An article in today's New York Times explores the way lobbyists and special interests are simply tweaking their game so it can business as usual:
One much-ballyhooed provision in the new law is being delayed indefinitely. Carrying out the requirement, that lawmakers disclose the names of lobbyists who “bundle,” or gather campaign contributions, is being held up by a deadlock in the Senate over nominees to the Federal Election Commission.
Four of the election commission’s six seats are vacant, leaving it unable to take any action like issuing new rules on how bundled contributions are to be disclosed or giving formal legal advice to presidential campaigns.
Good-government advocates say this highlights a point that they have harped on for years: strict regulations are useless without strict enforcement.
“Just like the campaign finance rules, the ethics laws mean little unless they are effectively enforced,” said Don Simon, a Washington election lawyer who is counsel to the group Democracy 21. “And just as with the campaign finance laws where there has been a longstanding problem with lack of enforcement, so too, with the ethics rules.”