Katrina vanden Heuvel “The GOP Corruption Machine"

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Katrina vanden Heuvel’s “The GOP Corruption Machine” from AlterNet discusses the Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act introduced last July by Russ Feingold (D-WI). As she notes:

The bill's key provisions are designed to reduce the power of special interests by forcing lobbyists to file disclosure reports quarterly instead of twice a year, prohibiting lobbyists from taking trips with members of Congress and their staffs, and requiring former members of Congress and some senior executive branch officials to wait two years after leaving government service before working as a lobbyist. And, as Feingold told The Hill, the bill would prohibit "lobbyists from giving gifts to members" or staff and require "members and campaigns to reimburse the owners of corporate jets at the charter rate when they use those planes for their official or political travel."

Some conservatives will decry such legislation as an over-broad and unconstitutional restriction on free speech. Their presupposition that equates money with speech is an error that can be exposed with one simple example: Imagine a driver who is pulled over for speeding. Trying to argue the cop out of issuing a ticket is free speech; slipping the cop a fifty is bribery.

It’s no different when it involves lobbyists and members of Congress.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 6, 2006 9:28 AM.

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