GOP Unveils “Lobbying Reform”

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Apparently the Republican Party is scrambling today to offer a series of “lobbying reform measures” intended to make it look like the GOP can clean up Congress. As Harry Reid says, “It’s like asking John Gotti to do what he can to clean up organized crime.” Already the Washington Post has discovered one loophole amidst Hastert’s proposals—under the “reforms,” lobbyists will now also have to donate a campaign contribution whenever they pay for a member of Congress to travel somewhere.

It’s doubtful any of this will do any good. If Hastert and the rest of the GOP had wanted to pass “lobbying reform” a year ago, when Jack Abramoff was just starting to make headlines, nothing would have stopped them. Instead the House briefly changed the rules to allow Tom DeLay to retain his post as Majority Leader if he was indicted (after enough outcry, the rule was eventually dropped). No, lobbyists are a minor issue. The real problem here is that Congress is dominated by Republicans who depend on corruption for campaign cash and reward their corporate donors by passing bad policy that hurts everyone else. Exhibit A: the disastrous Medicare drug bill. No amount of minor rule changes or quaint little bans on certain types of airfare will change that fundamental dynamic; only elections can do that.

MORE: Paul Begala and James Carville have an interesting, and radical, proposal for campaign finance reform (to “Abramoff-proof politics”) in the latest Washington Monthly.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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