Buried deep in The New York Times story--21st paragraph, in fact--about the Senate approving lobbying legislation yesterday is the nugget of the story:
The bill does little to break the link between lobbyists and lawmakers' money-raising machines, because senators decided that those issues related to campaign finance, not lobbying. As a result, the bill steers clear of regulating the fund-raising activities of lobbyists, some of whom help run political action committees of the same lawmakers they hope to influence.
The fact is that if the lobbying reforms passed by the Senate became law tomorrow, they would not come close to touching the most egregious elements of the Abramoff-DeLay scandals. The overseas trips to Moscow and the Marianas that Abramoff offered members would remain perfectly legal. The campaign money would still continue to flow into coffers. And GOP congressional staff would still float gently into jobs on K Street on their golden parachutes.
If Congress were serious about reform, lawmakers would be debating full public financing of elections, not fiddling with little loopholes here and there.