I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lobbying as Portrayed in Hollywood

I recently came across this movie trailer, which promotes the 2010 movie Casino Jack. It is based on the true events surrounding the imprisonment of lobbyist Jack Abramoff who, along with Representative Bob Ney and 20 other associates, have been convicted in a "wide ranging corruption scandal."

The scandal presented to the public focused on the fraudulent purchase of multiple casino cruise ships and the solicitation of $66 million from indian tribes seeking to influence Washington. Abramoff also pleaded guilty to "tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials by showering them with gifts and inducing them to take official action on behalf of his lobbying group. The largesse included the use of luxury suites at Washington-area sports venues, free meals at an upscale restaurant Abramoff owned and an all-expenses-paid golf outing to Scotland." (LA Times)

It is important to note that this story is not indicative of the way lobbying traditionally works. While Hollywood has captured this story in a semi-glamourus manner, the end result of such actions is anything but.

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