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It's Still a Democracy for the Rich and Connected

October 3, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

Last week I wrote about how the deficit supercommittee has so far held the majority of its meetings in complete secrecy. Well, as it turns out, that’s not exactly true. According to Politico, the committee members have choosen a select group of citizens to give special access to their private meetings to. You and I just happen to not be on the list.

K Streeters with deep ties to supercommittee members and congressional leadership say senior staffers have given them readouts from closed-door committee meetings. For example, senior aides to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who is on the panel, met with several Republican lobbyists on Thursday and among the topics discussed was the prospect for a grand deal. Two days earlier, Kyl and the rest of the committee answered no questions as they brushed past a gaggle of reporters who had waited outside the private, six-hour meeting.

The Thursday meeting with lobbyists isn’t an isolated case. Democratic and Republican lobbyists say they continue to get corporate clients with interests before the committee face time with members and staff.

So, corporations and individuals with the money to hire $30,000 – $50,000/month “access lobbyists” are getting special documents and meetings with the supercommittee while the rest of us are being completely shut out of the process. When the supercommittee unveils their bill and we see that it protects the wealthy and the corporations while passing the burden of austerity off to the rest of us, this is why. The 99% never had a chance.

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