[Foundation-l] Politico: "Wikimedia foundation hires lobbyists on sopa, pipa"

cyrano cyrano.fawkes at gmail.com
Mon Jan 23 05:17:25 UTC 2012

Mike, I don't know how's the political landscape is in the USA, but you
would say that there is few significative corruption and collusion?

Le 22/01/2012 21:16, Mike Godwin a écrit :
> Theo10011 <de10011 at gmail.com> writes:
> On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 3:32 PM, Theo10011 <de10011 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Am I wrong to assume, that lobbying involves approaching a registered,
>> professional consulting/lobbying firm in Washington who in turn, refer the
>> client to politicians and then facilitate meetings and discussions in
>> private, client are expected to pay expenses and other fees incurred in the
>> process, usually a pretty hefty sum.
> Yes, you're wrong.
>> Are those discussions and arrangements
>> made in private, facilitated by lobbying firms, what is needed to get our
>> voice heard?
> No. It can be helpful to have an experienced Washington
> government-relations specialist to facilitate meetings, and to advise
> you on how to be effective, but the word "private" is inappropriate
> here. (The very fact that Politico was able to publicize WMF's
> engagement with such a specialist ought to be an indicator of this --
> in the USA, especially for the last 40 years, there have been vastly
> increased requirements for public reporting and accountability, both
> for nonprofits and for traditional corporate lobbyists.) When I
> represented the Center for Democracy and Technology or Public
> Knowledge at the FCC or on Capitol Hill, for example, the first thing
> I had to do when getting back from a meeting was write up a report of
> whom I met and what was discussed. The reports became part of the
> public record, and part of these nonprofits' public disclosures as
> well.
>> You mentioned the protest, and how proud you were to have been associated
>> with it, so were most of us. That was the right thing to do - open, direct
>> and public. All of which this doesn't seem to be.
> You'd be wrong about meetings with policymakers not being public.
> They're required be law to be reported and accounted for. As I have
> noted, many people have stereotypical notions about what it means
> to "lobby" in Washington. Too many movies and TV, I imagine.
>> Again, these might be stereotypes, but the general realities aren't that far
>> off either.
> Hugely far off, actually.
> To compare: it's a little bit as if you took your understanding of
> police work from watching American police action films. It's not wrong
> to say that sometimes police rough people up, for example, but it
> would be wrong to say that is the norm. Most police work is dull and
> routine, and the sheer amount of paperwork an average policeman has to
> do is so astounding that nobody ever even tries to depict it in film
> or TV drama. You'd switch channels or walk out of the theater in boredom.
> If you really think that (for example) the American Library
> Association's Office for Information Technology Policy
> (http://www.ala.org/offices/oitp) is having secret meetings with
> senators and writing big checks, then the American entertainment
> industry has done a huge disservice in educating people about all the
> ways public policy can be shaped. Not that this should come as any
> surprise.
> (I'd love it, of course, if the American Library Association were
> capable of writing big checks, but that's another story.)
> --Mike
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