by John Hawkins | May 16, 2007 12:01 pm
“As House Democrats tackle a lobbying reform bill that they pledged to adopt on the midterm campaign trail, reformers say that a number of the members are privately questioning its necessity after all.
Public outrage over the Jack Abramoff scandal has waned, and the public seems to have lost interest now that it has turned Republicans out. In response, the great momentum the House had in January when it banned gifts and corporate travel from lobbyists seems to have waned as well. Cleaning the “culture of corruption” lost priority to other issues, such as the war in Iraq.
…Before a Democratic caucus meeting, a Politico reporter asked House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois about the language of the bill’s main provisions. After Emanuel demurred on the specifics, this reporter asked — in the effort for openness and disclosure — if a journalist could sit in to hear debate on the language.
“Why don’t you go f— yourself?” Emanuel replied, as he entered a men’s room in the Capitol basement.” — The Politico
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