According to lobbyists and ethics experts, even if Hastert’s proposal is enacted, members of Congress and their staffs could still travel the world on an interest group’s expense and eat steak on a lobbyist’s account at the priciest restaurants in Washington.
The only requirement would be that whenever a lobbyist pays the bill, he or she must also hand the lawmaker a campaign contribution. Then the transaction would be perfectly okay.
“Yes Mr or Mrs. or Ms. Political Person. Not only have I just paid for your dinner/vacation, but now here’s some money too.”
Oh…you just have to love our system…
If our politicians really want to make a mark on this issue, they’ll make sure that the bill contains additional language prohibitting this type of situation. Only then will they be seen as true reformers. Otherwise, anybody who votes for Hastert’s bill is simply trying to pull the wool over their constituents’s eyes.
But one guy is already saying he’s going to close the loophole…
McCain, who has been a leader on matters dealing with lobbyists and campaign fundraising, said he was aware of the problem. In an interview after his news conference with Santorum, McCain said he knows the loophole exists and vowed to close it before the bill becomes a law.
And Republicans DON’T want this guy as their nominee?