Monday, October 30, 2006

Pelosi and the lobbyists

By Michael J.W. Stickings

The title of Jeffrey Birnbaum's column in today's Washington Post drew me in: "Lobbyists Won't Like What Pelosi Has in Mind."

Very good, I thought. I don't care what lobbyists think, and nor should anyone who cares about the quality of American self-government. And if Pelosi has it in for them, fine with me.

Here are the details: "In a little-publicized statement, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House Democratic leader, has promised to change the chamber's rules to reflect the provisions of her not-so-modestly-named Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006. The months-old measure would, among other things, prohibit House members from accepting gifts and travel from lobbyists or from organizations that employ lobbyists."

In other words, Pelosi has committed to curtailing the outrageous and corrupting influence of Tom DeLay's K Street, the GOP-oriented machine that has come to promote Republican interests, and the financial interests of individual Republicans, at the expense of democratic rule and the well-being of the country.

It's long past time to put an end to the bribing of Congress, to the co-opting of Congress with cash. But better late than, as under Republican control, never.

All the more reason why we need Pelosi in the Speaker's chair.

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  • I like Pelosi, but where have we heard the term "Open Government" before?

    By Blogger ., at 9:40 PM  

  • As the cabinet secretary, Sir Arnold, says to the permanent secretary of the Department of Administrative Affairs, Sir Humphrey, in the first episode of Yes, Minister: "This is the closed season for open government."

    And that concerns me. It's easy to call for transparency when you're in opposition. Will Pelosi adhere to it when (if) she's in power?

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 10:23 PM  

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