Thursday, March 30, 2006

Senate Passes New Ethics Bill


WASHINGTON — Faced with a plummeting reputation among voters, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a modest lobby reform bill Wednesday that has been months in the making. The legislation is getting pretty mixed reviews for what it does and doesn't do.
Another excerpt:
The 90-8 vote restricts gift giving and makes lobbying activities more open. It also bans meals from lobbyists, but does not prohibit lobbyist-paid travel, a big bone of contention for some following the Jack Abramoff scandal.
Just hours before the vote, a U.S. District judge in Miami sentenced the former lobbyist to five years and 10 months in prison on conspiracy and wire fraud charges. Abramoff is helping federal investigators probing malfeasance in Congress.
Under the Senate bill, lobbyists will be required to reveal more information about their contacts with lawmakers. The bill prolongs the impact of the "revolving door" between lawmakers and lobbyists, mandating that two years must pass from the time a member leaves the body and begins to lobby his former colleagues. That doubles the current length of time a former lawmaker must wait.
The bill does not establish an independent ethics watchdog office to police the activity of members.
Another excerpt:
"We're dealing with a reality here that public confidence in Congress is very low, it's perilously low," Collins said in beseeching her colleagues to no avail.
Another excerpt:
"We cannot tackle the big issues facing our country if the public does not trust us to act in the public interest," said Collins, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Fox News-Full Story

Reform Bill yeah right.....Don't get excited about these Senators passing this bill yesterday, it is not even a tip of the iceberg of all the dealings they are involved in.
Timing is everything.....also yesterday Jack Abramoff appeared in front of a judge in Miami and was sentenced. Humm....what a coincidence!!! Oh yeah, Ear marks now will have to be known 24 hours in advance. (sigh)

Judge sentences former lobbyist Jack Abramoff to five years and 10 months in prison in his Florida fraud case.
Read this Article to make your BLOOD BOIL!!
How Congress benefits from corporate flights
By Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY (first week of March 2006)
WASHINGTON — It was a busy weekend last November for the flight crew of BellSouth's corporate jet. Over three days, they crisscrossed the Southeast, ferrying six U.S. senators, two of their wives, a trio of political consultants and two of the company's Washington lobbyists to Republican and Democratic fundraising events. USA Today-Full Story

I hope you take time to read these articles, I bet our U.S. Senators hope other breaking news will divert away from this while they hide under their desks in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, our Senators are focused on voters in the hispanic community for 06 and 08 i.e. immigration bill.

Tuesday I brought up TERM LIMITS and I loved yesterday when Fred Barnes mentioned it on Brit Hume show. (smiling) NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!! Remember they are the ones making laws......

Now the latest is Congress does not have to go through the Metal detectors.......The McKinney story....coming soon. Will try to update this.....
SIDENOTE: Sorry friends I have been absent....Spring Cleaning and Guests for this upcoming weekend. Will try to get around soon....if not later today.

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