$40k Push Poll?

June 9, 2006 at 8:44 am | In CA-26, David Dreier, ethics reform, Russ Warner | 2 Comments

So far, this is the most intriguing of answers to my question about how the Warner campaign lost it. I wonder where I can get another source on this (from the comments on my MyDD diary):

Wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it myself, but Wes Clark – here in Vegas for the YearlyKos – claimed that Dreier put $40K into a last minute push poll to eliminate Warner

Not terribly surprised if it is true. Matthews is about as an inept as they come. I know quite a few Dems who held their nose and voted for Dreier after hearing the hate she spewed on John and Ken in 2004.

by Estlin on Fri Jun 09, 2006 at 03:16:02 AM EST

(Emphasis added.) How detailed are campaign finance records? Would $40,000 show up as an expenditure if they’re following the rules?

Woah, woah

June 5, 2006 at 9:12 pm | In CA-26, David Dreier, do something, ethics reform, Russ Warner | Comments Off on Woah, woah

I got a little carried away (see below), what with some free time on my hands, a working Internet connection, and a couple days of blogging to catch up on. This is from my walk through Claremont, up Harvard Ave:

And here’s a summary of all of the posts below.

Lest we forget…Dreier voted for corruption

June 5, 2006 at 8:01 pm | In CA-26, David Dreier, ethics reform, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Lest we forget…Dreier voted for corruption

As I mentioned earlier, breaking the ethics truce might be good politics for November because it’ll get Republicans on the record. Of course some of them, David Dreier included, are already on the record as being pro-corruption. As Josh Marshall reminded us in January:

Ahhh, The DeLay Rule, truly the muckraker’s gift that keeps on giving. The DeLay Rule was the rule House Republicans passed in mid-November 2004 to allow Tom DeLay to stay in charge of the House of Representatives even after he was indicted. The vote itself and the subsequent, slow erosion of support for it turned out to be a good proxy for who in the GOP caucus was a down-the-line DeLay man or woman, wiling to bend pretty much any rule to cover for DeLay and his House machine.

Moderates like Chris Shays were perhaps the most prominent and vocal in their opposition to the Rule. But what opposition there was stretched across ideological lines in the caucus, pulling in a number of the more conservative members. At least conservatives of a certain turn.

So today a friend points out to me that Speaker Denny Hastert has tapped California Rep. David Dreier (R) as his ethics czar, the one who’s going to clean the place up and start cranking on a ‘lobbying reform’ bill.

So where did Dreier come down on The DeLay Rule?

As you’d expect, pretty much a down-the-line DeLay Rule man.

Here’s a copy of the letter he sent constituents over a year ago defending his vote.

Why was the DeLay Rule necessary? Because “it became apparent that by simply bringing an indictment in any court, a local political operative could remove a Congressional leader at a key or sensitive time by bringing an indictment against him or her for political purposes … The rule change was a necessary step needed to remove an incentive for a partisan prosecutor to make a frivolous or baseless accusation against a Member of the House.”

So now Dreier is the guy to crack down on law-breaking. But a year ago his agenda was cracking down on prosecutors.

Clean up that place

June 5, 2006 at 7:48 pm | In CA-26, David Dreier, ethics reform | Comments Off on Clean up that place

Running to fill disgraced Rep. Duke Cunningham’s seat, it’s no wonder Francine Busby has put ethics at the center of her campaign. We’ll find out tomorrow how well that goes. Even if it doesn’t put her over the top, I think it’s still a good strategy, considering the GOP-controlled government has failed to pass any ethics reform at all, much less anything meaningful:

The stench of scandal on Capitol Hill is getting stronger five months after lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to influence-peddling charges, but a lobbying overhaul has yet to see the light of day.

The Senate passed its version at the end of March and the House bill was approved in early May. In the month since, the House has not taken the next step, naming negotiators for talks with the Senate on a compromise bill.

…It was only in January that Republicans and Democrats battled for the ethical high ground. They proposed to outlaw privately funded travel, ban meals and gifts from lobbyists, and slow the move of former lawmakers to lobbying jobs.

Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., who has led GOP lobbying efforts in the House, said at the time he hoped to pass a bill by the end of February.

That did not happen for two reasons, according to an analyst.

Congress stumbled over how to rein in lobbyists without violating their constitutional right to petition the government, and lawmakers were sidetracked by immigration legislation, extending tax breaks and other priorities, said Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker.

The public has not pressed the lobbying issue because “most ordinary Americans really don’t think much can be done,” Baker said. “There’s a built-in cynicism” about corruption in Washington.

Fred Wertheimer, president of the watchdog group Democracy 21, says lawmakers may be misreading public attitude. “The public understands corruption, understands it’s wrong and wants it eliminated,” he said.

Dreier’s spokeswoman, Jo Maney, said GOP leaders could appoint negotiators to the House-Senate conference soon after Congress returns from the Memorial Day recess. She said the effort to reach consensus on the bill has been a challenge because some lawmakers are opposed to any changes while others favor revamping the entire system.

Thanks for that great explanation Maney. I’m with Wertheimer. Where the hell’s our lobbying reform? Maybe it’s for the best. Dreier’s lobbying reform was a joke. If Democrats win the House in November there’ll be a better chance to pass some real ethics reform. And maybe, as Mark Kleiman is always saying, Democrats should break the ethics truce now–and use that to make cleaning up DC a big part of the platform for November. Getting Republicans on record as not willing to do anything to clean up the mess sure won’t hurt Democratic candidates. More on this soon…

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