A short blurb in the Wash Post this morning reports that a House “lobbying reform” bill is finally headed to a floor vote this week. Gee, whiz. Whatever. It turns out that this version of “reform” does NOT require lobbyists “to keep track of their contacts with lawmakers and report fundraising activities.” In other words, less and less actual reform. Now I’m not one who says that lobbyists are evil; far from it. But the public does have a right to transparency when lobbyists and money (either for lunches/trips/favors or for campaigns) are tied together with lawmakers. Saying that lobbyists can’t have access would of course be unconstitutional. But for PAID lobbyists who ALSO donate money to lawmakers to do so without disclosure is to invite corruption. Even in the wake of the Abramoff scandals, it amazes me that the House doesn’t seem to understand this.
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