gop adds loopholes to ethics rules
What a difference eight years makes. Today's Washington Post takes a closer look at the current GOP Congress's efforts to relax ethics rule changes that the Republicans themselves made when they came to power eight years ago (and for the record, I believe the GOP did perform a service then in reforming a system that'd been abused). Now that they're in power, though, it looks like the Republican leadership wants a chance to abuse those perks themselves.
The real shame of these changes is that they're a transparent effort to give lobbyists even more influence over Congress; it's practically a direct solicitation of a bribe. Here's a key quote from the story:
By relaxing the gift ban, Republicans have provided corporations, labor unions and other interest groups many new avenues -- which are closed to ordinary Americans -- to try to influence lawmakers and their staffs. Lobbyists footing the bill often get coveted face time with key lawmakers and their aides.
Folks, this is not about pizza. I'm ordering pizza tonight, in fact, and it'll cost about 12 bucks for two large pies, plus tip. It's about giving special interests of all stripes even more access and even more influence than the citizens the Congresscritters purportedly represent enjoy. These lax laws let lobbyists lavish luxuries on Congresscritters,
even especially ones considering legislation that affects them. The loopholes the GOP have added stink on ice.