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Corrupt Government
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Title: Instead of draining the swamp, Team Trump is filling it
Source: Lowell Sun
URL Source: http://www.lowellsun.com/peterlucas ... d-draining-swamp-team-trump-is
Published: May 5, 2017
Author: Peter Lucas
Post Date: 2017-05-05 09:02:19 by HomerBohn
Keywords: None
Views: 568
Comments: 4

Drain the swamp?

Don't be ridiculous.

The swamp in Washington (Swamp City) will drain President Donald Trump before he drains it. On that you can rely.

The number of lobbyists and special interests in Swamp City under Trump has gotten larger, not smaller.

Despite Trump's campaign promise to "drain the swamp," which was regularly chanted at campaign rallies by supporters, there are more lobbyists flocking to Washington than there are leaving.

Nobody ever leaves Washington anyway. The money's too good. While it may be ego-rewarding for a supporter to be appointed to an important federal position, you can get richer instead by becoming a connected lobbyist.

And while Trump has called for a future crackdown on government officials' leaving office to become lobbyists, business is booming, especially among former Trump campaign aides and fundraisers who have opened offices in Swamp City.

One of them is Lowell native Corey Lewandowski, Trump's initial campaign manager. Lewandowski started the lobbying firm Avenue Strategies and stocked it with other Trump campaign officials.

While Lewandowski is not a registered federal lobbyist, others in the firm are, and they are seeking to represent corporations and foreign countries.

To show his continued relationship with Trump, Lewandowski highlighted his friendship with the president when he tweeted a picture from the White House of Trump and the New England Patriots.

It read, "Great time at the WH today with @realDonaldTrump and the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots." Another newcomer to Swamp City is Ballard Partners, a high-powered Florida lobbying firm, headed by Brian Ballard. Ballard was a Florida supporter as well as a fundraiser for Trump's campaign and his inauguration.

Clearly Ballard and others with ties to the new administration are anxious to capitalize on their Trump relationship, as others have done in past administrations.

The White House, in response to questions, said in a statement that "There is no legal restriction from former campaign aides having positive relationships inside and outside the White House."

Which is true. But it does nothing to drain the swamp.

According to USA Today, Ballard Partners has signed up 20 clients earning more than $1.1 million in a three-month period.

Two of the foreign clients Ballard has signed are the Dominican Republic, which is paying Ballard $900,00 for a one-year contract, and the tiny country of Albania.

The interesting thing about Albania is that Ballard was retained not by the country, but by the left-leaning Albanian Socialist Party, which is led by Edi Rama, the prime minister.

As a matter of fact, the three warring parties in Albania, which will hold a national election in June, all have, at one time or another, hired Washington lobbyists

Rama, a longtime admirer of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, was one of Trump's loudest European critics during the campaign, gratuitously claiming that Trump was unfit to hold office.

Rama, who is fluent in English, said that Trump was "a threat" to both the U.S. and Albania. "May God not allow he is elected president," Rama said.

Now Rama, being challenged for re-election by Tirana Mayor Lulzim Basha of the center-right Democratic Party, is paying Ballard $20,000 a month to make nice with Trump. Like others critical of Trump, Rama is now making amends.

On that score, Basha, who is also fluent in English, has accused his opponents of attacking him because he supported Trump.

Last year, however, his party hired the Podesta Group, which is associated with Hillary Clinton. Since then, and Clinton's loss, his party dumped the Podesta firm for a new lobby group, Barnes & Thornburg.

A third Albanian political party -- the Socialist Movement for Integration -- hired the well-connected McKeon Group to make inroads into Trump's administration. It also scored tickets for the party to Trump's inauguration.

This lobby firm is headed by former U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California, a former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. The third Albanian party is headed by Ilir Meta, the former speaker of the Albanian Parliament who is now president. It is paying McKeon $15,000 a month.

If a poor country like Albania can cough up this kind of money, think of how much the big boys are paying.

Drain the swamp? Yeah, right.

Poster Comment:

Always wise to read someone else's take on draining the swamp. We can only pray that the swamp doesn't drain Trump's brain.

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#1. To: HomerBohn (#0)

Trump's brain has been marinating & pickled in the swamp since the day he was born.

Willie Green  posted on  2017-05-05   9:33:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: HomerBohn (#0)

"And while Trump has called for a future crackdown on government officials' leaving office to become lobbyists, business is booming, especially among former Trump campaign aides and fundraisers who have opened offices in Swamp City. One of them is Lowell native Corey Lewandowski,"

Yeah. Trump has called for a future crackdown on government officials' leaving office to become lobbyists. Lewandowski was never a government official. He can do whatever the f**k he wants.

misterwhite  posted on  2017-05-05   9:38:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: misterwhite (#2)

This time I have to agree with you.

A Pole  posted on  2017-05-05   11:45:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: HomerBohn (#0) (Edited)

"..and I think to myself - what if people really knew what the world was like..."

Real Big Money: Revelations by an insider from Coöperatie De Vrije Media u.a. on Vimeo.

VxH  posted on  2017-05-05   15:03:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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