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Two SOPA Writers Become Entertainment Lobbyists 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the par-for-the-course dept.
schwit1 writes "According to Politico, 'A pair of senior Hill aides at the center of a brewing battle between Hollywood and Silicon Valley are packing their bags for K Street, where they’ll work for two of the entertainment lobby shops trying to influence their former colleagues in Congress on the very same issue. Allison Halataei, former deputy chief of staff and parliamentarian to House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and Lauren Pastarnack, a Republican who has served as a senior aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee, worked on online piracy bills that would push Internet companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook to shut down websites that offer illegal copies of blockbuster films and chart-topping songs.' Techdirt adds, 'Pastarnack went to the MPAA where she'll be "director of government relations" and Halataei to the NMPA (music publishers and songwriters) where she'll be "chief liaison to Capitol Hill." The Politico article linked above notes that this kind of "revolving door" is all too common. It may not be directly corrupt, but to the public it sure feels corrupt.'"
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Two SOPA Writers Become Entertainment Lobbyists

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  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @07:41PM (#38330802)

    idea: funding for pork projects get limited the more people do NOT show up to the polls.

    lets make 'not showing up' an actual vote. a vote to DE-FUND things.

    right now, I voice my dissatisfaction by not voting for the fraudsters (ie, all of them). but it would be nice if I could pull back things I think are wrong without giving the bad guy (note: both guys are bad guys, no matter what or where the issue is) more power I'd do it.

    I want to be able to vote AGAINST things. how about that for an idea?

    will never happen. our system is gamed against us. better luck in the next life. maybe. (then again, I've heard st. peter will be your new 'walking boss')

  • Some thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Saturday December 10, 2011 @07:49PM (#38330858) Homepage Journal

    First, in some countries this would automatically spark an ethics investigation or be deemed corrupt. It may not be "corrupt" in the US, but I suspect that's more of a relative definition of corrupt than an absolute one.

    Second, the US is ranked 24th in the world on corruption [dailymail.co.uk]. I'd therefore argue that the standards the US government holds itself to is not only nowhere near what it could be, but isn't even anywhere near as good as other nations are managing on a day-to-day basis. This isn't great for smaller nations, though you can understand that they don't have the resources to be equal and of high quality. They also don't have much influence and the impact of corruption is necessarily limited. A fair number are also very new and don't have much experience. A nation like the US is a different matter. They've plenty of resources, they've had three centuries to work out the flaws, and they've far too much power to not be responsible with it.

    The fact that New Zealand, Denmark and Finland are first and joint second respectively (none of whom are permanent members of the UN Security Council, hold nuclear weapons, dominate either the IMF or World Bank, or control vast swathes of international trade) is worthy of great respect. They don't have to be as good as they are, they just are because they by-and-large want to be. Not saying they're perfect, this is a ranking system not a measure against a fixed standard, but it is highly commendable none-the-less.

  • by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Saturday December 10, 2011 @07:57PM (#38330910) Homepage Journal

    in the UK, the system is (in theory) better. Any constituent can see their representative on demand, provided the representative isn't busy in the House at that time, so everyone has (in theory) equal access and equal lobbying power. Cash-for-questions and similar direct bribery is off-limits and will get a member sanctioned, banned from the House or forced to quit. Well, provided it's discovered and the ethics committee hasn't been perverted.

    This is not perfect, the system has some unimaginably large holes - apparently large enough to drive 5,600 phone hacking scandals and assorted cash-for-votes scandals through, but when bribery and high-paying jobs aren't merely legal but de rigour - as is the case in the US, it's a whole different ballgame.

    Both systems should be majorly overhauled and the politicians and aides operating in such a manner should be majorly keelhauled, but if only one were to change I think the US should move more towards the UK's standards than the other way round.

  • by Roogna (9643) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @07:59PM (#38330924)

    If you can't find someone to vote for that represents you, then run for office yourself. Start locally, work your way up. But not voting is not "voicing dissatisfaction", it is saying "I'm too lazy to give a shit what happens".

  • by joelpt (21056) <slashdot AT joelpt DOT net> on Saturday December 10, 2011 @08:28PM (#38331134)

    And that would be exactly the reason you have no right to a negative opinion.

    I think non-voters most certainly have a "right" to a negative opinion, whether or not they choose to "voice" that opinion via voting. They simply view voting as a nearly useless (inaudible) way to voice their opinion; or perhaps that increasing the "percent abstained" figure is a more valuable way to express their opinion -- the "vote of no-confidence".

    Personally, I would wager that posting my opinion in the Slashdot comments is likely to have at least as much, if not more, of an impact than visiting the voting booth ever will.

    "If you don't order chicken or beef from the menu, you don't have a right to discuss the morality of animal consumption." But I'm a vegetarian!

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @09:08PM (#38331372)
    You can't vote against somebody. If you could, we'd never have republicans or democrats in office because everybody hates those sons of bitches. Our flawed system only allows you to vote FOR someone.
  • Re:how many more (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheEyes (1686556) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @09:45PM (#38331572)

    The problem is that our systems of government are hundreds of years old, and haven't been updated to match the times. Our "first past the post" electoral system is an 18th century construct, and hasn't been updated to match the times. It means that people are forced to vote for one of two major political parties or have their vote basically not count. It allows small errors in voting to have outsized effects on the outcome (the 2000 presidential vote), or for a candidate who doesn't receive the majority of votes to be elected (1996, 2000, AND 2004 presidential vote).

    We need to fundamentally alter the voting system to allow minority parties to have more voice. Open primaries and a single transferable vote will help, but proportional representation is probably the best way to go. I'd also like to see the Presidency be split into a five-person "Executive Council", one of whom has to stand for election every year, and for Supreme Court justices to either have fifteen year terms, or have to stand for confirmation by popular vote every eight years.

  • by Internetuser1248 (1787630) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @12:35AM (#38332364)
    For all those that think not voting is like boycotting all politicians - it isn't. If you don't vote everyone else's vote counts for a little bit more. The more people that don't vote out of protest, the closer the system comes to an aristocracy.

    The correct way to protest is to make a 'no vote'. This is where you tick all the boxes, or none of them, or you write a message voicing your dissatisfaction on the ballot, or smear faeces or stick chewing gum on the ballot, or you vote for a joke candidate. True this may be difficult in the US where many places don't use paper ballots, and there are often no joke candidates (or at least none that are more of a joke than all the rest.) You should be advocating for an abstain box on electronic voting machines. Not voting is using your voice to agree with the people that do vote.
  • by Moryath (553296) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @01:34AM (#38332654)

    I would agree to a requirement that no candidate be allowed to take office unless they had garnered a vote count equal to (50% + 1) of the registered, eligible voters for that election.

    If only 49% of the people voted in the election, obviously 51% of them wanted "None Of The Above."

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