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Democrats Hoping to Play Up John Boehner's Lobbying Ties in Midterm Battle

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As the midterm congressional campaign heats up, Democrats are increasingly trying to paint House Minority Leader John Boehner as the face of the Republican Party. They are hoping to draw attention to what the New York Times reports Saturday is his "especially deep" ties to a wide network of lobbyists who often call on his office for help and, in return, lend support to his legislative strategies and fundraising for the party.
Among the network of lobbyists who Boehner has cultivated and who have cultivated him, the Times says that there is a inner circle especially close to the minority leader who have earned the nickname "Boehner Land." The newspaper says this group's ties with Boehner "translates into open access to him and his staff."
Boehner's allies in the lobbying world dismiss Democratic criticism of him as "desperate" and "politically motivated," The Times said. The lobbyists say their associations with Boehner "simply reflect the pro-business, anti-regulatory philosophy he has espoused for three decades."
John Boehner
President Obama singled out Boehner eight times in a speech this week in Ohio, although he mostly zeroed in Boehner for his unyielding opposition to all the Democrats' initiatives.
The Los Angeles Times quoted a senior White House aide as saying, "You need a device if you're going to have a debate, because you can't have a debate against a vacuum. Boehner provided an opportunity for that."
But if Democrats hope to make Boehner a visible symbol of what they say is wrong with the Republicans as the GOP has done with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, they have a long way to go.
A CNN/Opinion Research poll this week found that 51 percent of Americans viewed Pelosi unfavorably compared to 33 percent who regarded her favorably, with 16 percent not sure. But only 45 percent of Americans have an opinion about Boehner (22 percent favorable, 23 percent unfavorable) and the rest don't know enough about him to express a view.

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74 Comments

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nhowardtoo

The GOP got us in this horrible mess, and they refuse to work with Democrats to get us out of this mess. Boehner has played golf more than he's been working, and that is very sad that anyone would consider voting for Jack Nicklaus Boehner!!!!!!

September 27 2010 at 7:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GREG

DUH!...like there's anyone inside the beltway who DOESN'T have lobbying ties... YA THINK? How naive do these people think we are? Actually, I hope they continue this ploy...it will come back to haunt them.

September 12 2010 at 12:30 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
len9677

I love how democrats try to play on the acts of others like this gentleman smoking but always fail to mention the bad habits they themselves have like President obama smoking. They complain about his special interest but fail to mention how President Obama was one of the lead politicians taking money from BP Oil. The tactics they want to use are old and the people are wise to them

September 12 2010 at 12:25 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Kenneth

Many people in this country will vote Republican when it comes to their local representative for two reasons. 1. they are mad at the way they voted on certain issues and the main reason is to get Pelosi removed as speaker of the house. We can not count on California to do the job.

September 12 2010 at 11:07 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
Barentan1

The sooner we get John Boehner out of office and replaced by a democrat, the better of this country will be. Remember in November, vote total Democrat. I switched from Republican to Democrat after realizing how bad Bush allowed this country to fall.

September 12 2010 at 10:49 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
justgeoff

Great article..this takes the lid off of the proverbial can of worms. Google how many lobbyist are there in the Obama administration.....the list is long. Didnt Obama promise he was going to get lobbyist out of Washington and politics? The republicans need to go ahead and post the list since the dems want to use this as a campaign issue.

September 12 2010 at 9:51 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
greekielug

Lobbying by anyone should be illegal. Repubs and Dems are equally guilty of being influenced by the big bucks. Better to give candidates a set amount of dollars from taxes. As it is now incumbants have too much of an advantage, and frankly have become no more than a mouth peice for big business and the wealthy. As a life long liberal I was particularly upset when I discovered that Dick Gephardt , one of my liberal heroes, was now a lobbyist for the same business that he railed against when he was in office. Makes one wonder, who can one believe??

September 12 2010 at 9:32 AM Report abuse +18 rate up rate down Reply
CHABSENTIA

You mean there are still Lobbyists in Washington. Say it isnt so. Obama promised in his 2008 campaign speeches that he was going to eliminate Lobbyists and Pelosi promised that she was going to drain the swamp. Why arent we focusing on the Obama promise to eliminate Lobbyists especially when he has hired several of them? Since 1787 we have had Recessions and Depression cycles with no problems until 1930 when Hoover and then FDR interfered with massive stimulus programs and the Great Depression lasted fifteen years and it took World War II to get us out of it. One of the major causes of this Recession is the Housing bubble burst because the Clinton administration made it possible for people to buy homes with no money down in 1999.Since August 2009 true unemployment when youc count all the unemployed has been at seventeen percent. The February 2009 Stimulus promised shovel ready infrastruture jobs because of twenty five percent unemployment in the Construction Industry. Instead it was spent on plugging State Budget gaps, Food Stamps, Medicaid, Uenemployment bebefits and bailing out Unions which is not job creation and why unemployment has remained at seventeen percent overall. The Democrats have been the majority party in the House and Senate since January 2007. The Democrats have controlled all three Houses the last twenty months. By all means give them another four years and perhaps we can get unemployment up to 25% overall.

September 12 2010 at 9:12 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Janet

I live in John Boehner's district in Ohio , they can say what they want . He will be reelected, And America will be a better place because of him.

September 12 2010 at 9:09 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Janet's comment
conservgirl8

I agree Janet. Go getem girl! ( I presume)

September 12 2010 at 5:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hornesusan

The DEMs have been in control of the House since 2006 (4 years, not 2 years). They are responsible for a lot of the mess this country is in and also solely responsible (Barney Frank D-MA and Chris Dodd D-CT) for the financial meltdown we experienced. Stop blaming the GOP and Bush. The DEMs continued to spend, spend, spend and most of their policies are hurting the private sector all the while helping unions and creating a bigger government. Vote them out in November!

September 12 2010 at 8:59 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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