Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Influence and politics

Jeffrey H. Birnbaum reports in the Washington Post that the Republican measures to curtail unethical lobbyist influence could be sidestepped easily:
The only requirement would be that whenever a lobbyist pays the bill, he or she must also hand the lawmaker a campaign contribution. Then the transaction would be perfectly okay.

"That's a big hole if they don't address campaign finance," said Joel Jankowsky, the lobbying chief of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, one of the capital's largest lobbying outfits.
Rick Klein in the Boston Globe shows an interesting "Freudian" slip from the speaker of the House:
Hastert also tried to separate himself from Abramoff yesterday, and even mispronounced his name at the press conference: ''A year ago most people around Congress couldn't tell you who Jack Abrahamoff [sic] was and didn't know who his associates were or what connections there are."


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