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Lobbyists and Presidential Candidates

Two recent articles illustrate the extent to which lobbyists dominate Presidential campaigns. One hope for Obama is that he may be less influenced because he has been in Washington for less time and thus the lobbyists have had less time to get control of him.

The New York Times reported on the role of Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist, Mark Penn’s, lobbying firm‘s role in getting US approval of the Columbia free trade agreement. It sounds like his firm, Burson-Marsteller, has lost its contract with Columbia at the same time Mark Penn has lost his position with Hillary’s campaign.

Meanwhile The Nation reports on the role of the lobbying firm of one of John McCain’s insiders, Charlie Black, in making Ahmad Chalabi one of the most important men in Iraq. Black is a principal at Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey, another one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Washington, which is also owned by Burson-Marsteller.

It looks as if Hillary and McCain are not masters of their own destinies, but are rather tools of backroom masterminds intent on bringing Washington under their control. It appears that Burson-Marsteller is America’s Rasputin.

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