< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Is the Democrats Plan to Fight Corruption Any Better?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Is the Democrats Plan to Fight Corruption Any Better?

From the Washington Post, an article about how the Democrats are now proposing ethics legislation that goes a little bit further than the current Republican plan. While I think that it is good that both parties are competing to have the best set of legislation aimed at getting to the roots of corruption, I still think there are measures that both parties don't want to touch that could do a better job (for an example, read an earlier post). From the article:

Rather than limiting the value of a gift to $20, as House Republicans are considering, the Democrats would prohibit all gifts from lobbyists. And the Democrats take direct aim at some of the legislative practices that have taken root in the last 10 years of Republican rule in Congress. They vowed to end the K Street Project, under which Republicans in Congress pressure lobbying organizations to hire only Republican staff and contribute only to Republican candidates.
Lawmakers would have to publicly disclose negotiations over private-sector jobs, a proposal inspired by then-House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin's job talks in 2003 that led to his hiring as president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Executive branch officials who are negotiating private-sector jobs would need approval from the independent Office of Governmental Ethics.
Under the Democrats' plan, House and Senate negotiators working out final versions of legislation would have to meet in open session, with all members of the conference committee -- not just Republicans -- having the opportunity to vote on all amendments. Legislation would have to be posted publicly 24 hours before congressional consideration. The Democrats also proposed to crack down on no-bid contracting and to require that any person appointed to a position involving public safety "possess proven credentials."

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes


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