Today, I’m pulling together a timeline — a sort of biography of form SF-LLL that also suggests a number of questions. In the meantime, through the magic of Nexis, thought I’d pass along this bit from a Sept. 18, 1989, Washington Post editorial on the passage of the Byrd Amendment, the rule that required the form to be filed:
There is no better preventive measure against politically motivated favoritism than disclosure. Grant-making agencies and legislators are far less likely to be pressured by the politically connected if the details of that pressure are going to turn up in the nation’s newspapers. Institutions are going to think twice about paying exorbitant fees for a power-broker’s phone calls when the voters will be told about every deal made and every dollar spent. Sen. Byrd’s new rules will change the way a lot of business is done in this town, and the change is welcome.
It hasn’t quite worked out that way, of course, and one of the things we’re trying to find out is why.