Wednesday, January 25, 2006

"You Just Have To Pay Your Share Of The Check."

Russ Feingold made a call for real and substantive change in lobbying laws today at the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee On Lobbying and Ethics Reform. His testimony called for 5 changes.

  1. A real lobbyist gift ban
  2. Address privately funded travel
  3. Slow the revolving door
  4. End reliance on corporate jets
  5. Improve lobbying disclosure

He also warned that we should beware of those who are mired in the current scandals and are proposing changes as face-saving measures;

...But the first point I want to emphasize today is that this Committee should
resist the temptation to let opponents of reform change the subject. By all
means, consider all proposals that will have an impact on the problem, but don’t
let side issues take your attention away from the abuses that need to be
stopped. Whenever someone disparages basic reforms of the gift and travel rules
by saying “what Congress really needs to do is _X_”, be skeptical.

He issued a call for bipartisan action saying;

But working together on a bipartisan bill does not mean being timid. It does not mean Democrats and Republicans should come together to protect the status quo or find the lowest common denominator. Now is the time for bold and decisive action, not weak knees.

Feingold laid out the case for real reforms and the steps necessary to effect them. Who is Statesman enough to follow his lead?

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