Thursday, January 19, 2006

Democrats Unveil Lobbying Curbs

WaPo reports .... Rather than limiting the value of a gift to $20, as House Republicans are considering, Democrats would prohibit all gifts from lobbyists.

That is fine with me, however I don't see a significant difference between the current $50 limit, the Republican proposal of $20, or the Democratic proposal of $0.
Democrats also take direct aim at some of the legislative practices that have become established in the past 10 years of Republican rule in Congress. They vowed to end the K Street Project, under which Republicans in Congress pressure lobbying organizations to hire only Republican staff members and contribute only to Republican candidates.
I don't see anything unethical about that. I can see why the Dems are ticked at it, and it is mean-spirited, but not unethical.
Lawmakers would have to publicly disclose negotiations over private-sector jobs,
That seems reasonable to me.
a proposal inspired by then-House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin's job talks in 2003 that led to his hiring as president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in January 2005. Executive branch officials who are negotiating private-sector jobs would need approval from the independent Office of Governmental Ethics.

Under the Democrats' plan, House and Senate negotiators working out final versions of legislation would have to meet in open session, with all members of the conference committee -- not just Republicans -- having the opportunity to vote on amendments. Legislation would have to be posted publicly 24 hours before congressional consideration.
That is reasonable.
Democrats also proposed to crack down on no-bid contracting
While this may be good, they are taking a shot at the Executive Branch, and what they should be focusing on is ethical problems in the Legislative branch.
and to require that any person appointed to a position involving public safety "possess proven credentials."
That is not really an ethical problem, they just want to take another shot at the former FEMA leader.

At least the WaPo story gave some idea of what the Democratic plan includes. The NYT story just told about how they bad mouthed the Republicans, and tried to cover up the unethical way the Democrats launched their plan at the Library of Congress, whose regulations that say the facility should not to be used for political events

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