Press Releases

Musgrave Votes for "Sham" Lobbyist Bill - 5/3/2006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                
MAY 3, 2006                                                  
CONTACT: GARY CHANDLER (970) 308-0986  


“Lobbyist Protection Act” Has No Teeth, Costs Coloradans

As expected, Marilyn Musgrave voted today to protect the special interest status quo, voting for the “lobbyist protection act” while fighting off attempts at real reform.

State Representative and congressional candidate Angie Paccione called Marilyn Musgrave’s support of a bogus ethics bill today a “sham designed to trick voters.”

Paccione said of H.R. 4975 (Roll Call #119, 5/3/2006), “This bill has no teeth and isn’t tough enough on lobbyists who peddle influence. It’s an election year sham designed to trick voters and keep the corrupt status quo.  It doesn’t crack down on lobbyists paying for fancy meals and luxurious trips on corporate jets, and it doesn’t stop the revolving door of Congress members becoming lobbyists.”

According to Paccione, lobbyists made sure the bill:

● Doesn't keep corporations from making private planes available to members;
● Doesn't force lobbyists to provide details on lavish fundraisers for members;
● Doesn't force disclosure of secret lobbying ad campaigns to influence the public;
● Doesn't force lobbyists to disclose when they are campaign treasurers.

“The bill allows Marilyn to say she passed a lobbyist bill, but the bill doesn't crack down on lobbyists and the culture of corruption in Washington, D.C.,” Paccione said. 

First though, Musgrave voted against a Democratic attempt to pass their Honest Leadership Act (H.R. 4975, Roll Call #118, 5/3/2006). This bill would have made real change in Washington by banning private travel funded by any organization that employs a lobbyist, requiring more disclosure on earmarks and lobbyist activity, and strengthening the penalties for pay-for-play schemes.

“The loopholes in this new bill are staggering,” Paccione said. “In the House of Representatives, I will fight for real change and pass real reforms that result in a Congress of real people serving real people, not a Congress of future lobbyists serving current lobbyists.”

Paccione noted that failing to reform House ethics rules has real consequences. The influence of Big Oil and big drug companies results in higher gasoline and prescription drug costs.

Paccione said, “Real ethics reform will not only impact how business is conducted in Washington, but it will impact the lives of everyday people all across Colorado. Real ethics reform means less industry giveaways, which means lower prices for gasoline and prescription drugs.”

-- AP --

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