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.

 

Cutting down on lobbyist-funded travel and lavish meals is a good start, but as David notes: “Lobbyists are most valuable to Congress by raising significant amounts of money for their re-election campaign.” Even lobbyists note the disconnect in lawmakers seeking to distance themselves from lobbyists, and raise money from them too. Paul Miller, president of American League of Lobbyists says "“If you want to bash me in the press, bash me in the press, but don't call me the next day and ask for money."

 

Congress needs to get real in addressing the real source of corruption: campaign contributions. Without that the current bill, while a good first step, but just a single step all the same.