Aug 15, 2012
Dan Webster: Looking Out for Lobbyists and Special Interests – Not the Middle Class
Congressman Daniel Webster (FL-10) enters the general election as a highly vulnerable incumbent who will be forced to defend his votes to end Medicare and force seniors to pay more for health care while protecting tax breaks for the ultra wealthy, special interests and corporations that ship jobs overseas.
With Congressman Paul Ryan and his Medicare-ending budget as his ticket mate, Congressman Webster will be rejected by voters as more interested in looking out for lobbyists and special interests than the middle class.
Congressman Webster is Wrong for the Middle Class and Seniors. Congressman Dan Webster voted to end Medicare, raising health care costs for seniors, while protecting tax breaks for millionaires and corporations that ship American jobs overseas.
Congressman Webster Voted for House Republican Budget That Would Turn Medicare Into Voucher Program. On March 29, 2012, Congressman Webster voted in favor of a budget that would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit, protects $40 billion in tax breaks for big oil, and provides people earning more than $1 million a year with an average tax cut of $265,000. The Tampa Bay Times wrote, “Floridians should be concerned about all these misplaced priorities, but Medicare and Medicaid are particularly at risk. House Republicans would end the help seniors receive toward closing the prescription drug doughnut hole. Their plan would eventually raise Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67. It would transform the safety net into a premium-support voucher program that provides government subsidies to private insurers, though beneficiaries could keep the current fee-for-service option.” [H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; Tampa Bay Times, 3/31/12; New York Times Editorial, 3/20/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Tax policy Center, 3/23/12]
Congressman Webster Looking Out for Special Interests and Lobbyists. Congressman Webster has repeatedly sided with special interests instead of hard working Floridians, voting for special tax breaks for big oil companies, the ultra rich, and companies that ship jobs overseas. While Webster avoids holding public town halls in his district, he recently took a trip to a Florida Keys resort, paid for by special interest groups and lobbyists.
CBS News Uncovered Webster Wooing Lobbyists at Exclusive Resort Getaway. CBS News recently discovered a group of freshmen Republicans—including Webster- wooing special interests willing to pay money for special access. CBS News reported: “In 2010, many freshmen Republicans were swept into Congress on the promise of doing things differently. But fast-forward to 2012, and the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla.—an exclusive seaside resort and home to 54 holes of championship golf and a private marina full of luxury yachts. That's where we caught up with a select group of Republican freshmen, engaged in business as usual. But they didn't come alone. They invited big campaign donors and lobbyists to join them - for a price. And we secretly sent our cameras along for a unique inside look at their first joint fundraiser, where special interests got the kind of access ordinary Americans can only dream of: on the golf course; over drinks at the resort bar; at a private beach lagoon.” [CBS News, 3/16/12]
Webster Set Up “Cozy Room” for Lobbyists as State House Speaker. “Florida House Speaker Daniel Webster has won praise for keeping special interests and their lobbyists at arm’s length. But when the Legislature is in session, some Republican lobbyists can get closer than their competitors. Webster has set up a cozy room in the speaker’s suite for former Republican leaders of the state House, many of whom now work as lobbyists. Most folks can’t get past the front door without an appointment, but this special group can walk in and relax in the room equipped with a telephone, sofa and television.” [St. Petersburg Times, 12/18/97]