Saturday, January 14, 2006

One more lobbyist-sponsored boondoggle...for old times' sake.

Lobbying reform?...We don't need no stinkin' lobbying reform!

WaPo: One Last, Before It's Thing of the Past?:
Lawmakers, staff members and industry folks are having a wonderful time at the American Airport Association Executives conference in Hawaii, according to daily blogs from John Carr , president of the Air Traffic Controllers Association.

"This evening Ken Montoya and I accompanied a dozen staffers out to dinner for some shop talk and a decent meal," Carr reported Monday night, referring to the ATCA lobbyist. "I won't divulge who went or who paid unless you subpoena me because recent lobbying scandals have everybody ducking for cover.

"In fact, I hazard to guess that new ethics legislation will rocket through Congress when they get back after the State of the Union address, with each side trying to out-honest the other," he said. "The results will be draconian, and meetings like this one will become a thing of the past."

Hey, let's be optimistic. And there's no need for a subpoena. Just have Transportation Department Inspector General Ken Mead paddle across the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel pool and make a note of everyone gathering at the tiki bar.

Carr offered "congratulations" to Sens. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), and to several House members, including Republicans Joe Knollenberg (Mich.), Daniel E. Lungren (Calif.), John J. Duncan Jr. (Calif.) and Democrats Martin O. Sabo (Minn.) and Ed Pastor (Ariz.), for courageously attending this critical gathering, which is always held in Hawaii in January, what with all the recent news about certain lobbyists.

Congratulations to Carr, too, for letting us know which lawmakers were there -- something that's often nearly impossible to discover in real time. (Maybe the "draconian" new legislation, if it doesn't ban these outings, might require timely, searchable online disclosure of all members and staff members who are attending?)

Carr had one grievous setback. "Tragedy struck at noon when I was forced to withdraw from the golf tournament, held on the volcanic and spectacular Hapuna Prince Golf Course." He has back problems.

Well, there's always next year.
BTW, Congressman Ed Pastor is the same Congressman that worked so hard on behalf of Arizona lobbyists in WCRL-gate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So "courage" is getting on a plane and going to Hawaii.

Our troops in Iraq would be a little less than impressed with that definition of courage.


January 15, 2006 at 1:11 PM  

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