Senate debates lobby reform to reduce scandals
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
By the end of the first day of debate, reformers were disappointed. Senators including democratic California senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein voted to kill an amendment to create an independent office of public integrity to enforce lobbying rules. Senator Boxer says even if the lobby reform bill passes, campaign finance issues are still unresolved.
Boxer: You still have a bad appearance of a conflict, even if not a direct conflict. Because people can't pay for your trips any more. That's great. But they can still pay for a big bash for you to have a fundraiser.
The bill before the Senate would ban gifts and meals from lobbyists. But it would not specifically limit earmarks or special funding projects such as the money Randy Duke Cunningham set aside for a defense contractor. From Capitol Hill, Laura Strickler, KPBS News."
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