Marti Oakley          copyright 2012

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If you asked most Americans what a [milker bill] was, most would assume it had something to do with cows.  If you asked them what a [juicer bill] was, most would assume it had something to do with fruit juices.  Do you know what a [fetcher bill] is?  All three are terms used to describe bills submitted for no other reason than to not so subtly, threaten a corporate sector into letting go of some cash; to be deposited of course in the campaign coffers of the sponsoring legislator(s).

On the Federal level a [milker bill] is a bill submitted for consideration, that the sponsor has no intention of seeing passed.  Especially in election years, bills that threaten to raise taxes on specific businesses or sectors or bills that would possibly adversely affect a sector are routinely submitted in what can only be called a political extortion racket.  The mission of the [milker, juicer, fetcher] bill is to apply pressure on corporations (usually) most especially which in turn causes a swarm of lobbyists to show up bearing gifts.  The affected industry then begins ringing the cash cow register and dumping wads of cash into campaign coffers (message received).

S.2204….Let the milking begin!

Thursday, March 30, 2012:  In a 51-47 vote, Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill was voted down. Well of course it was!  It was never intended to pass to begin with.  This bill had to be the primo [milker] bill of all time.

MapLight  has conducted an analysis of campaign contributions from interest groups invested in the vote to members of the U.S. Senate between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2011 from data collected by Open Secrets.org

” * Interest groups that opposed this motion (Republican/Conservative, Major (multinational) oil & gas producers, Petroleum refining & marketing, Manufacturing, Chambers of commerce, and Fiscal & tax policy) gave on average 14 times as much to senators who voted ‘NO’ ($264,051) as they did to senators who voted ‘YES’ ($18,561).

* Major (multinational) oil & gas producers and Petroleum refining & marketing interest groups that opposed this motion gave an average of 6.2 times as much to senators who voted ‘NO’ ($75,713) as they gave to senators who voted ‘YES’ ($12,185).

* Interest groups that supported this motion (Environmental policy, Alternate energy production & services, and Consumer groups) gave on average 5.9 times as much to senators who voted ‘YES’ ($67,753) as to senators who voted ‘NO’ ($11,467).

* Alternate energy production & services interest groups that supported this motion gave an average of over 2 times as much to Senators that voted ‘YES’ ($13,152) than to Senators that voted ‘NO’ ($6,117).

* All four senators who voted against beginning debate on S 2204 count the Oil & gasindustry among their top 10 contributing interests. Oil & gas groups are Jim Inhofe’s largest ($472,000), Mary Landrieu’s third largest ($424,700), Mark Begich’s fourth largest ($145,405), and Ben Nelson’s 10th largest ($193,550) contributors.

The vote fell mostly along party lines with most Republicans voting against the motion and most Democrats voting for it.

Two Republicans, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME), voted ‘YES,’ however, while four Democrats, Mark Begich (D-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Jim Webb (D-VA), voted ‘NO.’ ” (end quote)

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Here is how this works:  The bill is submitted and made public (just so the targeted sector is sure to get the message).  A staged battle ensues via mainstream media.  The bill’s sponsors make a great deal out of the inequities the bill will correct: in this case, ending undeserved, unearned tax credits and subsidies amounting to tens of billions of dollars over the next five years for oil cartels who are showing massive, historically unheard of profits while simultaneously gouging the public on gas prices.

And we all know this was never going to happen no matter how much it should happen; no matter that we know these credits and subsidies should never have been given in the first place. Watching the actual voting process on CSPAN, it was apparent that the voting was staggeringly slow with just enough yes at any one time to make it appear the bill might move forward.  The senators took an extraordinary amount of time registering their up or down vote while they milled around smiling and chatting with one another.  Nothing like making them sweat!

On the other side of this, the money that would have been saved was in no way going to end up doing anything positive even if the bill had passed.  These credits and cash subsidies would be shifted over to renewable energy investments, supposedly.  The obvious contrived notion that oil subsidies and credits  would be given to renewable (not oil) corporations was the real sticker!  That was the big threat.  Not only would oil cartels lose their cash cow, it would now be grazing in the pastures of industry opponents.  They would have killed the cow before they let that happen.

We already know that in reality there is no gas shortage, no oil shortage.

As we have seen on too many occasions to recount, just enough senators (or representatives) of the opposition vote for the bill, and just enough of the supporting party vote no.  We are then told it was along party lines for the most part, but still bi-partisan.  The fix was in before this thing ever landed on the floor of the senate. There is no way, with the massive amounts of money dumped into political campaigns by oil cartels that this bill was ever going to pass.

This was an A.D.D vote….an Already Done Deal.

As the economy continues it downward slide, while we founder under the weight of un-repayable national debt, the Jackass’s in the District of Criminals continue on oblivious and self absorbed as they squander money as if we were sitting on piles of it; as if all of us out here were engaged in insider trading, buying and selling votes and collecting contributions from businesses we decided to extort.

38 billion in tax credits and subsidies to corporations who never needed these kinds of breaks to being with?  And congress refuses to end this while at the same time expecting us to vote for them?

Quoting Emma Goldman: ” If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

And since voting will never change the status quo in the District of Criminals, we can look forward to more milker bills, juicer bills, and fetcher bills.

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Open Secrets http://www.opensecrets.org/influence/index.php

MapLight     http://maplight.org/us-congress/contributions