one signature every 4-5 seconds, less time then it takes to read the petition, yet when I Google "Chris Dodd", there are only a couple of news articles that relate to the comments he made (although I am watching that change quickly. Snowball effect?), so I think it safe to say that people are not reacting to something in mainstream media, but the content of the petition itself. Yay. Perhaps those signatures will come in faster then the dollars from lobbyists.

    Email a link to a friend or family. We all have a stake in this. Maybe it will get enough signatures that the mainstream media can no longer ignore it.

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @09:18PM (#38786867) Homepage

    We also have private citizens, with no law background, writing our laws. One of the biggest employers in my hometown didn't like the exact wording of a law being considered in the city council, so he sent a letter to a councilman with a suggested replacement that had the same effect in spirit, but with better side effects. That's lobbying. That's also shady and underhanded in some opinions, because the councilman was already an acquaintance of the employer. That's also corrupt in some opinions, because the letter eventually led to a lunch meeting (the employer bought) where they discussed the impact of the new wording and how it would affect local business. The end result was that neither the original nor the employer's wording was eventually passed, but the employer's concerns were addressed anyway.

    All this for the width of a sidewalk.

    This is exactly what the US was founded on. The people with interest in the laws should be represented by the lawmakers. They should be free to petition their representatives for what they want, but have no guarantee of getting their way.

    If you want to gather a group of friends to work out a proposal for a law, and review existing history to determine the issue's precedent, and get the legal education to use the correct words to express the intended meaning, and make the phone calls and connections to get the representative's attention, you are absolutely free to do so. Good luck. You could, of course, also just hire a professional lobbyist who already knows the representatives personally, and has already scheduled meetings well in advance, and can do the work for you.

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:28PM (#38787393) Homepage Journal

    "By all means, post an example - just one would be more than sufficient since I stated an absolute - of a corporation lobbying on the behalf of the public good AND that is detrimental to their profits."

    My company, lobbying to get rid of SOPA and PIPA (and probably pissing off a lot of government people which hurts my chances at any sort of gov't contract.)

    Get to kissing.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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