Thursday, May 19, 2005

Say no to influence peddlers!

I support the Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act, and I challenge Jeb Bradley to do the same.

The Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act is an important step towards reclaiming our government from the grip of special interests and influence peddlers. The current Congressional leadership team’s utter disregard for any standards of ethical conduct has underscored the need for tougher measures. By requiring meaningful disclosure, imposing tough civil penalties and limiting the ability of former members of Congress to cash in on their service, this legislation will help put an end to the current culture of corruption in Washington.

The Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act is co-sponsored by Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL).

Among other provisions, the bill:

Creates a searchable, downloadable database for lobbyist disclosure.

Requires lobbyists to file more frequent financial disclosures.

Requires lobbyists to disclose the names of those members of Congress with whom they have had contact for the purpose of influencing public policy.

Extends from one year to two years the period during which former members of Congress are prohibited from engaging in lobbying activity.

Directs the General Accounting Office to report to Congress twice a year on the ability of the House and Senate clerks to enforce lobbying rules.

Bring 'em on!

PoliticsNH is reporting that one Gary Dodds of Rye is contemplating joining the race for Jeb Bradley's seat.

Come on in; the water's fine!

There are some folks who hate contested primaries, thinking them divisive, expensive and time-consuming. Indeed, Mr. Dodds voiced such an opinion when he bowed out of a primary for the state senate a few years ago. I don't share that view. I believe that a primary can be a valuable way of building a candidate's message, expanding a party's appeal, and bringing an array of new ideas before the voting public.

Gary Dodd's decision has no impact on how I will run my campaign. This campaign is about ideas and inclusiveness, not stale old rhetoric and insider games. If Gary can offer a compelling case for change, then I welcome his presence out on the campaign trail.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Black Friday

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission released its report this morning, and the axe fell on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

Today is not the day to attempt to fix blame; in the months ahead, there will be
plenty of time for that discussion. Instead, those of us who serve in public
office must fight to convince the Commission of the benefits of keeping the
Portsmouth facility open, while simultaneously developing a long-term strategy
for the shipyard in the event the closure is approved. By utilizing the same
strengths that have made the Portsmouth shipyard such an important part of our
nation's defense capability, we can ensure that the shipyard remains a key
component of the Seacoast economy for decades to come.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Convention Kudos

I want to thank my House colleague Jim Ryan for organizing the federal issues workshop during yesterday's Democratic Mid-Term Convention. With as motley a collection of panelists as you'll ever see (Dick Swett, Paul Hodes, Maggie Hassan, Bob Bruce, Chris Owen, and of course the inimitable Arnie Arnesen), we had a good discussion of what it will take to craft a winning message in 2006.

I also want to thank all of the folks who took the time to wish me luck in my race. I deeply appreciate your support, and I hope that I will continue to earn your trust as the race progresses.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

On second thought, make that $15,000 short

Sure, Jeb voted to reinstate the House ethics committee rules that his mentor, Tom DeLay, chucked onto the scrap heap a while back. But he only did so after he received permission from the big boys. If Jeb wants to show he's serious about cleaning up the corruption on Capitol Hill, I have a better idea. Get rid of the $15,000 in campaign cash he received from Tom DeLay.

Now, normally you hear people being told to "return the money". Frankly, I don't want to see this. All that does is give DeLay $15,000 to shower on some other worthy crony.

My challenge to Jeb is this: if you are serious about standing up to Tom DeLay's culture of corruption and complacency, then give the $15,000 to a worthy New Hampshire charity.

Whadda ya say, Jeb?

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