- Sep 5, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Slightly Liberal
According to lobbyists and ethics experts, even if Hastert's proposal is enacted, members of Congress and their staffs could still travel the world on an interest group's expense and eat steak on a lobbyist's account at the priciest restaurants in Washington.
The only requirement would be that whenever a lobbyist pays the bill, he or she must also hand the lawmaker a campaign contribution. Then the transaction would be perfectly okay.
So, instead of creating legislation that would end the culture of corruption in control of Washington D.C., they're going to make it so that they merely need to refer to it as "fundraising" to get away with it? When asked about the need for campaign finance reform as well, Hastert said he was tasked to deal with lobbying laws, not campaign-finance laws, which he declared a separate issue. How pathetic is this, especially given the Abramoff scandal much of which has yet to unfold?
The only realistic solution to the problem of the corporate, PAC, and special intrests' infiltration of our government is to eliminate all of their money and gifts to elected officials and their staffs. No fancy dinners, no overseas luxury vacations, no re-election contributions, NADA, NOTHING, ZERO. This isn't to say that lobbying should come to an end, but their cases should come before our representatives on their merits, not based on how much money is being funnelled into re-election campaigns.
Though the Senate Democratic plan that was unveiled has a little more teeth to it than Hastert's plan, I believe that both sides could stand to go a great deal further to regain the trust of the people they were elected to represent.