Here’s an experiment occasioned by the excellent report by John Solomon of the Washington Post on spouses of members of Congress who lobby. Solomon identifies 6 lawmakers married to registered lobbyists (listed below). Is it possible, after reading the lobby disclosure reports that list these spouses (I’ve linked the results page in the Senate Office of Public Records page for each of them, making it easy to find the reports) to determine whether the member votes for the spouse’s clients’ interests?
Here’s the list, with links:
Sen. Byron Dorgan……….Kimberly Olson Dorgan here and here Sen. Elizabeth Dole…………Robert J. Dole Sen. Ted Stevens…………….Catherine A. Stevens Sen. Kent Conrad……………Lucy Calautti Rep. Roy Blunt……………….Abigail Blunt Rep. Steven LaTourette……Jennifer LaTourette
The Washington Post has a nice database of congressional votes which should prove helpful when lobbyists list particular bills….
Update: Here’s an example. This disclosure tells us that Catherine Stevens, the wife of Sen. Ted Stevens, lobbied on S. 2439, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2002, for a group called CuresNow, which, according to this (scroll to the bottom) seemed to support S. 2439:
7. Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) have joined together to sponsor S. 2439, the “Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2002.” The act would ban reproductive cloning to create children, but permit privately funded research involving somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), sometimes called therapeutic cloning. This legislation is widely supported among scientific, medical, and patient groups.
Stevens, incidentally, was not a cosponsor.
The bill was referred to the Senate Juciciary Committee, where it apparently died. At the time, Sen. Stevens was not a member of the Judiciary Committee, so it’s unlikely he had much of an effect on the bill.