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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Business as usual, that is what is expected once "lobbying reform" is done in Washington DC. Oh sure, they may do away with some of the more visible "perks of power" - the trips, the dinners, the ballgames, the gifts - but the lobbyists will still have ways to "buy" influence by giving donations to a Senator's PAC or a Representative's favorite charity, or by sponsoring industry specific seminars.

"If meals are heavily restricted, we're likely to see executives from the home office picking up checks because they're not lobbyists," added J. Steven Hart of Williams & Jensen, a major lobbying firm. "And there are lots of other ways we can still get our cases before members of Congress." (emphasis mine)

Couple that with the fact that the House and the Senate have vastly different ideas as to what lobbying reform should look like. The bill currently working it's way through the House proposes putting spending limits on the 527's where the Senate bill does not.

Even the NY Times realizes that this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, however they turn that realization into an attack on one of the most vulnerable Republican Senators, rather than tackling their own who are just as guilty of abusing the system as anyone else.

The nice thing is that this reform can't stop us - the grass roots activists. We can and should be contacting our representatives in DC and make sure that they listen to "We the people" and not the lobying community.


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