Congress

We (Frequently) Stop Working For You

There's no question: if we want a Congress that works for us full time, we need full public financing of elections. Further evidence comes in the form of the article from today's Roll Call (sub. required) indicating that the longer work week proposed for Congress this year will mean more and more fundraisers to satisfy the need for campaign cash.

 

From the article:

Old Habits Die Hard

Saying they will crack down on lobbyists, then raising money from them the same night? It's a mixed message from the newly minted 110th Congress, something NBC notes in this story (story and video clip) on Congress' new ethics bill, with commentary from Public Campaign Action Fund's David Donnelly.

 

Signs of Progress

Joel Bleifuss, editor of In These Times writes on the need for reform in Congress that takes on the fundamental link between campaign contributions and legislation: full public financing, in the Clean Elections model, for congressional elections.

 

House Unveils Ethics Reforms

It's the first day of the 110th Congress and Democratic leaders in the House are rolling out their big ethics reform package designed to sever links between lobbyists and lawmakers with new restrictions inclusing a ban on travel, meals, and gifts to legislators paid for by lobbyists. It's a very good start, and we hope a prelude to serious consideration of full public financing of elections as the last step in "draining the swamp" and cleaning up Congress.

Unpack Those Bags

A busier work schedule and fear of scandal have put the kibosh on a lot of the lobbyist-funded January junkets for members of Congress, according to this story from MSNBC. No more jetting off to Hawaii for "conferences" and a mid-winter tan, looks like actually legislating will take precedence. Dry your eyes.

 

States Lead Movement for Reform

David Kirkpatrick at The New York Times examines the difference between the limited progress on ethics and campaign finance reform in Congress, and the sweeping changes being made at the state level to address money in politics scandals and the pressing need for reform.

 

The Year Ahead

Happy New Year! This new year, with its new Congress brings a fresh opportunity for our representatives in Washington to listen to voters and pass full public financing of elections to make the scandals that marked 2006 a thing of the past. Our President and CEO Nick Nyhart writes in The Patriot News about the challenges ahead, and the growing support for public financing in Congress.

 

Making a List, Checking it Twice

The Washington Post published a run down of imprisoned super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's 2001 holiday shopping list which listed the various expensive treats and trinkets Abramoff gifted to members of Congress he was courting. It certainly confirms just how dearly Abramoff prized Tom DeLay's actions on his behalf - he sent the former House Majority Leader $250 worth of Godiva chocolates.

Calling Colorado

Nancy Watzman, our Colorado-based research and investigative projects director, has this piece in The Denver Post on the potential to make real progress in passing Clean Elections-style full public financing for congressional elections - something she'd like to hear more about from Colorado's represenatatives in Congress.

 

Draining the Swamp

Public Campaign's President and CEO, Nick Nyhart along with representatives from US PIRG, Democracy Matters, and Common Cause California talked with the San Francisco Chronicle a few days ago about the possibilty of passing Clean Elections at the federal level. Yesterday the Chronicle published this strong endorsement to "drain the swamp" and clean up Congress by making Clean Elections a part of the Democratic agenda in 2007.