Republican Dan Burton votes to allow lobbyists to give elected officials gifts, vacations and fancy meals.

January 4, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More

I didn’t know much about Dan Burton until I read today’s story with this headline:  “House Bans Lobbyist Gifts, Business-Sponsored Travel.” Now I know that he’s morally obtuse.  Here’s the gist of the article:

The U.S. House of Representatives, after installing its new Democratic leadership, voted to ban lawmakers from flying on corporate jets and accepting gifts and meals from lobbyists.
 
The House passed, 430-1, a package of rules aimed at demonstrating Democrats’ commitment to cleaning up Congress.

“The culture of the last Congress came to be defined by a phrase now common to Americans throughout the country: it was a culture of corruption,” said House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter, a New York Democrat. “The American people stated loud and clear that they were ready for a new culture to take hold in Washington: a culture of commitment.”

Republican Dan Burton of Indiana cast the only vote against the rules adopted today.

Dan Burton doesn’t get it. 

But here’s another couple of things we now know.  For many years, American politics has been so obviously and painfully corrupt that lobbyists could nullify our votes by handing our elected representatives things of great value. And why wasn’t the media hounding those many representatives who freely accepted this largess?  Finally, we are one election away from having rules that facilitate corruption put back into place. 

And I’ll bet that our civics classes weren’t teaching school kids about the legal right of lobbyists to buy votes with expensive gifts.  Until today, that American legal right was up there with baseball and apple pie.

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Category: American Culture, Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Ever heard of the American Geophysical Union. It is an international science organization. Only peer-reviewed material here, and much of it is valuable. Members receive a copy of Eos, the weekly newspaper of the Earth and Space Sciences. If you are interested in high-level contemporary science, AGU is the place.
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