The House is on the verge of voting to pass a new set of ethics and lobbying reforms and already the lobbying community has found a loophole to jump through:
Lobbyists and their clients would continue to fete lawmakers at restaurants, sporting events and faraway resorts as long as those events are part of campaign fundraisers. Campaign finance laws, which are distinct from House rules, permit outsiders to provide all manner of benefits to lawmakers as long as those benefits are accompanied by checks written to the lawmakers' reelection coffers.
"We would be able to take people out to lunch, but only if we give them a check while we do it," said Paul A. Miller, immediate past president of the American League of Lobbyists. "That looks more corrupting than what we have under the current system."
(Hat tip: Mike Crowley at TNR)Continue reading