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Sham Reformers | The Nation

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Sham Reformers

Yesterday the Washington Post offered a prescient warning about the pathetic lobbying "reform" bill passed by the House 217-213 last night.

Democrats tempted to vote for this sham because they're scared of 30-second ads that accuse them of opposing lobbying reform ought to ask themselves whether they really think so little of their constituents. As for Republicans willing to settle for this legislative fig leaf, they ought to listen to Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn). "I happen to believe we are losing our moral authority to lead this place," Mr. Shays said on the House floor last week.

The GOP leadership wanted to claim the mantle of reform without actually enacting any reforms. Sadly, eight Democrats--enough to switch the outcome on a razor thin vote--took the bait. They are:

Barrow, Boren, Boswell, Cuellar, Marshall, Matheson,Melancon,Taylor (MS)

Of the anti-reform eight, seven are conservative Blue Dog Democrats, six voted for the bankruptcy bill, five voted for the GOP energy bill and so-called tort reform and two members (Cueller and Matheson), voted for all three, plus CAFTA. At least Cuellar got a primary challenge this election cycle.

The Democratic leadership tried its best to keep members united. But at the end of the day, the seventeen Republicans voting nay were braver than the eight Democrats voting yea.

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