Editorial: Democrats not safe on lobbying reform
"It’s crunch time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to deliver on the Democrats’ vow to rein in power lobbyists who sully Congress by purchasing privileged access with outsized campaign donations. There are worthy remedies, but members are balking. If the House resorts to mere cosmetic changes, the Democrats will risk the same voters’ ire that cost the Republicans control last year.

The keystone of lobbying reform has already been passed by the Senate: the requirement that lobbyists disclose details of how they buy insiders’ clout — think Jack Abramoff — by soliciting donations from countless clients and delivering them to grateful lawmakers in eye-popping megabundles. The House must match the Senate in requiring full disclosure of these bundling operations and full details of who gives what to whom at pay-per-view fundraising galas that are the staple of Washington’s social life.

Make no mistake. If the leadership fails to bring the lobbying industry to heel, voters will know that Congress remains as much for sale under the Democrats as it was under the Republicans."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Bringing Lobbyists to Heel (The New York Times 5/16)
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