Democrats & Liberals Archives

New Auction Requirements

The Senate passed a so-called “ethics bill” that many are touting as a means of reducing the influence of lobbyists and of making the Senate once again a place where legislation is initiated, discussed and voted on properly and honestly. Though the bill passed by a bi-partisan 90-8 vote, as a means of stemming corruption it will have no effect - even if the House approves it as well. Bill auctions will still take place. This bill will merely establish a new set of auction requirements.

Senator Christopher Dodd said:

"What we're saying here is that there's a sign that now is up in front of the Capitol. It says:
'Not for Sale.'"

Dodd is wrong. The Senate thought it had to do something. So it passed this meaningless legislation. The message to lobbyists is a simple list of:

New Auction Requirements
  • Lobbyists can't give legislators gifts and meals
  • Earmarks are restricted - not abolished
  • Lobbyists must fill out more forms
  • Lobbyists - Republicans preferred - may bring money
Chellie Pingree, president of Common Cause, calls the bill "window dressing" and knocks the bill because:
"there's very little that breaks down this nexus between lobbyists as fundraisers and sources of campaign funds, which is much of the root of what goes on that creates the scandals."

Among those who voted against this fake reform are Russ Feingold and John McCain.

Money is the problem. We can't tackle the scandal problem without attacking the money problem. So we change the rules of legislator-lobbyist engagement. So all the players accomodate to the new auction rules. Nothing fundamental changes.

Corruption will continue until there is public financing of campaigns. This will never happen until there is a new sign in front of the Capitol:

Under new management.
Posted by Paul Siegel at March 30, 2006 5:31 PM
Comments
Comment #136948

OK -

screw “em.. they have the balls to put this ball “o crap out as “real change”.. I say we snip the costume jewelry that they keep flaunting as their family jewels!

Posted by: tony at March 30, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #136964

Our reps for sale is a HUGE problem. Too bad that sens and reps probably thought that they had to vote for this simply because not voting for it could come back and bite them in the rear. Imagine running for reelection and your competition says “he isnt for campaign finance reform or limiting lobbyist grip on congress because he voted no on this bill.”

Im sure a senior member like mccain can afford to stick to his guns and not worry about negative perception issues that would certainly occur with a “no” vote.

sucks either way.

Posted by: b0mbay at March 30, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #136965

It’s like every other “reform” bill Congress has passed. Even before the ink is dry, members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, are looking for ways to get around it.

Posted by: slowthinker at March 30, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #136968

…and Bush thinks he can just ignore the laws he feels like ignoring.

It’s now come down to us or them - CITIZENS vs REPRESENTATIVES. Either we let them feel pain in Nov. or we will feel the pain.

Posted by: tony at March 30, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #136972

this is not a Bush thing. Not a republican or democrat thing. Individual members who sell their duty to serve their constituants for personal gain need to go. And NOW.

Posted by: b0mbay at March 30, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #136973

“this is not a Bush thing. Not a republican or democrat thing. Individual members who sell their duty to serve their constituants for personal gain need to go. And NOW.”

OK - I’ll give them till Nov 06, and then they must go. Anything short of a massive turnover in DC will be see as a clear sign that they can continue with “Business as usual.”

I have no allegance anymore - both parties suck. (Sorry to exclude the Independents… but it’s really a 2 party system in DC right now…)

Posted by: tony at March 30, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #136975

tony. Ill give you that. I think this is one issue where any free thinking person can agree - despite your party affiliation. Unless of course you happen to need to purchase some influence in our federal government. Then you would totally be opposed to any kind of reform. Kinda like ambulance chaser lawyers against tort reform.

Posted by: b0mbay at March 30, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #136979

This is what the K Street Project is all about.

Posted by: Aldous at March 30, 2006 7:26 PM
Comment #137014

Winston Churchill once said that if you are under 30 and not a liberal, you have no heart. If you are over 30 and not a conservative, you have no brain.

I think if old Winston was alive today, he’d be singing a new tune!

Aldous

Thanks. Never heard of the K Street Project before. Went and read about it. Very interesting. I think the Republicans have had their opportunity and they’ve blown it.

If the Democrats are able to field a serious candidate in ‘08 they might just get my vote. (I can think of a couple and, no, none are female.)

And that’s coming from a lifelong Republican!

Posted by: Slowthinker at March 30, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #137121

I’m a Dem, but I agree we need to start voting out most of these incumbent losers. Yet, we should definitely want to retain people like Feingold and McCain who are obviously sincere about wanting to clean up all the corruption.

Posted by: Adrienne at March 31, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #137151

I can’t consider myself part of either party because they have no connection with me. They are in this (to me) for their own personal gain, but it does seem like Feingold and McCain are the only ones that are not corrupt (or maybe not so corrupt. I don’t know). So if either Feingold or McCain ran in ‘08 they would get my vote. If both of them are running I would have to say Feingold, but that would probably never happen.

Posted by: Josh at March 31, 2006 3:02 PM
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