Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ethics Bill Proves Congress is Corrupt, Does Less to Correct It Than Hide It

Congress is sitting on a mountain of corruption, and the recent ethics bill proves it. From Ed Morrisey at Captain’s Quarters:

We have heard that the new bill keeps lawmakers from accepting free meals from lobbyists, as though a free $40 steak has been the root of all corruption on Capitol Hill, but it doesn't even do that much. There are over 20 exceptions to the food and gift bans in the bill. For instance, lobbyists can still fund trips to "well-attended" events, such as charity golf tournaments and receptions, or events where the lawmaker plays a ceremonial role. They can't give tickets to sporting events, but that changes if the Congressman tosses out the first pitch.
So let's recap. Lobbyists can't buy a meal unless it's part of a fundraiser, which means that the previous $40 steak can be legalized now by providing a $10,000 check to tenderize it. Lawmakers can't accept gifts to sporting events unless the lobbyists can make sure they get all sorts of attention from the crowd, preferably during election season. Lobbyists can't buy a round of golf for a Senator, but that changes if the round of golf comes at a charity function where lots of press usually attend.
Wow -- what a sacrifice our Congress has made for themselves in this ethics bill! No wonder lobbyists object to it. All Congress has done is to increase their prices, not take them off the market. In a way, it makes it even more easier for the richest interests to buy a Congressman and keep the hoi polloi from shopping at the Capitol Hill outlet store.

It’s worth reading the whole thing. Here’s a link:

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