Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nancy Pelosi's tough new rules

The [Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2006 ] is a tough document, authored by Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco-area congresswomen who has been the Democratic House leader since 2002. Here are some of the new rules Pelosi wants:
  • No House member may accept any gift of any value from lobbyists, or any firm or association that hires lobbyists.
  • No free travel, which means an end to the corporate jet line every Friday at Reagan National Airport.
  • No free tickets to Redskins games; no meals of any value, even at a McDonalds; no front-row seats at entertainment venues.
  • No special-interest projects on unrelated legislation. Such measures will no longer be allowed on a bill once negotiations between the Senate and House are complete.
  • All bills will be made available to the public a full 24 hours before a final vote; presumably this gives watchdog groups a chance to flag any skullduggery.
  • Lobbyists will no longer be able to use the House gym, and no longer will lobbyists be allowed onto the House floor or to use the cloakrooms just off the floor, preventing last-minute arm-twisting.
  • No member or staffer will be able to negotiate for employment in the public sector without disclosing such contacts to the House Ethics Committee, and within three days of such contact being made.Finally, all of this will be audited and investigated by a new Office of Public Integrity, and that office reports, directly and only, to the U.S.

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