Mid-Morning News:

  • The New York Times picks up the story of Alan Mollohan’s (D-WV) farm on Cheat River. Mollohan "acknowledged yesterday that he had on several occasions steered earmarks to federal agencies to finance contracts with his friend’s company, FMW Composite Systems. … But Mr. Mollohan said that he was not FMW’s only ‘Congressional sponsor’ and that he saw no conflict of interest between his personal real estate purchase and the company’s federal contracts." Congressmen, act now, and sponsor a campaign donor today.
  • Tom DeLay’s (R-TX) former chief of staff and now powerful Republican lobbyist Susan Hirshmann is profiled in the Legal Times.
  • We have another editorial bashing the House’s attempt at lobbying and ethics "reform", this time from the New York Times.

    "The proposal is a cadaverous pretense that Congress has learned the corrupting lessons of Jack Abramoff, the disgraced superlobbyist; Representative Tom DeLay, the fallen majority leader; and Duke Cunningham, the imprisoned former congressman. It makes a laughingstock of the pious promises of last January to ban privately financed junketeering by lawmakers. Instead, these adventures in quid pro quo lawmaking would be suspended only temporarily, safe to blossom again after the next election."

  • And if you thought those gas prices were going to go down I hope you have a few million dollars to lobby Congress. The Hill reports that the oil and gas industry are preparing to throw $30 million into a "grassroots" campaign to lobby Congress and improve their image among the American people.