COME ON, DEMOCRATS, SHAPE UP!

Tell me it's not so. Tell me that the headline I'm looking at is not true. It says: "Democrats Reluctant To Pass Lobbying Bill."
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
COME ON, DEMOCRATS, SHAPE UP!
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Tell me it’s not so. Tell me that the headline I’m looking at is not true. It says: “Democrats Reluctant To Pass Lobbying Bill.”

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Aren’t these the same Democrats who rightly hung Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, and the “culture of corruption” around the Republicans’ necks in last fall’s congressional elections? Aren’t these the Democrats who became the majority party based largely on their solemn pledge to stop the corrupt ties between lawmakers and lobbyists?

Yes, they are. And I’m glad to report that most of the Democratic newcomers who got elected on those pledges are staying true to them. But some of the old Democratic leaders, some of the “Moneycrats” in Congress, are now balking at implementing the most basic reforms.

For example, the old guard does not want to stop lobbyists from “bundling” campaign checks – which is a devious way to avoid the ban on corporate contributions. Also, the Moneycrats seem to be party animals. They dislike the reform that would stop lobbyists from throwing lavish parties that “honor” key lawmakers at national political conventions. These Party parties further bloat the egos of various committee chairs, while earning favors for the sponsoring corporations.

Oh, there’s one more reform on the Democrat’s chopping block. It would require that retiring or defeated congress critters must wait two years after leaving congress to be able to lobby their former colleagues. Can you spell, S-E-L-F-I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T? Former members can draw seven-figure paychecks as lobbyists – and who wants to wait two years to cash in?

Before backing off of their reform promises, Democratic leaders might note that the public approval rating of the new congress has dropped 5 points in the last month, now standing at only 35 percent. That’s the level at which you lose elections. Remember – the people didn’t vote for Democrats last November… they voted for reform.

“Democrats Reluctant to Pass Lobbying Bill,” Austin American-Statesman, May 12, 2007
“Congress loses popularity points,” Austin American-Statesman, May 12, 2007

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