Congress

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Checklist

The Politico notes the many scandals emanating from the Capitol and wants Hill staffers to be prepared in case another of their bosses gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so they've put together a handy little checklist: "Top 10 ways to know your boss is a crook." Take note: if the Senator or Representative you work for is asking for your freezer dimensions, it might be time to dust off that resume.

Phone Calls, Fundraisers, and the Freshman

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) is serving his first term in the House after narrowly beating incumbent Rob Simmons in last year's midterms. This profile in the Washington Post shows him adjusting to life on the Hill, learning the ins and outs of fighting for his constituents, and, of course fundraising. And more fundraising. And did we mention the fundraising?

Straight from the Senator's Mouth

The San Francisco Chronicle covers the visit of former Sens. Bill Bradley and Alan Simpson who are traveling the country drumming up support for public financing of congressional and presidential races and giving a candidates' perspective on the endless money chase that is the modern campaign.

Bringing Down the House?

The occassion of Rep. William Jefferson's indictment has reignited discussion of what must be done to clean up Washington, cut down on opportunities for corruption, and rehab the image of Congress amid a steady stream of scandal.

Sweet 16?

Embattled Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was indicted a few hours ago on 16 different counts including allegations of racketeering, solicitation of bribes, honest services wire fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, violating the foreign corrupt practices act, and conspiracy.

 

What Is McConnell Hiding?

Well, we've tried asking nicely but it hasn't worked so far so today, together with the Sunlight Foundation who have led this from the very beginning, we are taking things up a notch in our effort to get Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to reveal who is holding up a bill that would require Senators to file their campaign finance reports electronically.

Lobbying Disclosure Moves Forward

The House voted today to strengthen campaign finance disclosure requirements, passing controversial measures to require disclosure of lobbyist "bundler" donors to candidates and multi-candidate political action committees (PACs). Read more on the vote here.

Unwrap the Bundle

Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL) pens this editorial for the Chicago Tribune urging the House to join with the Senate in requiring disclosure of bundlers -- those who corral large contributions on behalf of a particular candidate -- to promote transparency and ensure accountability.

Freshmening Up

A stable of freshman Representatives who ousted incumbents tied to fundraising scandals have put their muscle behind proposals to overhaul the way candidates for Congress finance their campaigns, including public financing. This article in Roll Call (subscription req.) looks at who is lining up behind public financing.

 

Less Than Impressed

Democrats are getting pretty well eviscerated for the watered down lobbying and disclosure bills they're pushing in Congress. Next in line with scalpels are The Politico and The Philadelphia Inquirer both wondering what it takes to break the gridlock and get a strong bill through.