Author Topic: Exclusive–Documents: Congress Charges Secret Fee to Land Top Committee Spots  (Read 457 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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Exclusive–Documents: Congress Charges Secret Fee to Land Top Committee Spots

by Wynton Hall 21 Oct 2013, 11:47 AM PDT

Members of Congress must pay secret fees known as “party dues” to the Democratic and Republican parties to secure and maintain top committee chairmanships and assignments, newly uncovered internal documents reveal.

The never-before-published lists are reprinted inside the new book Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets, written by Government Accountability Institute President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer.

Senior congressional staffers say the committee price lists have long been rumored to exist but that few people on Capitol Hill have seen them, giving them an almost "mythical" quality.

The book contains copies of the Democratic and Republican price lists detailing how much money lawmakers must raise to obtain and keep their seats on congressional committees.
The so-called “party dues” lawmakers must contribute for committee assignments are separate and apart from the fundraising they conduct for their own campaigns. If lawmakers fail to make their tribute payment to their party, they can lose their place on a powerful committee. 

“These party dues are not voluntary,” writes Schweizer. “Members are not asked to pay—they are required to pay.”

In the 2013-2014 election cycle, the going rate for a Democratic assignment as the ranking member on a top committee like the House Ways and Means or Financial Services Committees is $500,000. Schweizer reports that Democrats also use a “members points system” that rewards its members for attending party fundraisers.

Democrats List is at the link........

Prices on the Republican House committee list are higher due to the GOP’s House majority—a fact that creates even greater opportunities for lawmakers to extract donations from the industries a committee oversees. According to Schweizer, the GOP price sheet is actually posted on the wall of the Republican Congressional Committee and contains red marks beside the names of lawmakers who fall behind on their party dues.

GOP prices for committee posts vary widely. For example, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who is the chairman of the influential Energy and Commerce Committee, is expected to extract $990,000 from donors for the GOP. The chairman of the less powerful House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, is required to bag just $405,000.

GOP List at the link - ~LOL~ they call it "dues"......

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline AbaraXas

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It really is becoming We The People (of all political stripes) versus the Government.   This does bring several observations to mind:

1. If this money comes from fundraising, they must be cooking the books on their FEC reports that lists all donations and allocations. Especially with something of this high dollar. Let's assume that John Boehner's seat is the most expensive. Assuming somewhere around $900K, that couldn't be listed in his FEC filings without someone noticing that a long time ago.  He raised a bit over $2 Million. $900K is a sizable percentage of that. Were these donations that weren't accounted for, are expenses being cooked, or is this illegally off the books? (all three options would be illegal).

2. This accounts to millions of dollars being sent to the party. In addition to the congressmen's reports, we should be seeing this in the party financial filings.

3. This explains a lot of why the leadership often goes against people who want to rock the boat.

More to come. I'm going to look at some FEC filings and see if anything jumps out.

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