Geezer Group Gropes For Gravitas

If reader CLANCY’s links to the House WAYS and MEANS are on target, it looks like AARP itself is topped by only three others when it comes to paying off politicos.

The lobbyists at AARP put out a press release Thursday with an analysis of state political payoffs after they came out of the recent session feeling “dissed” by the lawmakers.


Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho said, “When the most powerful voting group in Idaho, voters aged 50 and older, feels that their voices and issues are ignored by state lawmakers, we’ve got an issue of public confidence in the system.”

TRANSLATION: “our lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears.”

Key findings from the AARP Annual Idaho Campaign Contributions Report: Corporate, Business & PAC Money in Idaho Politics include:

· $2.7 million in campaign contributions from corporations, businesses and PACs poured into the 2010 races of the winning candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor and State Legislature.
· 35% of all contributions by corporations, businesses and PACs came from outside of Idaho.
· 34 legislators received 90% or more of their campaign contributions from the groups – for seven, these contributions accounted for 100% of their campaign contributions.
· 87% of Idaho’s 107 state lawmakers received the majority of their campaign funds from corporations, businesses and PACs – leaving just 14 lawmakers who didn’t.

Check out the AARP SURVEY.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Rod in SE Boise
    May 12, 2011, 11:54 am

    Lobbying efforts of groups representing people (like AARP) fell on deaf ears, but the lobbying efforts of groups representing business interests and the wealthy were very successful. Our legislators know who they work for, and it ain’t us working people.

  2. My intial research doesn’t have much to do with Idaho directly, but shows how AARP operates in the best interest of themselves and not the members. They stand to gain from recent health care overhaul(Obamacare) and the older prescription drug legislation. Which means they could of lost with the talk of Idaho nullification of it.

    The funny thing is that AARP is a non-profit that lobbies extensively on the federal level with for-profit companies operating under that non-profit umbrella. Looks like the House Ways and Means committee is investigating the AARP.

    Here is the Republican report on the shady activities of the AARP :
    They don’t actually sell insurance but just lend their name (for profit) to insurance companies to use. AARP collects royalties and fees which further increase the prices. These royalties amount to 46% of their revenue.

    A synopsis of what they stand to gain from Obamacare:
    “Based on low, mid, and high-range estimates, AARP stands to financially gain, over and above the millions of dollars they currently receive from United Health Group, between $55 million and $166 million in 2014 alone as a result of new Medigap enrollees stemming from the health care law’s cuts to MA, which AARP strongly endorsed. Under the midrange estimate and under their current contract, AARP’s financial gain from the health care law could exceed $1 billion during the next 10 years. Again, this is because AARP will see their royalty payments increase as seniors are forced out of MA plans and buy AARP Medigap plans instead. ”

    I assume AARP collects royalties for discount drug programs from Walgreens and others which also would increase cost. (redirects to Walgreens).

    This link talks about how AARP endorsed plans are higher on the average.

  3. AARP is one of several groups killing the goose which lays the golden eggs. Short gain vs. long loss.

    I can’t afford to build a mother-n-law appartment anymore and the government ain’t going to pay for it either. The money is just going up in smoke.

  4. I’d have found their report more interesting if they had actually identified the 7 who received 100% of their support from corporations, etc., as well as others that ran a high percentage. This seems like crying wolf, but not identifying where it’s hiding.

  5. Response to Clancy:
    The AARP became the GOP’s target when they supported the Health Care Reform Act.
    The references you have recommended are solely talking points, are not factual or supported by documentation. They are simple minded guesses and opinions that always end with scary outcomes.
    Idahoans need to do research from all sides before formimg their opinions.
    That is why Boise Guardian should be on everyone’s checklist. Dave offers another view on subjects that affect all of us.

  6. sam the sham
    May 13, 2011, 9:24 am

    (love the geezer shot)

  7. Listening to AARP whine about political donations is like listening to the fox complain about chicken wire around the coop.

  8. AARP is a lobby for the elderly. They have given what used to be called the GRAY PANTHERS a voice in government at the state and national level.

    I am a member and mostly agree with their efforts for the elderly in this country. The Repubs want to dismantle S.S. and Medicare and they can’t give enough tax breaks and freebies out while the borrow the money to fund all this largess and tax breaks for the rich. The Dems want to waste and spend money and raise taxes on the rich (or what they think are rich $250k/yr incomes).

    I made it to 62 without going out on disablity, (barely). Since retirement I have been unraveling like a cheap sweater with various issues related to doing heavy manual labor during my working years. I am so thankful to have Social Security at this stage of my life. Medicare is another benefit I will need and use when I hit 65.

    What needs to be done is a board that puts a stop loss order on docs and surgeries that have questionable value to the elderly. Case in point: My late Father was scheduled by his doctor to have double knee replacement surgery at the age of 91, he died at age 92. We talked him out of having the surgery and encouraged him to deal with the knee pain via medications. He lived in a senior citizen community where most of the residents and doctors had the opinion death was optional in California.

    Great Britain has a program whereby they will not grant a organ transplant for an older person with limited life span but will allow it for a young person who has the prospects of living a number of decades longer with the organ transplant. We have got to put some limits on Medicare such as this one done in Great Britain.

  9. J.M.G.- The AARP is everybody’s target. The Democrats criticized AARP when they supported Bush’s Medicare Drug Bill in 2003 and again in 2005 for AARP’s announcement of their Part D plan. The GOP was after them in 1995(Simpson) and 2008 (Grassley) questioning the tax exempt status.

    Good link to explore political activities of various organization or individuals.

    We can talk all day about whose talking points are more accurate and never agree. But I find it ironic, that AARP is complaining about lobby efforts in Idaho, while back in Washington DC their lobby efforts are larger than Big Oil and Pharmaceuticals.

    footnote: AARP was never on my radar until yesterday. My google skills needed some exercise though.

  10. AARP has long been an active lobby effort for liberal agendas. Not that it is a bad thing. The problem is not whom they choose to support, but rather the level of influence they hold with politicians. Let’s face it, money talks and they spend a boatload of it. I doubt that 50% of their membership realizes how active they are politically, but rather what a good “deal” they get on hotel rooms!

  11. I would compare Farm Bureau with AARP, both with different agendas. At least AARP doesn’t make me hurl as much as Farm Bureau.
    The main problem is most Americans are really stupid. We already know we can’t fix stupid. The best revenge is to stay healthy and fit.

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