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Tag Archive: Bribery

International Sunlight

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Riffing off of the estimable Nisha Thompson's Local Sunlight feature, there are a couple of Sunlight related stories happening across our northern border and across the pond in Europe. First, our friends in Europe are taking after our Congress and considering passing sweeping lobbying disclosure for the EU for the very first time:

The European Commission has proposed new rules that could require European Union lobbyists to register for the first time, as part of a new transparency effort spawned after news reports of Abramoff’s activities broke.

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Lobbyist Trent Lott Under Federal Investigation

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After the President signed his name to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, members of Congress had until January 1st to vacacte their seats if they wanted to trade the black suit and American flag lapel of Capitol Hill for the black suit and American flag lapel of K Street. The ethics reform bill extended the "cooling off" period for lawmakers-turned-lobbyists from one year to two years, which would leave retired members of Congress with 2 years to find something to do - write your memoirs or teach a class at the university that got so many earmarks they named a building after you - before they can make the big bucks on K Street. When Sen. Trent Lott announced his sudden retirement before the "cooling off" extension took effect it was clear that he wasn't looking to settle down at the Trent Lott Leadership Institute at Ole Miss. No, Lott was getting out early to work with his old bipartisan pal John Breaux on K Street.

There were, however, rumors that avoiding the "cooling off" extension was not the exact reason for Lott's early exit from his long congressional career. The Wall Street Journal puts those rumors to rest by publishing details of a federal investigation into Lott's possible role in a case involving the bribing of Mississippi judges by his half-brother Richard "Dickie" Scruggs:

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