The latest news to come out of Washington is the indictment of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) and the death of Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.). Tasini has a post on Jefferson worth reading over here.
Whatever the eventual outcome of the case against Jefferson, it's clear that money in politics is having a detrimental impact on Congress' (and especially all too many Democrats') ability to think clearly on trade and other pocketbook issues facing working families. Indeed, in the nearly 18 years he has been in office, Jefferson has voted against fair trade 16 out of 17 times, voting for NAFTA, WTO, NAFTA for Africa (twice), China PNTR, NAFTA expansions to Australia, Bahrain, Chile, Morocco, Oman, and Singapore, and providing key passing votes on CAFTA and Fast Track (twice) in 2001-02. He also voted against crucial accountability measures on Fast Track in 1991 and WTO in 2005. (The one and only time he voted the fair trade position was in 1993 on a Fast Track measure.)
Meanwhile, Sen. Thomas - while certainly no consistent fair trader - actually bucked his party leadership to vote the fair trade position on CAFTA in 2005, helping make the measure the tightest Senate vote on trade in recent history. This is also partially explained by the shifting winds on trade in Wyoming, evidenced most recently by Gary Trauner's fair trade candidacy in the '06 election.