Game Critic Lieberman Got Campaign $$$ from Industry Donors

December 26, 2006 -
The recent announcement that longtime video game industry critics Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) were supporting an ad campaign to promote awareness of the ESRB rating system was viewed as a surprising coup for the game biz.

However, an article in this morning's Hartford Courant raises questions about campaign donations Lieberman received from donors with ties to the video game industry. The four-term senator won a return to the Senate in November as an independent following a pitched election battle with anti-war challenger Ned Lamont.

Citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the Courant's Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief, David Lightman, reports that Lieberman's campaign received $73,000 in game-related donations, including funds from Linda McMahon, CEO of WWE Entertainment, a Stamford, CT-based corporation. Numerous teen-rated professional wrestling games bearing the WWE license have been published in recent years.

Said Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics:
If you're going to portray yourself as a champion against sex and violence on TV and in video games, it certainly doesn't look like you're completely serious if one of your big contributors makes its money from sex and violence.

According to the Courant report, Lieberman has a history of defending donations from the entertainment sector. The newspaper account says that in 2000, when Lieberman was unsuccessfully running for vice president on the Al Gore ticket, he attacked the industry at a congressional hearing but praised it at a high-priced fundraising event a short time later.

Other 2006 campaign contributors included Xbox 360 manufacturer Microsoft. Of the campaign contributions, Lieberman said:
(The money) obviously doesn't affect my behavior, and the system allows for anyone who wants to see what I get to view all the donations.

Comments

@Zippy

And I stand by my earlier statement: If that's your idea of inappropriate sexual content for your kids, throw out all your TVs now because you get that level of sex in a good chunk of commercials and almost every prime-time show on the big networks.

Calling a contribution from WWE one from the "video game industry" is ridiculous, but I don't believe that's what was said. The writer commented that WWE"makes its money from sex and violence" and that's arguably true, although -I'd- argue that if what you see during WWE matches counts as "sex" you might as well throw out all your TVs right now for the sake of your children since there's not a single prime-time show that doesn't have that much T&A at least a few times a season, and that's not counting the various commercials that equal or top the WWE.

As for principles, did anyone here think Liebermann had any? Anyone?

....Anyone? Didn't think so.

I'll also add that if he can really be bought for 73,000.... then the rest of the people on that list *vastly* overpaid.

I really can't say I'm surprised by this. Throughout his entire career, Lieberman has shown himself to be a consummate career politician. At the end of the day, the only thing he really cares about is staying in office. I can't really understand why the people of Connecticut keep re-electing this guy, because really, they should know better. The only way he'll ever leave is if he dies in office, and even then, I heave the feeling he'll be clutching onto his desk with a death grip, and they'll have to pry him off of it with a crowbar. :p

I'm sorry, but you've got to be kidding me. Talk about trying to create controversy out of nothing.

Take a look at the link and see for yourself. According to the site (which I note the Courant article did not link, merely mentioned.) in support of the 2006 election, Lieberman raised $20,213,419. Over. Twenty. Million. Dollars. The amount of the contributions from the "video game industry".... $73,000. No wonder his first response to their accusations was to laugh himself silly and "joke 'I really don't get anything [contributions] from that industry.'

And the contribution from WWE that the article makes so much about, devoting more than half of their space to discussing? $2,000. Wow, I'm sure he's really going to fall all over himself doing things for someone that contributed almost one hundredth of one percent of his campaign money. Actually I find this even more ridiculous, since all of the WWE games I am aware of are rated Teen. And with the exception of the usually unseen and overhyped Bully, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone going after any Teen rated game as inappropriate or in need of legislation. Where is the supposed conflict of interest that should have made him aware of this miniscule donation in order to refuse it?

@ Black Manta
He got in because a little over half of the voters here are stupid. But then, looking at many of our elected officials, I'd say that over half of voters in the nation are stupid.

@Gamerdad

If it has anything to do with the report card, it has a lot more to do with the fact that they aren't supported by anyone except for Jack Thompson if they go with anti-ESRB rhetoric at this point. It is a smart political choice, but only because their constructed boogey man became less scary.

Another move for them would have been to hate on both the ESRB and NIMF, a move parents would get behind because NIMF demanded they be responsible and visit sites like Gamerdad or even *gasp* read the ratings!

A politician bought off? You don't say! Gosh almighty, that never happens.

Politicians, especially those who make a career out of it, need cash to remain in power. Hollywood and the RIAA are major contributers to politicians across the country. Video games, being in some sense a new Hollywood, are merely a new industry to shake down.

"A lovely little industry you have here. It would be a shame if we had to regulate it out of business."

Hes a poli hes getter crackers....... er .........money from everyone.

I'm normally more cynical than this but I don't think he's been "influenced" at all!

The shift Lieberman and Clinton have made isn't a big a deal as people make out. For one thing, his "Report Card" makes it clear that the ESRB, in Liberman's view, is now doing a good job and that parents are most "at fault" (meaning: they need more info, imo).

Plus the wind just changed. The midterms were a loss for cultural conservatives, which includes Democratic stuff like anti-videogame legislation. The winds changed, dems like Hilary and Lieberman need cultural cover/credibility less now than before, AND the anti-videogame laws are being overturned and Governors are being embarrassed.

My point is, Lieberman and Clinton, in my view, are making a normal and political move away from extreme anti-videogame rhetoric and toward support not because of campaign money... but because it's the smart political choice right now.

Okay, I am still cynical, just not as much as some.

... gotta love it.

Regardless of whether it was caused by $$ or not- I still can't stand how some politicians turn 180 degrees so readily. For Lieberman, Hillary, and the NIMF (still entrenched in politics) to suddenly change their tune so drastically and quickly is alarming. I have more respect for people who actually stick to their convictions...

Politician for sale.... Sold!!

After that Bush Incident, he is still not enough?

Lieberman sir, you can come and kiss my ass now.

Also, I found this listing on craigslist:

1 Joe Lieberman, willing to sell for $73,000 in campaign funds, WHAT A DEAL!

It is NOT OK to contact this poster about unrelated commercial stuffs lol.

Wait a minute : it's WWE, so it's not really a game company (although there are some WWE games).

Brer
never seen the girls of WWE or one of the wrestling knock off shows?
theres wheres the sex is brought in,altho one could argue half necked guys prancing around would count to *rolls eyes*
 
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