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[Bailout Lobbying] Can’t See The Houses For The Trees

Let’s try something different, take another path through the forest….

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a Congress that will vote for its constituent’s behalf and their conscious. Imagine they will vote on the issue and not worry about the election in a month.

Did you seriously listen to me? Kick yourself for being so darn naive…

One of the great things about technology, is the trend toward transparency. According to MapLight.org [1], a public database used to provide more political transparency through the tracking of donations, found a clear pattern in the votes cast in the bailout bill H.R. 3997, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 [2].

House Democrats split their votes on this bill, 140 voting Yes and 95 voting No. Democrats voting Yes received an average of $212,700 each, about twice as much as those voting No, $107,993.

House Republicans also split their votes on this bill, 65 voting Yes and 133 voting No (and 1 not voting). Republicans voting Yes received an average of $273,181 each, 50% more than those voting No, $181,688.

About a 50% vote spread with the takers dominating the takees.

From McCain pulling that last minute ride in and save the day to Obama using this turmoil to aggressively raise funds, it sure seems like the impending financial crisis has gotten lost in the politics.

The US Senate is voting on a revised bailout bill today [3]:

would also raise federal deposit insurance limits to $250,000 from $100,000, as called for by the two presidential nominees only hours earlier.

The move to add a tax legislation — including a set of popular business tax breaks — risked a backlash from House Democrats insisting they be paid for with tax increases elsewhere.

Here are some thoughts on the bailout at Politico [4]

This morning I listened to the president’s commentary on BBC [5]about the failure of Congress to vote for the bill [6] (after he touted the strength of the economy as recently as 2 months ago [7]), this address probably fell on deaf ears and that’s a shame. He’s a lame duck with a 70% disapproval rating [8]. The administration didn’t appear to be aware of the extent of the crisis until the GSE bailout.

Here are some less hyped thoughts on a bailout [9].