Lobbyists Hone End Runs Around New Ethics Law

Nothing in the rules a loophole can't 'fix'
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2007 7:54 AM CDT
Jack Abramoff leaves Federal Court in Washington in this Jan. 3, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The new political ethics law was supposed to stop corruption, shady lobbying and runaway perks that had plagued Washington. Instead, its biggest impact seems to be an upsurge in seminars aimed at teaching lobbyists how to skirt the law by informing them of  the precise limitations—and loopholes—of the legislation, reports the Washington Post. 

Now when corporations want to woo politicians at an expensive affair, they don't hand the ticket directly to a congressman, but through a  charity sponsor middle man. Lobbyists will also be relying on "umbrella" invitations to avoid bans on honoring single politicians, and will find ways to bundle contributions just under mandatory reporting cutoffs. The Senate Ethics Committee is being swamped with questions on the law "that surround the edges," said Senator  Barbara Boxer.