Sunday, March 19, 2006
Ethics! We don't need no stinking ethics!
As Congress prepares to sweep any lobbying reform under the rug, the WaPo details how the lobbyists are preparing to show a lower profile, without diminishing their efforts or monies spent.
Some of Washington's top lobbyists say that they expect to find ways around congressional efforts to impose new restrictions on lobbyists' dealings with lawmakers in the wake of the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal, and that any limits will barely put a dent in the billions of dollars spent to influence legislation.The money must get through. These people have an important mission and as Our Dear Embattled Leader has shown, laws are not for important people.
Though Congress may ultimately vote to eliminate a few of the more visible trappings of special pleading, such as gifts, free meals and luxurious trips, lobbyists say they have already found scores of new ways to buy the attention of lawmakers through fundraising, charitable activities and industry-sponsored seminars. An estimated $10 billion is spent annually to influence legislation and regulations, and that spending is not likely to be diminished by the proposed lobbying changes, these lobbyists contend.
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