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  • Sunday, January 22, 2006

    The Nonpartisan Fight Against Corruption

    This is from Common Cause:

    Scandals like the one engulfing Congress now are a blot on our politics, but these moments in history are also an opportunity to change the way Washington does business. We need to move fast to take advantage of this opportunity.

    We have about three weeks to make sure Congress passes real ethics reforms when they return to Washington. If we all do our job, by the time they come back, they will have heard from thousands of Americans telling them to clean up the mess in the nation's capital.

    Immediate action is critical, because reforms like we're proposing are never easy to pass...

    Common Cause has developed a far-reaching set of reforms - the Common Cause Ethics Challenge. There are five points in our plan, starting with strong enforcement of ethics rules by establishing an independent commission to oversee Congressional ethics.

    This is what we want them to do:

    Five Ways To Shake Up Washington

    1. Tough enforcement - An independent ethics commission to provide oversight and enforcement of Congressional ethics rules.

    2. Impose an Effective Gift and Travel Ban - No more gifts from lobbyists; no more privately-funded travel.

    3. Slow the Revolving Door - No more Members of Congress and staff getting lucrative lobbying job offers as they write special interest legislation.

    4. End The Campaign Money Chase - Enact a publicly-funded, clean elections system for Congressional campaigns.

    5. Shine a Light on Lobbying Activities - Full, real-time disclosure of lobbying contacts, who's lobbying who and how much they're spending.

    Will you join our team to challenge Congress? We need you to contact your Senators and Congressmen and insist that they pass real reform. Don't let them slide by this scandal with window-dressing rules.


    The Democrats are far less corrupt than the Republicans these days, but this kind of grassroots push for reform is very important if we want a clean Congress. Even though Democrats are pretty clean these days, we can't trust Congress to police itself. We need to be the main force for reform and THIS is the way to do it.

    And I would add that it would be a good idea to highlight these 5 reforms in a letter to the editor.

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