About

  • TheWatchdogBlog.org is published by Public Citizen's Congress Watch. We work to ensure that Congress represents citizens by exposing the harmful impact of money in politics and fighting for an improved democracy. We also champion consumer interests before the U.S. Congress and seek to preserve citizen access to the courts to redress corporate harm and negligence.



Our Mascot

  • Our mascot, Brandice
Statement of Policies

« Justice Department Refuses to Release Documents | Main | The Business Community Joins in the Call for Lobbying and Ethics Reform »

Unbundle the Abramoffs

Public Citizen activists have been encouraging members of Congress to provide more information about lobbyists who bundle campaign contributions.  Check out today's editorial in The Washington Post:

THE HOUSE Democratic leadership is to meet this week to determine the content of the lobbying reform package it says is one of its top priorities. The key test of the leadership's seriousness on this issue will be whether the proposal includes a provision to require lobbyists to disclose the bundles of cash they collect for lawmakers' campaigns.

Such a requirement was contained in the Senate lobbying bill passed in January. The head of the House Democrats' campaign committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), sponsored a similar requirement last year and is pushing it again this time around -- despite the crimp it could put in his ability to raise money for his troops. But other influential House members are said to be balking, worried that merely requiring lobbyists to reveal the bundles could reduce the number and size of such donations.

This is, of course, precisely why disclosure is essential. The influence that lobbyists wield can't be gauged by looking at their individual contributions. Their power comes in their capacity to deliver a stack of checks to grateful lawmakers. A lawmaker knows how much he or she is indebted to a lobbyist. So, you can be sure, does the lobbyist. The only ones in the dark are the public.

This provision wouldn't ban bundling, just shine some sunlight on it. It wouldn't apply to all big fundraisers, just ones who make their livings lobbying the legislators for whom they're bringing in the bundles. House Democrats must keep this in mind: They're in power in large part because of the cozy, and in some cases corrupt, relationships their predecessors had with lobbyists. If they want to stay in power, they need to demonstrate that they are willing, finally, to do something about this.

We couldn't agree more.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83452507269e200d83532fece69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Unbundle the Abramoffs:

Comments

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.