The Congressional Cigar Association got some (probably) unwanted attention from the Huffington Postlast week.
Former Bush White House Spokesman Dana Perino has joined a lobbying firm. Perino is listed on the lobbying disclosure form for Hamilton Place Strategies. She’s listed on the form for Mina Corporation, which, according to their form, is interested in “Congressional Investigation” and “Department of Defense Contracts.” Although, also according to their form, the firm is making less than $5,000 on the contract.
Roll Call reports on ex-lobbyist Kevin Ring, and the impact of his trial on the future of Honest Services suits. (Roll Call subscription required).
Ethics (or lack thereof) update: Rep. Charles Rangel has been charged with 13 counts of violations against the House ethics rules. Read about it at Roll Call, or read the statement from the Ethics Committee here. (PDF)
DISCLOSE fails in the Senate. Will Harry Reid bring it up again after the August recess? Stay tuned. Meanwhile, you can get your fix of stories on the final cloture vote here at Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog.
Politico reports on Sen. Richard Shelby’s earmark policy, and staffer connection to those earmarks.
The American League of Lobbyists and the Sunlight Foundation are teaming up to lobby on getting the 20% threshold lowered. OMB Watch blog notes the development, and it’s referenced in this Politico story, “Lobbyists call bluff on ‘Daschle exemption.'”
Quote(s) of the Week:
A little legal humor for you: “While the statute does not speak of business before a particular committee (as opposed to the House generally), it bears noting that the one committee that touches everyone is the Ways and Means Committee. There being no committee on death, the only other certain thing in life is covered within the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee.” – Ethics Committee on the accusations regarding Charlie Rangel, 7/29/2010
Tom Daschle, you’re ruining it for everyone: “You don’t know what they’re doing, and they have an incredible amount of power and access that no average American would ever have and that no average American can find out about either. It’s a double whammy.” – Dave Levinthal, Center for Responsive Politics, on lobbyists who aren’t registered, Politico, 7/26/2010
And this is why the public does not trust lobbyists: “One corporate lobbyist who worked as a regulator, asked whether he believed he had an inside edge in lobbying his ex-colleagues, said: ‘The answer is yes, it does. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to justify getting out of bed in the morning and charging the outrageous fees that we charge our clients, which they willingly pay.’ … The lobbyist, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns about alienating government officials, added that “you have to work at an agency to understand the culture and the pressure points, and it helps to know the senior staff.” – New York Times, 7/27/2010