Sunday, January 15, 2006

Are You Watching Yet? Democrats' Lobbying Reform: Great Idea, Dead on Arrival

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, are scheduled to announce Wednesday a sweeping plan to tighten Congress' code of conduct. The Democrats signaled their intention of making ethics an issue in the 2006 elections, since lobbyist Jack Abramoff tainted many seated members of the current UY.S. Congess.

Surprisingly, the plan would be true, long overdue reform. Molten eagle, an independent voter, even agrees with the main points lealed to date:

+ banning lobbyists' gifts to lawmakers including meals, tickets to sporting or entertainment events and travel.

+ cracking down on slipping special interest provisions into legislation in the 24 hours prior to passage. In the Senate, it has not been unusual for key lawmakers seeking additional votes for their bill to insert last-minute changes. Pelosi and Reid intend to call for curbs on the practice, requiring that printed copies of legislation, including last-minute amendments, be given to all lawmakers 24 hours before a vote, officials said.

+ doubling the current one-year moratorium on ex-lawmakers and senior aides before they are allowed to lobby without restriction.

The above reforms are a long overdue start for meaningful reform. It will never happen, however. Lobbyists are a special constituency for bi-partisan shennanigans to undo the public will. Over 90% of lobbyists are lawyers . The Democrat party is run by and for lawyers.

Nancy Pelosi, not a lawyer, will have her own reaction to defeat of this measure. Watch for it. It should be telling, as it will come from both sides of the aisle. Too bad for ordinary American voters!