August 2, 2012

‘Persistence Matters, Public Engagement Matters’: House Democrats Dare To Reform Campaign Finance System

Yesterday, House Democrats held a press conference outside of the capitol building along with Public Campaign, a campaign finance reform group. Their goal was to issue a D.A.R.E to Congressional Republicans encouraging them to act on campaign finance reform.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Rep. James Clyburn, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen all joined Public Campaign in calling for a constitutional amendment overturning the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United.

D.A.R.E is intended to highlight key areas that need to be addressed when trying to ameliorate the U.S. campaign finance system: disclosing donors, amending the constitution, reforming campaign finance …

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July 10, 2012
Nebraska GOP Senate candidate Deb Fischer

Nebraska GOP Senate Candidate Deb Fischer Puts Out Bold Plan For Ethics Reform

Deb Fischer shocked political observers recently when she came from behind and won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Nebraska. Although an endorsement from GOP icon Sarah Palin probably helped, it’s worth noting that Fischer has also been campaigning on a strong proposal to reform the ethics and lobbying laws in Congress.

Here’s a few of the provisions that she has listed:

– “A lifetime ban on Members of Congress from becoming federally registered lobbyists after they leave office.”

– “Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Nebraska and other states are subject to FOIA and Washington …

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June 22, 2012
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) wants to clamp down on U.S. government officials lobbying for foreign governments.

Foreign Lobbying Ban Advances In The House Of Representatives

Earlier this year, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) introduced the Foreign Lobbying Reform Act, which would prohibit federal government officials such as Members of Congress from lobbying for foreign governments until ten years after they have left office.  “I am very serious about this,” said Wolf at the time. “It is not put in for just discussion purposes.”

Wolf has made good on his words as yesterday the ban was inserted into the markup of a 2013 Financial Services spending bill in the House of Representatives. “For those who hold such prominent positions in government service, we must set a high …

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June 11, 2012
Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge)

Georgia House Speaker Who Opposes Lobbying Gift Cap Went On $17,000 Lobbyist-Funded European Trip

As we reported earlier, last month the conservative Georgia Tea Party Patriots united with the progressive Georgia Common Cause group to demand lobbying reform in the state that would require cap the value of individual gifts given to legislators by at $100. The cap is a modest measure as it would still allow lobbyists to give as many $100 dollar gifts to lawmakers as they wanted.

This left-right-center movement for a lobbyist gift cap comes as Georgia lawmakers are being wined and dined by lobbyists and being given all sorts of expensive gifts to influence them.

Nearly 70 legislators

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March 21, 2012

Rep. Kildee Agrees With Republic Report, Says Retiring Lawmakers Should Disclose Job Negotiations With Lobbyists

Last week, Republic Report sent a letter to 35 retiring Members of Congress asking them to reject backdoor bribery and publicly disclose negotiations they’re having with lobbyists and others for jobs after they leave office. Current disclosure laws are full of loopholes, leaving constituents in the dark about these negotiations. We’re outraged that Members of Congress are getting 1,452% raises to sell out their constituents and become lobbyists for special interests like health insurers, the drug industry, or big banks.

On Monday, we asked Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) how he plans to respond to our letter. He went beyond disclosing that …

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