After running as a so-called “reformer” in the race to replace Tom DeLay as House Majority Leader, Ohio Rep. John Boehner admitted in his first major TV interview, “I’ve got a very open relationship with lobbyists in town.”

Since assuming the House’s number two leadership slot, his coziness with K Street has only intensified. According to a front page 24 former staffers at plum lobbyist jobs. Since his election last February, Boehner’s campaign committees hired two top lobbyists employed by the finance and insurance industries.

And since 2000, Boehner’s taken more than twice as many corporate-funded trips as DeLay. When Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert proposed a ban on such travel in January, Boehner quickly nixed the idea–presumably so he could continue attending functions like a convention of commodities traders at a golf resort in Florida. In between hitting the links, Boehner assured the group that Congress would not pass a tax on futures transactions they opposed.

Little wonder why lobbying reform is dead.