Monday, September 18, 2006


Sue Enables Pork (Part II)

When is a reform not a reform? When Sue Kelly and her colleagues decide to build the rule-making equivalent to a “bridge to nowhere”.

Sue helped pass a new House rule that purports to make public the names of members requesting “earmarks” (special projects which often benefit only a single entity). Problem is (and with these guys you always have to read the fine print) this rule will last only until the end of 2006, and would not eliminate a single earmark.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) pointed out in the floor debate that this was a “deceptive bill that is riddled with loopholes… you could drive a truck through.”

But what do you expect from the folks who have more criminals than statesmen (dare I say Tom DeLay/Bob Ney/Duke Cunningham for starters?) in their midst. You certainly wouldn’t expect anything that smelled like ethics reform.

In contrast, the Democratic bill (yes, Virginia, there is a difference between Democratic values and Republican corruption) would have banned Congressional travel on corporate jets, prohibited lobbyist gifts, slowed the revolving door between Capitol Hill and the lobbying firms, shut down the trading of jobs in lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors, and exposed earmarks to the light of day so that they couldn’t be slipped into bills without public scrutiny, including disclosure whether the Member proposing the earmark has a financial interest in it.

Sue voted "yes" which was a vote to kill the Democrat's comprehensive ethics reform.

Sue Kelly and her ethically-challenged gang are a clear and present danger to honest government.

Speaking of ethics, this story appeared in the Daily News:

FBI Assigns Record Number of Agents to Public Corruption Cases

"There is so much political corruption on Capitol Hill that the FBI has had to triple the number of squads investigating lobbyists, lawmakers and influence peddlers, the Daily News has learned.

"For decades, only one squad in Washington handled corruption cases because the crimes were seen as local offenses handled by FBI field offices in lawmakers' home districts. . . .

"But in recent years, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and other abuses of power and privilege have prompted the FBI to assign 37 agents full-time to three new squads in an office near Capitol Hill.

"FBI Assistant Director Chip Burrus told The News yesterday that he wants to detail even more agents to the Washington field office for a fourth corruption squad because so much wrongdoing is being uncovered. . . .

"Two years ago, only 400 agents worked on public corruption cases. Now, 615 agents nationwide - including 30 in New York - are trying to nail public servants for betraying the public trust in 2,200 ongoing cases. . . .

"Burrus wouldn't speculate about why there is so much graft, but said, 'We have to pull the whole weed up or it's just going to grow back again.'" (NY Daily News)

Nice to be the "Class of 1994"!
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