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.

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