Moyers on America . Capitol Crimes . Resources . Sites of Interest
There's no doubt that the numbers are big. The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has doubled to more than 34,750 since 2000. Total lobbying spending in 2005 was 2.2 billion in 1998 1.44 billion At least 850 trips with a total cost well over $4 million were paid for by non-profit organizations with one or more registered lobbyists on their boards. And it's not just the system at the federal level there were an average of five lobbyists and $130,000 in expenditures per state legislator in 2004.
Below you'll find Web sites providing more information on Congressional ethics, lobbying, campaign reform ideasand Indian gamingDocuments page.
For more information on matters referred to in "Capitol Crimes" and the MOYERS ON AMERICA Citizens Class, visit the Timeline,and Glossary sections.
House of Representatives Committee on Rules
United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
Senate Lobbying Rules
House of Representatives Lobbying Rules
Rules on Gift Giving for the Senate and the House
On November 17, 2004 House Republicans approved a change to party rules which some saw as a strategy designed solely to allow Majority leader Tom DeLay to retain his leadership post even if he were indicted by a Texas grand jury on state political corruption charges. The change was put into effect in January 2005 by the members of the new 109th Congress. Under the traditional rule, if the Ethics Committee's five Republicans and five Democrats deadlocked on whether to begin an investigation, the investigation would automatically go forward. The new rule required a majority vote, which meant at least one Republican would have had to cross party lines for an ethics investigation to proceed. Democrats contended that this cross-over was unlikely and would effectively shield DeLay from investigation.
The rules change itself, and a spate of news stories suggesting additional ethics violations by DeLay, led the Republicans to backtrack. On April 26, 2005, House Republican leaders rescinded the controversial rule change. Among the ethical violations in question is who pays for members' travel since the controversy over some of DeLay's trips dozens of others have filed belated travel reports with the Ethics Committee.
Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest
Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest (CLPI) promotes, supports and protects 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocacy and lobbying in order to strengthen participation in our democratic society and advance charitable missions. The Web site contains information on effective lobbying procedures.
Center for Public Integrity
The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization that conducts investigative research and reporting on public policy issues in the United States and around the world. They post commentaries, list news stories of interest, and distribute the "Public i" newsletter. The Center maintains extensive online research projects including LobbyWatch, and PowerTrips, an investigation into Congressional travel
The Center for Responsive Politics
The Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The site contains comprehensive databases on 527s, PACS and breakdown of dollars by representative, major donors, donors by industry, and many others.
Congressional Lobbying Scandals:
A Top Ten List
Oxford University Press presents a blog entry from their media correspondent Donald Ritchie, author of REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON, to outline the top lobbying scandals in Washington history from 1857 to 2006.
Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an agency created to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1975 (FECA), the statute that regulates the financing of federal elections in the United States. It has jurisdiction over all subsequent campaign finance regulation. The Web site contains a searchable database of all campaign finance filings and a guide to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2004.
Follow the Money: The Institute on Money in State Politics
The Institute on Money in State Politics is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to accurate, comprehensive and unbiased documentation and research on campaign finance at the state level. The Institute develops searchable databases, makes them available to the public online, and analyzes the information to determine the role campaign money plays in public policy debates in the states.
History of Lobbying: United States Senate
A series of essays, originally written by Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd, on the history of lobbying in the United States Congress.
Public Citizen is a national non-profit public interest organization "protecting health, safety, and democracy." Their Lobbyinginfo Web site features a report on Congressmen who retired to K Street (PDF) and offers a searchable database of lobbyists and their employments histories.
The Campaign Finance Institute
The Campaign Finance Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit institute, affiliated with The George Washington University, that conducts objective research and education, empanels task forces and makes recommendations for policy change in the field of campaign finance. The Institute has a comprehensive guide to the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act.
The American Conservative Union on Campaign Finance Reform
The American Conservative Union (ACU) commissioned this report, Who's Buying Campaign Finance Reform? to shed light on where the anti-First Amendment campaign 'reform' movement gets its money and what its leaders, followers and funders really want for America.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest. Common Cause is active in election reform, ethics in politics, and favors public financing of presidential campaigns.
In Depth on Campaign Finance Reform
A consortium of over 80 top public policy organizations and advocacy groups, the Electronic Policy Network provides timely information and leading ideas about policies and politics. Inside this site, EPN offers up-to-the-minute information on new releases from member organizations; the latest columns and editorials from policy debate shapers; and includes a catalog of articles on topics of soft money, financial disclosure, campaign finance reform and free speech, clean money, and other related topics.
Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of special interest money in America's elections and the influence of big contributors in American politics. Public Campaign works with various organizations, particularly citizen groups around the country that are fighting for change in their states. On the site, frequent updates and press releases give you the latest news on campaign finance reform.
Cato: Money and Politics
The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace. In the articles on this web site, Cato scholars explain why the various proposals for extensive new regulations on campaign finance are unconstitutional, based on faulty assumptions and destined to result in unintended and undesirable consequences.
Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics. Public Campaign is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including community groups around the country that are fighting for change in their states and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current system. Together we are building a network of national and state-based efforts to create a powerful national force for federal reform.
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs handles the administration and management of 55.7 million acres of land held in trust by the United States for American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. There are 562 federal recognized tribal governments in the United States. Developing forestlands, leasing assets on these lands, directing agricultural programs, protecting water and land rights, developing and maintaining infrastructure and economic development are all part of the agency's responsibility. In addition, the Bureau of Indian Affairs provides education services to approximately 48,000 Indian students.
Committee of Indian Affairs
In 1977, the Senate temporarily re-established the Committee of Indian Affairs after a hiatus coinciding with the "Termination Era," a period in which U.S. policy was to terminate the federal relationship with Indian tribes. After several term extensions, the Committee was voted in as a permanent fixture in 1984, with jurisdiction to study the unique problems of American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native peoples. Some such issues include Indian education, economic development, land management, trust responsibilities, health care, and claims against the United States.
National Indian Gaming Association
The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), established in 1985, is a non-profit organization of Indian Nations with other non-voting associate members representing organizations, tribes and businesses engaged in tribal gaming enterprises from around the country. The mission of NIGA is to protect and preserve the general welfare of tribes striving for self-sufficiency through gaming enterprises in Indian Country. To fulfill its mission, NIGA works with the Federal government and Congress to develop sound policies and practices and to provide technical assistance and advocacy on gaming-related issues. In addition, NIGA seeks to maintain and protect Indian sovereign governmental authority in Indian Country.
National Indian Gaming Commission
As an independent federal regulatory agency of the United States, the National Indian Gaming Commission was established pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. The Commission is authorized to conduct investigations; undertake enforcement actions, including the issuance of notices of violation assessment of civil fines, and/or issuance of closure orders; conduct background investigations; conduct audits; and review and approve Tribal gaming ordinances.