Baker accused of skirtingU.S. sanctions on Saddam
You see, it's just business, but good advice is to not leave finger prints on the knife or the back.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
100 Hours: Honest Leadership and Open Government
During the first 100 legislative hours of the 110th
Congress, Speaker-designate Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership have pledged to
pass key measures affecting the everyday lives of all Americans. One of
these is a series of proposals to clean up Washington and severing unethical
ties between lawmakers and lobbyists. We will start by banning travel and gifts
from lobbyists, getting tough on special interest earmarks, and ending the
abusive processes that have destroyed democracy in the House of
WHY PROPOSAL IS NEEDED:
Americans are paying for the cost of corruption in Washington with skyrocketing prices at the pump, spiraling drug costs, and the waste, fraud and no-bid contracts in the Gulf Coast and Iraq, for Administration cronies like Halliburton.
· The cozy relationship between Congress and special interests has resulted in lobbying scandals, such as those involving Republican super lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In this scandal, former Rep. Bob Ney pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud -- accepting all-expense-paid trips to play golf in Scotland and accepting meals, sports and concert tickets, while providing legislative favors for Abramoff’s clients.
· The scandal of former Rep. Duke Cunningham pleading guilty to accepting bribes from defense contractors in return for his help in securing defense contracts pointed up the damage of the earmarking special projects that has exploded in the Republican Congress.
· Republicans permitted a Congress in which lobbyists write the bills, 15-minute votes are held open for three hours, and entirely new legislation is crammed into signed conference reports in the dead of night.
BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR PROPOSAL: Reform
proposals have been introduced by both Democrats and Republicans.
· Exit polls showed that 42 percent of voters called corruption an extremely important issue in their choices at the polls. [CNN, 11/8/06]
· A number of these proposals are bipartisan, including a bill by Rep. Shays and Meehan (H.R.5677), by Sens. McCain and Leiberman (S. 2128), and Reps. Hefley and Udall (H.R. 4988).
PREVIOUS ACTION ON PROPOSAL:
Lobbying and government reform has been debated and passed by the House and Senate in 2006.
· On May 3, 2006, the House passed the Republicans’ anemic package of reforms (H.R. 4975), after extensive hearings on a range of these topics. The Senate reform proposal (S.2349) passed on March 29, 2006, but the Congress failed to reconcile the two versions.
· During those debates, Democrats proposed a tough, “far more robust version of lobbying reform” that was voted on twice and nearly passed the House with 16 Republicans supporting them. [Washington Post, 4/25/06; Vote #118, 5/3/06]
P.S. to my bella donna San Francisco treat;
- 40 of the 45 members of the Senate Democrat Caucus have taken money from Abramoff, his associates, and Indian tribe clients.
- Jimmy Carter taking bribes to write his latest anti-Semitic love fest for dead buddy Arafat all for his beautiful, and needed, Presidential Library
- An independent counsel who investigated possible tax violations by former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros charged that the Clinton administration thwarted his efforts to get to the truth.
- U.S. Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for possible bribery in exchange for promoting business deals in Africa and a cool $90,000 in his freezer
- Rep Maxine Waters for benefiting her family in numerous business deals
- Former Democat Gov. Donald Siegelman of Alabama was charged in a "widespread racketeering conspiracy" that includes accusations he took a bribe from former hospital executive Richard Scrushy for a key state appointment.
- Frank Ballance - a former Democrat Rep. from North Carolina was sentenced to four years in federal prison for conspiring to divert taxpayer money to his law firm and family through a charitable organization he helped start.
- Rep. Alan Mollohan (WV) - $200 million + to himself and his business buddies it appears
- Rep. John Murtha (PA) – This is the guy that put scam back in abs and steers millions of wasted taxpayer money to his district friends.
- Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL) – Impeached for a $150,000 bribe
- Raymond Reggie, a New Orleans political Democratic consultant and fund-raiser who is Senator Kennedy's brother-in-law was sentenced to a year in prison yesterday after pleading guilty to bank fraud charges.
- We must not forget the Fords of TN. A new day, a new indictment. Read here.