Sunday, August 11, 2013

How laws aren't passed

Uncredited image from DocuWatch.
Eric Lipton at the New York Times on business as perhaps a little more than usual at the House Financial Services Committee:
Now, half a year into his first term, [Andy Barr, R-KY] has emerged as a telling example of why the panel is sometimes called “the cash committee” — a place, critics say, where there are big incentives for freshmen to do special favors for the industry.

Mr. Barr, 40, a first-time elected official, has raised nearly as much money this year from political action committees run by major banks, credit unions and insurance companies as longtime lawmakers like Speaker John A. Boehner and other party leaders.
That's $150,000 in six months. And I really hate when they say "both sides do it" but in this case it would be kind of hard to deny:
After the elections in November, Democratic Party leaders gave a PowerPoint presentation urging their freshman members to spend as much as four hours a day making fund-raising calls while in Washington, and an additional hour of “strategic outreach” holding breakfasts or “meet and greets” with possible financial supporters. That adds up to more time than these first-term lawmakers were advised to spend on Congressional business.
BooMan breaks down for you how corrupt it is. For the cui bono question, I'd just refer you to what I wrote a little over a year ago.

Plus (thanks, Boo):
Most congressional seats are so safe they wouldn't need to advertise if it did work. What they get out of the system is status in their little club, from flaunting it and from passing it out to the lowlier members.

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