OpenCongress Blog

Blog Feed Comments Feed More RSS Feeds

Corruption. Bribery. That's what the whole system is.

November 7, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

Last night, 60 Minutes aired an interview with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff that describes just how deeply and systemically corrupt the lawmaking process in Washington D.C. is. Here’s the sad, sad truth about Congress, straight from the horse’s mouth:

As Abramoff says, the culture of corruption in Congress hasn’t been cleaned up in the 5 years since he was prosecuted. The ethics reforms passed by Congress since then are cosmetic-only, and chock full of loopholes. They’re “faux” reforms, as Abramoff says. Probably the only meaningful progress to come from this is the “read the bill” ethos, and that’s a citizen-lead effort in opposition to Congress outsourcing their work to lobbyists and their unwillingness to legislate in a transparent manner.

Abramoff’s reform suggestion: end the revolving door between Congress and private interests by passing a law that bans anyone who works for Congress from ever working as a lobbyist. That’s a good call, as research clearly shows that connections between K Street and Congress have a profound impact on legislation.

Like this post? Stay in touch by following us on Twitter, joining us on Facebook, or by Subscribing with RSS.
 

Comments

AustinCarpetCleaning 06/05/2012 6:24pm

I love how everyone knows that the system is corrupt yet no one will do anything about it and if someone has the intention to do something about it they fall into the system. None of these people are going to go to jail for there white collar crimes. Yet if a Atlanta Roofer doesn’t pull the right permit in the city, he not only gets fined but could loose his license. Where is the integrity in the system?

Spam Comment

Spam Comment

Spam Comment

Spam Comment

Spam Comment

Goatboy4ever 11/16/2011 7:14pm
in reply to wac6 Nov 09, 2011 11:26am

Brilliant. A good democracy is bad business, but I doubt that money will be taken out of politics.

borne 11/14/2011 11:24pm
in reply to molonlabe Nov 08, 2011 8:05pm

So in order to prevent abuse and corruption, you want to… deregulate ALL THE THINGS???

krista2016 11/11/2011 9:00pm
in reply to wac6 Nov 09, 2011 11:26am

While I would love to see that, do you think it’s actually possible? Do you think a person who truly cares about making this country work better for the people and not the corporations or lobbyists, win an election without the financial backing? I’m only 31 so I have at least 4 years before I can “legally” run for president, but I don’t don’t know if that’s enough time to build a strong enough campaign to actually win the presidency. It will not stop me from trying but it will not be an easy task.

luminous 11/09/2011 3:07pm
in reply to wac6 Nov 09, 2011 11:26am

British style elections?, yea I could be for that!

wac6 11/09/2011 11:26am
in reply to luminous Nov 09, 2011 2:22am

Better than public funding of elections: no money in elections, period. Would love to see the President have the chutzpah to do this, actually: “I’m shutting down fundraising, returning the cash we have on hand to the contributors, and I’ll get my message out through webcasts, podcasts, blogs, and every platform that will interview me.” Something like that. Anyone with the guts to do that could win in a landslide.

luminous 11/09/2011 2:22am

It’s a cyclical problem, campaign bribery begets bailouts, bailouts beget campaign bribery. You can’t just magic away bailouts because everyone agrees their bad, good lord when has the Nation ever had such a perfect consensus(never fyi)?.

End the revolving door of lobbying, and publicly fund elections and politicians will no longer have the need of lobbyest money to fuel their campaigns, and if they are banned from lobbying the government after their done in congress that will end a whole list of corrupt situations.

It is not enough to simply say this is my ideal and please allow the magic fairy people to make it so, You need a function model under which the system can sustainably carry out that ideal given all the things set out against it.

And most people would disagree with the typical libertarian line against the Federal reserve, and the unfettered excess of unlimited capitalism on the environment, money, and labor.

molonlabe 11/08/2011 8:05pm

Publicly funded elections and “ending the revolving door of lobbying” miss the point entirely. What we need is an end to the government to stop doling out bailouts and meddling in the free market. If the government was no longer handing out money or crippling their friends business’ competition which onerous regulations then there would be nothing to lobby for. How could this be done? Ending the Federal Reserve and allowing free competition in currency would be a good start. Some sort of economic freedom amendment would be another idea.

luminous 11/08/2011 5:05pm

We need publicly funded elections, elimination of corporate money in elections, a constitutional amendment that clearly defines money as not being speech and corporations as not being people and limiting corporate rights to what is defined by the law that allows their charters to exist in the first place.

Their are other reforms we need as well, some sort of multparty reform, some sort of multi-winner or distributed voting system such that their are no “loosing” votes so that everyone is represented.

Ending the revolving door of congress would be a good start, but still leaves much left to be done.

concernedcitzen 11/08/2011 10:05am

I agree with Jack Abrahoff. I think that the revolving door must be eliminated so that corruption is reduced. Congress needs to work for the people, not be what some called an “elective aristocracy.” I will push for ending “the revolving door between Congress and private interests by passing a law that bans anyone who works for Congress from ever working as a lobbyist” and I hope that others do as well.

Due to the archiving of this blog, comment posting has been disabled.