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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
House passes ethics reform legislation
BY KATHERINE M. SKIBA
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
WASHINGTON - After a heated debate over ethics rules for lawmakers and lobbyists, the House on Wednesday narrowly passed a set of reforms, 217-213.

Among key provisions of the bill:

_Lobbyists would be required to make quarterly reports, up from twice a year, and file them electronically, as they already do in the Senate. AS VOTERS WE CAN BE ASSURED THESE REPORTS WILL BE PURE FICTION. JUST AS THE SEMI-ANNUAL ONES ARE!

_Lawmakers would be barred from taking privately sponsored trips until year's end as the Ethics Committee rewrites rules on such trips. House staffers would be required to take ethics classes. The classes would be voluntary for new members of Congress, but if they failed to attend within 100 days of being sworn in, their names would be posted on the Web. VOLUNTARY ETHICS CLASSES? I GUESS "PRIVATELY SPONSORED TRIPS" ARE FINE AFTER YEARS END???????

_"Earmarks," the term for lawmakers' pet projects that circumvent normal funding channels, would be made public in appropriations bills as would their sponsors' names. NOTICE NO LAW IS BEING PASSED MAKING THE POSTING AND MAKING PUBLIC BY SPONSORS NAME MEET A 30 DAY PUBLICATION PRIOR TO COMING TO A VOTE REQUIREMENT. FRIST OFFERED LEGISLATION TO HELP HIS DRUG COMPANIES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE VOTE.

_Lawmakers would forfeit retirement benefits if convicted of bribery or acting as a foreign agent, including conspiracy charges. NOW IF A LAWMAKER IS FOUND GUILTY OF RAPE, MURDER ETC THEY GET THEIR RETIREMENT BENEFITS? HOW ABOUT IF A LAWMAKER IS CONVICTED OF ANY FELONY?

House Democrats, who complained that they were prohibited from offering amendments, saw an alternative fail. They wanted lobbyists prohibited from picking up the tab for trips, meals and gifts. And they would have extended to two years, from one, the waiting period after which ex-lawmakers may lobby former colleagues. THESE DO SEEM REASONABLE IN A REFORM BILL....I DON'T CARE WHICH SIDE OF THE AISLE OFFERED IT!

The final bill had several amendments. One would make lobbyists who violate the gift limit subject to a fine of up to $50,000; the rules limit gifts to $50 at a time and $100 a year. Another would extend a prohibition on converting campaign dollars for personal use - a mandate for campaign committees - to so-called leadership political action committees, which are set up or controlled by candidates and office holders. IF A LOBBYIST GETS THE VOTE HE WANTS A $50,000 FINE IS CHICKENFEED. HOW ABOUT HE GOES TO PRISON FOR A MINIMUM OF 3 YRS WITHOUT PAROLE? WHEN IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO CONVERT CAMPAIGN DOLLARS FOR PERSONAL USE. HOW HARD IS IT TO BRIBE A POLITICIAN BY A CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION ESPECIALLY IF HE CAN CONVERT IT TO PERSONAL USE.

Democrat Ron Kind of La Crosse denounced the bill for failing to ban members from using corporate jets for official travel and to require disclosure of lawmakers' contacts with lobbyists as well as the fund-raisers that lobbyists host. AGAIN THIS SOUNDS LIKE A REASONABLE INCLUSION IN ANY BILL TOUTING ITSELF AS A REFORM BILL.

stop abuses such as the GOP leadership rewriting proposed legislation "at 3 a.m. the day before a vote." TO HECK WITH THE GOP DOING IT....HOW ABOUT BOTH PARTIES BEING PROHIBITED.
I CHOPPED UP THE ARTICLE TO SHOW THOSE ITEMS WHICH I FEEL WARRANTS PUBLIC OUTCRY. WITH THE USA TELLING THE WORLD HOW TO RUN THEIR GOVERNMENTS AND HOW TO ACT IS IT UNREASONABLE FOR OUR POLITICAL PARTIES TO BEHAVE IN A ETHICAL MANNER.
I recall a mike wallace/President Putin interview where wallace says, "I have insider information from people in your government that your goverment is full of corruption. Do you wish to comment on that"? Putin, "Don't you have insider information from inside your government that tells you your own government if full of corruption".
 

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When Putin put it to Wallace, he put it to all of us for tolerating this horse s---. Congress is a den of theives, and we re-elect these clowns.
 

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Asking Congress to pass new ethics rules to regulate themselves is like asking Al Stevens to weigh in the naked sows at a Jenny Craig Fat Farm. It just won't work.

So, how to fix it? Throw the bums out? We just get more bums in their place. We need a moderate populist revolution to fix this.
 

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Why "moderate"? From my experience, moderates are people who strive to stay in the middle, no matter where the middle is.

Let's have a Libertarian revolution.
 

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Rubbing Shoulders With Trouble, and Presidents
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By MIKE McINTIRE
Published: May 7, 2006

John R. Burgess makes for an improbable courtier of presidents, or of a senator who might become one.

Video: A Troubled Company A disbarred New York lawyer with a criminal record for attempted larceny and patronizing a 16-year-old prostitute, Mr. Burgess owns International Profit Associates, a management consulting company in Illinois.

Federal authorities are pressing a sexual harassment suit against the company on behalf of 113 former female employees.

The Illinois attorney general is investigating accusations of deceptive marketing tactics, officials say, and the company has been the subject of 470 complaints to the Better Business Bureau across the nation in the past three years.

But despite the trail of problems dating to the 1980's, many prominent politicians have accepted campaign contributions and speaking fees from Mr. Burgess and his company, which offers organizational and financial advice, mostly to owners of small businesses, and claims annual revenues of more than $200 million.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has collected more than $150,000 in contributions from executives of International Profit Associates, some as recently as September, and spoke at a company event in 2004. As a group, company officials and their spouses are one of the largest sources of contributions to Mrs. Clinton's re-election campaign.

Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton say they were not aware of problems with the company, known as I.P.A., or with Mr. Burgess when they took the money, though some problems were documented as early as 1997 in newspapers, magazines and on the Internet.

Other politicians have returned money to I.P.A. upon learning of Mr. Burgess's history, among them Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic governor of Illinois, and Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat running for attorney general of New York. Mr. Cuomo gave back $20,000 in 2002, when he was running for governor, and Mr. Blagojevich returned $125,000 the same year. Just last month, Wisconsin's governor, Jim Doyle, and attorney general, Peg Lautenschlager, said they would return $35,000 in I.P.A. contributions.

A spokeswoman for Mrs. Clinton said her campaign "will be reviewing" the I.P.A. contributions.

The story of I.P.A. underscores the perils politicians face when they accept money from companies they have not closely vetted for problems. It also exemplifies the ways some companies attempt to use relationships with prominent politicians — or the appearance of relationships — to promote themselves and burnish their images.

In one of the many lawsuits I.P.A. has been involved in, for example, the company filed papers saying it "holds honors" from former Presidents Clinton, Mrs. Clinton and former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas. On its Web site, the firm posts images of Mr. Burgess, wearing a tuxedo, standing with political celebrities like Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton. Former clients said I.P.A. sales representatives would sometimes pull out those photos to impress them.

In one instance, Mr. Burgess seems to have garnered positive attention from his investment in politicians. Mr. Clinton's foundation publicized a pledge by I.P.A. last year to provide $10 million worth of free services to businesses damaged by natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina. The commitment raised the company's profile. Now, however, I.P.A. says that the pledge was "premature and unrealistic" because the storm damage drove away so many businesses that providing much consultation was impossible.

Jay Carson, a spokesman for Mr. Clinton, said that I.P.A. was one of many companies the foundation called on to answer the thousands of requests for help it received after the hurricane.

Like "many other dignitaries," Mr. Carson said, "President Clinton spoke to this company once more than four years ago."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/07/nyregion/07company.html?ex=1304654400&en=66e3c8b11c13059e&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
President George Bush Addresses International Profit Associates and Integrated Business Analysis (IPA-IBA) at the "9th Annual Celebration of Success" held in Chicago December 11, 1999.
The following is a transcript of the President's speech:

John, thank you for the welcome. And all of you for that warm welcome.

I couldn't be more pleased to be here. I want to thank Dana and Shelle for arranging all of this. I've done a little homework on the company. But I must say I've never been greeted so warmly at a reception and photo op that just took place. And thank you for that very much.

Note the "I've done a little homework on the company."
 
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