Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: The Golden Rule .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Golden Rule

Details on DeLay trip add to woes, experts say

Plane fare to Great Britain: $6,938.70.
Hotel room for four nights: $3,160.
Golf at St. Andrews: $5,000 per player
Having Tom DeLay pass legislation
makes money for you and your clients: Priceless

Remind me not to donate money to the National Center for Public Policy Research. Even if I gave the maximum tax deductible amount, it would barely cover tips on Tom DeLay’s “research” trip to Great Britain back in May 2000.

His little junket rang up over $120,000 in expenses (that we know of so far), and was supposedly paid for by the NCPPR, even though some of the expenses were paid for with credit cards carried by lobbyists who accompanied him. Other expenses include a $302 ride from the airport to the hotel, and $434 for tickets to the theatre that DeLay doesn’t recall attending.

DeLay’s fellow Republicans say he didn’t do anything wrong; that what he’s doing is common practice. That, in itself, demonstrates our lawmakers’ mindset. It’s okay to take favors and expensive gifts in exchange for consideration of one’s issues. As long as they’re not passing cash to guarantee votes. That’s a mighty thin line, though, and leaves a lot of leeway for back-room dealing.

When a registered lobbyist who is actively lobbying a legislator and the wife of that legislator both work for the same “non profit” organization, and the lobbyist’s clients make a huge donation to the non-profit at the same time the non-profit pays for a luxury vacation for the legislator, then the legislator (known as the most powerful member of his legislative branch) pushes through legislation favoring the lobbyist’s clients, how exactly does that help our society?

It’s just another example of the Golden Rule. He who has the gold, rules.


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