July 13, 2012

In Georgia, Tea Party And Progressives Go On Bus Tour To Fight Lobbyists

We’ve been continually reporting on the tea party-progressive movement in Georgia to demand a lobbyist gift cap so that lobbyists can no longer give any gifts to lawmakers that cost more than $100 (Georgia is today one of three states where lobbyists can give unlimited gifts to legislators).

At least 130 sitting state lawmakers or legislative candidates have signed a pledge promising to support a $100 cap on gifts to lawmakers, an important step ahead of Georgia’s state legislative primaries at the end of this month. There will also be non-binding ballot questions both for Democrats and Republicans …

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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 27, 2012

Orrin Hatch Uses Corporate Cash To Fend Off Tea Party Challenge

Last night, incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) easily bested a tea party-backed primary challenge from Dan Liljenquist, getting 66% of the vote to his 33%.

Hatch’s win came on the heels of a huge fundraising advantage. He raised $9,709,238 and spent $10,151,378 during the campaign cycle, while Liljenquist raised $778,362 and spent only $614,638.

Interestingly, 40 percent of the incumbent senator’s funds came from Political Action Committees (PACs), while Liljenquist raised virtually no PAC cash. The only strong outside interest group backing the challenger was FreedomWorks, but that group spent only roughly $900,000 on his behalf.

Corporations and K Street in particular lined up …

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May 31, 2012
Georgia's voters want lobbying reform.

Georgia Tea Partiers And Progressives Unite To Demand Lobbying Reforms

In July, Georgia’s Democratic and Republican Party voters will get a chance to tell their respective political parties that there needs to be lobbying reform.

Ballots for both parties will ask “questions about limiting the value of meals, tickets and other gifts lobbyists give to state legislators. The questions are nonbinding but will give policymakers insight into how voters feel about the issue.”

The Athens Banner-Herald and the Georgia Newspaper Partnership conducted a poll of Georgia voters last December asking them about lobbying reform. Here’s the key result:

Seventy-two percent of Georgia voters polled by the Banner-Herald and the Georgia Newspaper Partnership in December supported …

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