ANGIE PACCIONE FOR CONGRESS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 2, 2006
CONTACT: GARY CHANDLER (970) 308-0986
MARILYN MUSGRAVE SUPPORTS
“LOBBYIST PROTECTION ACT”
“One of the ‘13 Most Corrupt’ Members of Congress” set to vote on lobbyist bill that is “an election year ethical eyewash”
(Fort Collins, CO) Colorado Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave is set to vote on a lobbying reform bill that protects the status quo in Washington on ethics and lobbying laws. State Representative and congressional candidate Angie Paccione called the bill a “Lobbyist Protection Act” because it was full of toothless half measures.
The bill only suspends travel for members of Congress until after the election, and it does nothing substantive to tighten House gift rules or stop lobbyists from plying members of Congress with meals and drinks. It does not crack down on the use of corporate jets and does not stop the revolving door of Congress members becoming lobbyists.
“The purpose of this bill is so Marilyn can say she passed a lobbyist bill while preserving the Washington, D.C. culture of corruption that helps her stay in power,” Paccione said. “It is an election year ethical eyewash. By not passing a tough bill with real reforms, Marilyn Musgrave is supporting a ‘Lobbyist Protection Act,’ not a lobbyist reform bill. I strongly support lobbying and ethics reform, but almost all of the important ethical reforms we need are left out of this bill. It’s a mere slap on the wrist.”
One of Musgrave's first votes ever in Congress in 2003 was to allow lobbyists to wine and dine Congress members right in their Capitol offices. Since then, Musgrave has been named one of the “13 Most Corrupt” members of Congress, and she’s shown herself to be a hypocrite on ethics. She has received $30,000 from disgraced Congressman Tom DeLay’s PAC, and voted to weaken House ethics rules to help him hold onto power while he faced indictment. She received $50,000 from PACs associated with resigned criminal Congressman Duke Cunningham. She accepted $5000 from Congressman Bob Ney’s America Liberty PAC, one of the key congressmen implicated in the Jack Abramoff scandal, and she accepted $1000 from Abramoff’s wife.
“When Marilyn returns the $30,000 she took from disgraced Congressman Tom DeLay—and apologizes for voting to weaken the ethics rules to help him stay in power—then she might have some credibility on ethics and lobbying reform,” said Paccione.
Paccione added, “Rising gas prices are a perfect example of why we have to destroy the system this Lobbyist Protection Act is designed to keep alive. Marilyn Musgrave and other members of Congress are too beholden to Big Oil. I call this the Marilyn Three-Step. Step 1: Big Oil woos her with huge campaign donations. Step 2: She votes for Big Oil. Step 3: The consumer gets gouged at the pump."
Musgrave has been a big supporter of the Big Oil companies, who in turn support her campaign, so far to the tune of $56,000. She and the Republican Congress passed an energy bill that gave billions to oil, gas, and nuclear industries, voted against an alternative energy plan that would give consumers immediate relief at the gas pump, and voted against cracking down on price gouging.
“If Musgrave tries to tell you she is voting to get tough on oil and gas lobbyists, then she’s a hypocrite. She’s voting to let them continue buying off her and her cronies,” Paccione said.
-- AP --