Saturday, January 24, 2004

Wealth provides access to key government officials

Source: The Mercury News
Date: January 23, 2004

From the article:
    The political strategist who helped Arnold Schwarzenegger win last fall's governor's race by positioning the actor as an incorruptible outsider is now capitalizing on his own insider access.

    Mike Murphy, who remains one of the governor's top political advisers, is expanding the West Coast operation of his firm, DC Navigators, which has hired a lobbyist and is touting its links to Schwarzenegger.

    ''With strong relationships on Capitol Hill and inside the Bush and Schwarzenegger adminstrations, Navigators can provide access to the highest-level decision makers in Washington and Sacramento," the company boasted on its Web site until late Thursday.
The DC Navigators Web site provided all of us with a surprisingly simple explatation of how the concentration of wealth works today. Wealthy individuals and corporations get special access to the government. Wealthy people pay DC Navigators lots of money to get "access to the highest-level decision makers in Washington and Sacramento." Because of that access, laws and policies skew strongly toward the wealthy and away from the needs of the citizens of the nation as a whole.

After the statement on the Web site was flagged by journalists, DC Navigators changed their Web site. However, they did not change their practices. Today there are hundreds of companies that "provide access to the highest-level decision makers in Washington," and there are tens of thousands of lobbyists on Capital Hill. Most of these firms and lobbyists focus solely on the needs of wealthy corporations and individuals, because the wealthy are the ones who can afford these services.


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