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Tag Archive: CREW

Ethics Problems for a Candidate

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Yesterday, Rep. Steve Pearce won the Republican primary for the Senate seat in New Mexico being vacated by Senator Pete Domenici.

CREW sez:

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), is a third-term member of Congress representing the second district of New Mexico. Rep. Pearce’s ethics issues stem from his failure to properly report a transaction on his financial disclosure report and from trading legislative assistance for campaign contributions.

Read all the details here.

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New Lobbyist Disclosure Rules Under Attack

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Last Friday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed an amicus brief in support of the disclosure requirements of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA), joining the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21 and Public Citizen in defending the disclosure provisions. All were in response to the National Association of Manufacturers who earlier in February had filed suit in federal court challenging the disclosure provisions and saying they are "vague, overbroad and burdensome" and were in violation of the First Amendment.

HLOGA requires any organization actively participating "in the planning, supervision, or control" of lobbying efforts that ponies up more than $5,000 in a quarter to disclose their activities and expenditures. The law's purpose is to shine a light on stealth lobbying and sham coalitions, pushing legislation such as those that are often promoted by groups like NAM. The law's criminal penalties on groups that fail to accurately disclose their lobby efforts succeeded at getting their attention. NAM says that the clause in question is imprecise and impacts groups that it is not intended to target. They fear the law will also require it to disclose the names of its members. NAM has requested the court issue a preliminary injunction on the disclosure rules until the court decides the case.

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Let The Good Times (Continue to) Roll

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In today's edition, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reports that the annual Washington Mardi Gras party kicks off tonight at the Washington Hilton, a weekend-long event billed as "one of the most sought-after tickets in any season in Washington." The event's parties, the paper says, "are arguably the most intimate gatherings of businesspeople, politicians and lobbyists left in Washington" after new congressional ethics rules were adopted. Writing that the parties are"a throwback to the days when politicians and lobbyists socialized regularly outside the glare of the public spotlight," the paper added that they are "largely immune to the new ethics standards."

A secretive, Louisiana-based group headed by a lobbyist and former aide to now lobbyist and former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) organizes the event. The organization declined to name this year's corporate sponsors, but in years past they included R.J. Reynolds, BellSouth, and Lockheed Martin, according to the paper.

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