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July 6, 2006
The Pork Poll, Or Have You Seen Elvis Lately?

The Sunlight Foundation has a new poll for blog readers across the political spectrum. Several of us, including Instapundit and Truth Laid Bear, will post this poll ourselves and collect data from our readers. It's not meant to be scientific but rather a bit of temperature-taking, as well as a little fun for everyone.

Take a moment and fill it out so we can see where CQ readers stand on the issue:

Written by Micah Sifry on July 6, 2006 - 9:21am.

You can only vote once.
Sunlight's director, Ellen Miller, also has some good background information on earmark reform and its connection to corruption:
Six months ago, lobbyist Jack Abramoff admitted to corrupting government officials and pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion. Two Members of Congress have resigned their seats under a cloud of ethics charges, one of whom—Randy Cunningham--is in jail, and one—Tom DeLay—is under indictment in Texas.

Seven other Members—Senators Conrad Burns and Bill Frist, and Congressmen Dennis Hastert, William Jefferson, Jerry Lewis, Alan Mollahan and Bob Ney are currently under investigation by either the congressional ethics committees or law enforcement authorities (see this Congresspedia page for details). David Safavian, a top official at the General Services Administration, was found guilty by a jury on four counts of lying and obstruction of justice. And at least 11 government officials and former and current congressional staffers have either pled guilty or are under investigation for bribery, conspiracy, accepting bribes, corrupting elected officials, violations of lobbying rules, and numerous as yet unnamed reasons.

Six months ago, after Abramoff pled guilty, everyone in Congress was for reform ... Now, six months later, the Washington Post reports that these calls for change are “a fading concern.” The Post recounts, “Lawmakers considered a range of provisions, including a ban on privately funded junkets, a prohibition against taking gifts and an end to steeply discounted travel by private jet. Instead, they decided to strengthen and double the number of lobbyists' public disclosure reports, and they discarded -- or will probably discard -- almost everything else.” Powerful members of both chambers objected strongly to a ban on privately financed travel, and they were joined by major lobby groups. An independent office of public integrity was shot down in committee.

Be sure to read the whole post.

UPDATE: Fixed a coding problem, so the poll now runs correctly. It displays poorly, but it works!

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 6, 2006 1:32 PM

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