DISCLOSE Drama. Will they or won’t they? I’m not sure anyone knows what’s going on with the DISCLOSE Act these days. A Politico story with full background is here. (Eric Brown does an excellent round-up of news reports, here).
C St. Scandal: OCE drops it like it’s hot. According to Roll Call, OCE will drop an investigation into a potential violation of the gift rules. News reports around several member scandals indicated that a house on C Street in Washington DC was owned by a private organization called “The Fellowship” and was providing housing for members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, under-cost – a potential violation of the gift rules.
Norm Eisen: scary individual. Did we get your attention? We’re just kidding, Norm Eisen seems like a nice guy, and he is an excellent “ethics czar.” But some watchdog groups fear for the future of his office if he is confirmed for an ambassadorship to the Czech Republic.
Patton Boggs’ Nick Allard does a Bulletproof Blog video interview on lobbying, and says the American public does not understand lobbying.
Take a number. The FCC wants lobbyists and others with an interest in shaping FCC processes to sign up for meeting time slots online. The Hill has the story.
Quote(s) of the Week:
“We investigative specific allegations. We do not conduct fishing expeditions.” OCE spokesman Jon Steinman, Roll Call June 14
“The “wink-wink-nod-nod” game we have all known to exist with regard to earmarks and campaign contributions is well-documented, and the ethics committee’s definition of “financial interest” needs to be updated to reflect these findings.” – Jeff Flake, Roll Call, June 17
“Is the NRA exception ideal, or pretty? No. Is it likely to complicate the defense of the DISCLOSE Act when it is challenged? Yes. But, is it worth dropping support of the legislation altogether? No.” – Scott Thomas, Of Counsel, Dickstein Shapiro, National Journal’s Under the Influence Experts Blog, June 16