Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lobbying Bill to Ensure Influence Buying Remains OK

Dear President Bush,

Just six months ago Democrats and Republicans scrambled to reign in corruption by proposing a smattering of measures. They proposed to ban meals and gifts from lobbyists, outlaw privately funded travel, and stem the flow of political officials into lobbying jobs. Today, most of those items are AWOL from the current lobbying reform bills.

The head of a leading watchdog group had this assessment “there is a good chance Congress will pass a bill before the November elections, but it is clear such legislation would not have any effect on how influence seekers function in Washington. The bill we expect to come out of Congress will be treated as a nonentity.”

It is disturbing to know federal employees have no free speech rights as whistleblowers, but lobbyists have virtually unlimited free speech rights to influence government. Our elected pigs from both parties will continue to gorge at the campaign money trough. And lobbyists, looking for the best influence money can buy will keep that trough overflowing with goodies. Does it make you proud to be a democratic American?

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