Members of Congress Retain Lobbyists to Run PACs
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A study recently released by The Center for Public Integrity shows that at least 79 members of Congress have appointed lobbyists to head their campaign committees or leadership Political Action Committees (PACs) since 1998. Currently, 39 sitting members of Congress retain lobbyists as the treasurers of their campaign committees or leadership PACs.
With the indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the questionable sale of stock by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and a small money scandal in Las Vegas that is tied to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, this new report confirms once again the need for close public scrutiny of politicians.
When The Center asked several persons if their status as both lobbyists and leaders of PACs represented a conflict of interest, all replied that their committee positions gave no special advantages in attracting clients. In essence, they did not seem to feel that being both a registered lobbyist and a principle fundraiser for campaign or leadership PACs should even raise questions of ethics and morality.
Considering that “lobbyist-led committees have spent more than $525 million to influence the political process since 1998,” there certainly has been ample opportunity for politicians and lobbyists to engage in questionable acts regarding fundraising and campaign finance law.