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House GOP Cuts Off the $un$hine

As the House was voting to spread a little sunshine to its K Street connections, a GOP campaign committee pulled down the shades to hide the fund-raising events hosted by House Republicans.

The National Republican Congressional Committee abruptly stopped publishing lists of money events last week, as noted today by my alma mater, Roll Call. (Subscription required.)

Here at Capitol Briefing the NRCC had won kudos for its openness toward raising money, as the only such campaign committee to ever freely publish its list of events that House Republicans were hosting. The list used to include the fairly standard breakfast, lunch and dinner money events, hosted by lobbying firms and trade associations, as well as the out-of-the-ordinary events like golf fund-raisers in the Carribbean or ski junkets in the Rocky Mountains.

While done ostensibly to alert lobbyists and other special interests to pending events, it also served as a sunshine maneuver that not even the Democrats ever contemplated doing - even as they swore up and down the Capitol about the GOP's shady dealings with K Street.

Alas, the NRCC's web site is being remodeled, and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) had always planned as "part of the process" of revamping the site to take down the link to upcoming events, according to Ken Spain, NRCC spokesman. "This was planned from day one."

The web site re-launch is still a few weeks away, meaning the elimination of the link to House GOP events happened in advance of the new web site rollout. Ironically, this decision came as the House overwhelmingly voted for further financial disclosure of lobbyists. The new lobbying bill approved last week would require lobbyists for the first time to reveal not just how much money they give to lawmakers but how much they bundle together from their clients and others for politicians.

Also, the money event link happened to disappear the same week that
conservative blogger Erick Erickson,
who has launched a campaign against the appointment of Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) to the Appropriations Committee, used the GOP events list to encourage conservative activists to protest a Calvert event.

Calvert's event had Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) as his special guest. Calvert has come under scrutiny for earmarks for projects located near property he owns, while Lewis is under federal investigation for steering tens of millions of dollars in earmarks to clients, such as defense contractor General Atomics, of a lobbying firm closely connected to the lawmaker.

Both Republicans have denied any wrongdoing, saying they adhered to the law and internal House rules.


By Paul Kane  |  May 29, 2007; 4:39 PM ET
 
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Government Auditors Offer Congress Suggestions for Aghanistan Oversight

Efforts to train and equip the Afghan National Security Forces, international security forces, counternarcotics, Afghanistan's judicial system, and reconstruction are some key areas congressional leaders use to pursue U.S. operations in Afghanistan, according to a recent govnment report.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/government-auditors-offer-congress.html

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2007 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Government Auditors Offer Congress Suggestions for Aghanistan Oversight

Efforts to train and equip the Afghan National Security Forces, international security forces, counternarcotics, Afghanistan's judicial system, and reconstruction are some key areas congressional leaders use to pursue U.S. operations in Afghanistan, according to a recent govnment report.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/government-auditors-offer-congress.html

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Politicians, whether Democrat or Republican, all surrender to special interests. These guys are all bought and sold and we voters don't have the intelligence or guts to do anything about it. This eliminates any concerns that these prostitutes have so they just ignore us.

Posted by: mikeasr | May 29, 2007 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Private fundraisers? The press should be all over these guys, Dems and Repugs. Who is paying for what?? Come on you guys and gals..do your jobs!!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 30, 2007 1:10 AM | Report abuse

if we, the public, are really concerned about cleaning up this mess we should demand a new constitutional convention to address the issues that are important to us. why do i never hear ANYONE in the press mentioning this proposition? (it was suggested by t. jefferson, btw.)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2007 6:58 AM | Report abuse

In Wisconsin we are trying...
Former 8th Dist. Congressman Mark Green-R was forced to give up nearly half a million in illegal moneyy when he lost his race for Governor. He tried to transfer all $1.3 Million from his Congressional campaigns to the state race. Wisc. law limits that to $473,000. So he lost.
We then had a race for our Supreme Court. A PAC called Wisconsin Manufactureres and Commerce, spent $4 million for the, non parisan GOP condidate- more than twice what the two actual candidates spent. Annette Ziegler, the GOP winner was charged with violating ethics laws, for not recusing herself from prior cases in which her husband was a beneficiary, through his seat of a bank board. She admitted it, after the election and paid a $5,000 fine. But she now sits in judicial conduct violations, for the same violations, and must be judged by the Supreme court she was elected to sit on.
Will she resign...not on your life. Will the Wisc. Supreme's refuse her seat? Possibly.
The problem with the WMC is that they refuse to allow any disclosure of anything, only stating they represent 4,000 businesses.
Each year a survey is sent to all PACs, and WMC had only 78 responses out of 4,000.
Stronger open records and sunshine rules, would have put this judicial mess to an end, before it started.
Unfortunately, we still have a GOP house...at least for now.
But we're trying.

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Goofticket: We have a Republican house? Perhaps that is why the house majority leader is Mrs. N. Pelosi a Democrat isn't it? I do not know how long she will enjoy her seat while both the house and Senate shove an Immigration Amnesty Bill down our throats, I do not mean down and I do not mean throat! We may just see a bunch of worthless incumbents taking retirement in 2008!
Think, check facts, and have a nice day!

Posted by: h1m912009 | May 30, 2007 5:30 PM | Report abuse

There is a group trying to bring about an Article V convention... http://www.foavc.org/

K Street only became a phenomenon in the late 70's... look up Commercial Free Speech and Corporate Personhood for some background on that.

The wholesale selling of our government has pretty much all happened in the past 30 years.

Posted by: toddpw | May 30, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"The wholesale selling of our government has pretty much all happened in the past 30 years."

It did not start with Carter, so let's see.... REAGAN, BUSH, CLINTON AND BUSH. Twenty years worth of Republicans' big money, and about 8 Trillion in new debt.

Eight years of Clinton produced a balanced budget and billions in Reagan debt reduction. So, who dun it?

Posted by: Dr. Jerry W. Reeves | May 30, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

If you guys think that the buying and selling of influence is somehow a 20th century phenomenon then you are seriously ignorant of political history, and woefully unaware of human nature.

To h1m912009:goofticket is very obviously speaking about the Wisconsin legislature, of which Nancy Pelosi is not a member. Maybe you can pay a little bit more attention to what someone is saying before you start criticizing what they say.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | May 31, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

and they called US troglodytes!

must be tough to be an R right now. their own party reams them out and they HAVE to take it or they get called disgusting names in public. ha. then all hell breaks loose and invective is FLYING all over the place. serves them right.

this is one bed they most definitely made for themselves and it's hilarious watching them try to sleep in a bed full of the snarling snakes they ALL turned out to be!

double ha.

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