posted on January 22, 2007 17:48
Before the election the Democrats had a lot to say about cleaning-up the corruption in Congress – which was a good thing because Congress is past due for a little housecleaning.
One of the items to be cleaned is Congressmen’s spouses working as lobbyists.
Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana – not a state known for its pristine politics – introduced a bill to stop the practice last year when the Republicans were in charge. It went nowhere.
So, Senator Vitter introduced his bill again – now that the Democrats are in charge. But the new Majority leader, Harry Reid, threw him a curve ball. Reid opposes the bill – unless Vitter changes it to exempt spouses who were already lobbyists.
Senator Reid’s logic is peculiar: It is wrong for spouses to be lobbyists in the future – but it is alright for them to be lobbyists now.
Here’s another way to look at it: Senator Reid is going to clean up the corruption that may exist in the future – but do nothing about the corruption that exists now.
At best, if Senator Reid’s version of ‘ethics reform’ passes, every spouse who was lobbying Congress last year, can continue to this year. Nothing will have changed.
One last point, which is not very pleasant, but which needs to be stated: Senator Reid’s son and son-in-law are both lobbyists.
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