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House Votes to Embrace Ethics Overhaul

July 31st, 2007 . by TexasFred

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to make lawmakers disclose more details of their efforts to fund pet projects and raise money from lobbyists, responding to a rash of recent scandals.

The Democratic-drafted legislation followed cases that sent two GOP lawmakers and a big-time lobbyist to prison and saw a House Democrat charged with bribery.

Senate leaders hope to give it final passage this week, even as the chamber’s most senior Republican faces questions about Monday’s federal raid of his home as part of a bribery probe in Alaska.

The bill, which the House passed 411-8, would require lawmakers to disclose those lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more for them within a six-month period by “bundling” donations from many people. The requirement would cover party-affiliated campaign committees as well.

What a marvelous idea, to enact legislation that would make our esteemed Senators and Congresscritters adhere to something called honesty, what a concept, why hasn’t anyone thought of this before??

I have said this on more than one occasion in the past, none of them are above the law, I don’t care what party they belong to or which state they represent, if they are suspected of wrong doing, regardless of what wrong doing it may be, investigate the allegations, get to the bottom of it and if the accused is found innocent, leave him/her alone and let them get on with their lives, but if found to be guilty of any form of malfeasance in office, if they truly have broken the public trust and let their constituents down, drum them out of D.C. or their state office, send them to prison for the maximum time prescribed, take away ALL there government benefits and pensions and make them work for a living once they do get out of jail…

Self-styled watchdog groups noted that the bill was less stringent in some respects than were earlier versions. But they hailed it as a major leap by an institution generally loathe to police itself.

“These are big-time fundamental reforms that will end the secrecy surrounding the multiple ways in which Washington lobbyists use money to curry favor and gain access and influence with members of Congress,” said Fred Wertheimer, president of the nonprofit group Democracy21.

And there lies the spoiler for the entire deal, where are you going to find a group of politicians that are going to not be inclined to ‘look the other way’ if there’s some serious money involved, especially if he’s going to be the one receiving it??

I know our lawmakers should follow the exact letter of the law but I’m not so naive that I think they’re all going to be Boy Scouts, it’s just not built in to human nature for all people to be totally honest, and some folks get elected that should already be doing time, and likely would if there had been a FULL disclosure of their past before they were elected…

I’m having problems maintaining ANY confidence in our government of late, I seriously feel we’ve been used, abused, lied to and ignored, I somehow think that our lawmakers in D.C. need a forceful wakeup call of some kind, they need to be reminded, often, that they work for US, it’s not the other way around, we pay the bills, they administer the money, but it’s OUR money, and they ALL need to be glaringly aware of that little fact…

Common Cause said the bill “should change the way business is done in Washington by shining the light on the often mutually dependent relationships between lobbyists and members of Congress.”

We can only hope…

Full Story Here:
House Votes to Embrace Ethics Overhaul

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