May 24, 2007

Hold On Tight To That Bundling

The Hill follows up on its reporting about sudden Democratic antipathy to cleansing the political process of lobbyist influence, focusing today on the issue of bundling. Despite the rhetoric of the last campaign, it turns out that many Democrats like lobbyist influence, especially those in leadership positions:

Powerful Democratic chairmen and subcommittee chairmen have relied on lobbyists to raise money during the first three months of this year, according to recent fundraising reports, which cast light on the strong opposition to lobbying reform legislation scheduled to reach the floor today.

Conservative Democrats in the Blue Dog Coalition have been particularly leery of legislation that would require lobbyists to reveal in public reports the total amount of contributions they raise or “bundle” for lawmakers. Many Democrats voiced concerns at a closed-door caucus meeting on the lobbying reform bill last week.

“Instead of passing a bunch of little bills, I would rather have people here understand they should act how their momma and poppa taught them how to act,” said Rep. Allen Boyd (Fla.), a Blue Dog Democrat who is undecided about whether to vote for proposed rules requiring lobbyists to report the contributions they raise for lawmakers.

Well, isn't that folksy! Instead of cleaning up Congress by tightening restrictions on lobbying and requiring full disclosure of fundraising efforts, Boyd just reckons that y'all oughta trust 'em to have been raised right by their folks. The Democrats embrace family values at last!

I guess it never occurred to Boyd that his job is "passing a bunch of little bills," as members of Congress. They campaigned on the promise to pass a passel of bills to clean up lobbyist influence, screaming about Jack Abramoff so loudly as to make people forget that Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got plenty of Abramoff help, too. Instead, Boyd and the rest of the Democratic leadership want to allow lobbyists to pass a bunch of little bills -- $50s, $100s, and the like. William "Dollar Bill' Jefferson can even show them the proper method of storage.

Nancy Pelosi, to her credit, says she will put the bundling regulations on the floor today. We'll see how many Democrats -- and Republicans -- wind up supporting the push for sunlight and openness in reporting lobbyist contributions.


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Comments (1)

Posted by brooklyn | May 24, 2007 11:51 AM

The hypocrisy is really amusing...

Nancy is being forced to try to address these issues, because so many on her side are so deeply disappointed with the Democrat effort.

This is the Party that ran on the lie, something Nancy Pelosi repeated quite often, that al Qaeda isn't in Iraq.

As if they could be trusted with anything...