Monday, April 30, 2007

Americans still looking for House Democrats to keep promises to curb corruption

Democrats were swept back into power in 2006, thanks largely to what they called the "culture of corruption" surrounding Republicans, including the removal of Bob Ney, Mark Foley, and Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
An editorial in today's New York Times suggests not much has been done by Democrats under Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move against this corruption since they took the reins:

The Abramoff specter should be a warning as the Democratic House confronts its election promise to crack down on the sordid giving and taking of outsized chunks of special-interest lobbying money.

The House would be wise to follow the Senate’s lead in shining sunlight on the notorious “bundling” of contributions by powerhouse lobbyists who become money harvesters at campaign time. They call in numerous individual donations from their various clients, then personally deliver mega-bales of the lucre to lawmakers left warm with gratitude.

The Senate’s remedy — which House members are reported to be resisting — would not ban bundling but require detailed disclosure of packaged donations and who is giving, bundling and taking.

The editorial concludes:

If the Abramoff ghost is not enough of a prod to clean up the Capitol, members need only check out their current ranks. Two House Republicans have recently been forced to step down from committee assignments because of ongoing criminal investigations of suspected special-interest machinations. Last November’s voters are still watching for something better than business as usual.

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