the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

March 2, 2006

How to Clean Up Corruption — This Week’s Speaker


This week’s speaker, Craig Holman, is Public Citizen’s Congress Watch legislative representative and an expert on Congressional ethics. Senate committees are starting to mark up weak reform legislation last week and vote on the bill this week, but there’s still a chance to influence our legislators (if you don’t live in the District) to get a stronger bill or learn how you can become a clean government activist. I wrote about it at Huffington Post. This week the Senate will vote on whether to have an independent public integrity office. Unfortunately, they’re more interested in the fig-leaf of upgraded disclosure than real reform. Here’s the latest on what the Senate did last week week, from Public Citizen’s Joan Claybrook:

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee significantly improved a lobbying disclosure and reform bill today by adding a requirement that major lobbyists disclose the money they spend on grassroots lobbying. But the committee took a giant step backward — crippling the reform effort — by rejecting an independent Office of Public Integrity.

Overall, this measure is insufficient because it focuses on disclosing corruption, rather than deterring it. That’s like tallying the number of people killed in highway crashes instead of making safer vehicles.

The independent Office of Public Integrity is so crucial because it would conduct investigations and make recommendations to the Senate and House ethics committees free of political pressures. It would also regulate compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which has been subject to little oversight. The ethics committees operate in complete secrecy, so the public has no knowledge of what they do. No decisions were announced by the House or Senate ethics committees in 2005. The executive branch does not self-regulate; rather, it has both independent inspector generals in each agency and an Office of Public Integrity, located in the Justice Department and covering all federal employees. An independent office for Congress must be created.

Learn more next week when Craig Holman speaks.


  1. DCDL..
    Great job!!!The real culprits of this mess are the Illuminati..
    Go to this web site and find out who are the players..
    How would you or your children or family like to be in a concentration
    camp right in your own country…Read and fight for your life..Pass this info to others.

    Thank you
    Fred Siffle

    —Fred Siffle • 6:20 am, April 8

  2. Uh, thanks, Fred. We’ve had a serious shortage of wacko comments that aren’t selling drugs lately. But I’m sure we’ll have plenty as soon as we have some more posts about Ward 3.

    Speaking of Skull & Bones, have you met Carol AS Thompson? It could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

    Keith7:24 pm, April 8

  3. Skull & Bones has played key roles in the anti-smoking movement
    => Joseph Taylor Foster, Skull & Bones 1908 - director of Tobacco and Allied Stocks, which held the largest share of Philip Morris stock

    => Stanhope Bayne-Jones, Skull & Bones 1910, overseer of the 1965 Surgeon General Report

    => Charles Dewey Hilles Jr., Skull & Bones 1924 - the direct personal link between the American Cancer Society and the Nazis
    => Frederick Peter Haas, Skull & Bones 1935 - General Counsel of Liggett & Myers, 1965-76
    => Also Liggett directors Frederick Sheffield, board chairman of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, whose son James Rockwell Sheffield is S&B 1959; and Earl G. Graves, whose son, Earl Gilbert Graves Jr. S&B 1984, is a BLACK BONESMAN; Bethuel M. Webster was mentor of NYC Mayor John V. Lindsay, whose twin brother David A. Lindsay was Skull & Bones 1944.

    => William H. Donaldson, Skull & Bones 1953 - director of Philip Morris, 1979-99
    => John Mercer Pinney, Skull & Bones 1965, was in charge of Surgeon General Reports 1977-81 and continues as a professional anti-smoker
    => Robert Davis McCallum Jr., Skull & Bones 1968, crony of President Bush since Yale, U.S. Associate Attorney General, is in charge of the federal tobacco lawsuit

    Carol AS Thompson3:49 pm, May 12

  4. Speak of the devil and she appears, two months later. DCDL is honored to have attracted the attention of such an eminent kook.

    Keith11:50 pm, May 14

  5. So you think a “kook” is someone with plenty of facts and evidence, and non-kooks are ignorant dullards who sneer at them.

    Carol AS Thompson2:07 pm, June 22

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