Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Report: Boehner Remains Close To Lobbyists

Earlier this year, the Republicans chose a leader that they thought would reform ethics in Washington D.C.

It looks as though they got that wrong just as they on every other decision the past 5 years:

U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-West Chester, won the job of House majority leader amid a post-Abramoff clamor for an overhaul of lobbying and ethics rules. But nearly six months later, the reform proposals are still tied up in Congress. And far from trying to put the brakes on lobbyists and the money they channel into Republican coffers, Boehner, who has portrayed his ties to K Street as something to be proud of, has stepped on the gas. He has been holding fundraisers at lobbyists' offices, flying to political events on corporate planes and hobnobbing at a golf resort with a business group that has a direct stake in issues before Congress.

Boehner has raised campaign contributions at a rate of about $10,000 a day since February, surpassing the pace set by former Rep. Tom DeLay after he became majority leader in 2002, a review of federal filings shows. Boehner's fundraising pace is roughly twice what it was before he became majority leader in February; in April, his third month as majority leader, his two federal committees took in $334,500 from political action committees, a monthly take that DeLay did not match for more than two years after the 2002 elections.

And despite an intensified spotlight on congressional trip-taking, Boehner flew to a golf resort in Boca Raton, Fla., in March for a convention of commodities traders, who have contributed more than $100,000 to his campaigns and are lobbying against a proposed federal tax on futures transactions. During the trip, Boehner reassured his hosts that Congress mostly likely would not approve a proposed tax on futures transactions that they opposed.

His leadership committee, the Freedom Project later reimbursed the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for the cost of the Boca Raton trip.

In addition, his campaign committees recently hired two people from lobbying groups representing the financial and insurance industries, reflecting the revolving-door relationship between leadership offices on Capitol Hill and interest groups with stakes in legislation.

None of these activities is illegal or violates ethics rules, and they are not unique to Boehner.

Boehner's aides say he is sincere about clamping down on abuses that lead to illegal or unethical behavior by lawmakers and interest groups. Kevin Madden, his communications director, said Boehner's approach is reflected in House proposals, which focus mostly on greater disclosure of information, rather than limits on what members of Congress and lobbyists are permitted to do. Boehner, Madden said, has seen no need to change his own practices in dealing with lobbyists, believing that transparency in dealing with lobbyists is the key to restoring public trust.

Good job guys! You replaced Tom Delay, the lobbyist lover, with the King of K Street! What a great thing to do!

This just once agian goes to show everyone that John Boehner is not a real leader on this issue and that the Republicans have no intention of reforming ethics.

Lets make sure the Republicans can't make another boneheaded decision to hurt our country.

Vote for change this fall. Vote Democrat!