I am so disappointed but it seems the lobby "reform" bill being proposed by the House GOP is not quite "bulletproof" according to the Washington Post:
According to lobbyists and ethics experts, even if Hastert's proposal is enacted, members of Congress and their staffs could still travel the world on an interest group's expense and eat steak on a lobbyist's account at the priciest restaurants in Washington.I was a little suspicious about these hogs backing away from the trough and going cold turkey. It's going to require a little more sleight of hand but the hassle factor is not too great. They'll just have to filter the babes, booze, fancy meals and first class airfare to St. Andrews for a little golf through the campaign accounts. It might require a little creative accounting but what the hey.
The only requirement would be that whenever a lobbyist pays the bill, he or she must also hand the lawmaker a campaign contribution. Then the transaction would be perfectly okay.
"That's a big hole if they don't address campaign finance," said Joel Jankowsky, the lobbying chief of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, one of the capital's largest lobbying outfits.
Does the pattern seem familiar? Keep your eye on the right hand but ignore the left. They're going to talk a reform game with one side of their mouth while the continue to suck the lobbyist teat with the other. Can we say "Clear Skies Initiative" or "No Child Left Behind" or "Homeland Security" or "Medicaid Reform" or any other of the "bait and switch" games that we have seen over the last few years?
If the Dems in the House don't raise a stink over this then they are no better. Oh, and don't expect to hear any cries of foul from the corporate media.