The Honest Government Agenda: How Congress Can Clean Up Corruption (press release)

Thursday, August 24, 2006 by: NaturalNews
Tags: health news, Natural News, nutrition

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
GMO crops totally banned in Russia... powerful nation blocks Monsanto's agricultural imperialism and mass poisoning of the population
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Pepsi drops aspartame from diet soda as consumers reject toxic sweetener
Bride of Frankenfood: Hillary Clinton pushes GMO agenda... hires Monsanto lobbyist... takes huge dollars from Monsanto
STATINS RED ALERT: Widely prescribed drugs act as cellular poisons that accelerate aging... deactivate DNA repair... promote diabetes, muscle fatigue and memory loss
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
Mind control through emotional domination: How we're all being manipulated by the "crisis of the NOW"
Commercial Alert released today the Honest Government Agenda, a set of fifteen reforms to clean up corruption in Congress and the executive branch.

“The Abramoff scandal shows us how Congress really works, and what we see is venal, mercenary and ugly,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert, a nonprofit organization that protects children and communities from commercialism. “The question is: what will emerge from the Abramoff scandal: will it be real reform, or sham reform?”

“Unfortunately, neither Republican nor Democratic leaders support real anti-corruption reform,” Ruskin said. “It is time for American citizens to insist upon having a government that can’t be bought.”

Following is the Honest Government Agenda.

** Ban Gifts to Members of Congress Members of Congress and their staff should be prohibited from accepting for private benefit any gifts from lobbyists or the general public.

** Overhaul The Congressional Ethics Process The House of Representatives and Senate ethics committees have been reticent to investigate powerful Members of Congress and to punish wrongdoing. This has led to a climate in Congress where corruption is increasingly possible. Congress should invigorate the House and Senate ethics committees by ensuring that outside counsel will investigate ethics complaints against Members of Congress, restoring citizens’ ability to file ethics complaints in the House and making the ethics process more transparent.

** Pass Tougher Federal Anti-Bribery And Gratuity Statutes In 1999, the Supreme Court punched a major loophole in the federal illegal gratuities law, making it harder to prosecute politicians who take gifts from favor-seekers like Jack Abramoff. Congress should strengthen federal anti-bribery and gratuity laws to prohibit special interests from using gifts to curry favor with public officials.

** Prohibit The Purchase Of Influence The House and Senate should pass ethics rules to prohibit Members of Congress from providing influence or official action in exchange for campaign contributions or other consideration.

** Strengthen Revolving Door Prohibitions and Improve Lobbying Disclosure Congress should swiftly pass legislation to double the current one-year “cooling off” period for former Members of Congress and top staff when they come back and lobby their former colleagues. And it should enact a “cross branch” restriction, prohibiting, for example, the Secretary of Defense from lobbying a Member of Congress for the two-year period. Lobbying disclosure should be improved by making such disclosure quarterly, and by requiring lobbyists to disclose contacts with executive branch staff, Members of Congress and their staff.

** End Privately Financed Junkets And Improve Disclosure Of Government Travel Special interests with matters pending before Congress should not be able to pay for Members’ travel, nor should political committees or charity golf or tennis tournaments be used as conduits to evade the current prohibitions against payment for Members’ recreational travel. In addition, for travel on private jets, Members and federal candidates should be required to reimburse at a rate equivalent to the fair market value of a trip (charter), not the cost of an equivalent first-class ticket.

** Ensure Floor Votes For Earmarks The growth of congressional earmarks – spending provisions inserted into appropriations bills – has turned the appropriations committees into “favor factories,” as Jack Abramoff reportedly called them. Any Member of Congress should be able to require a floor vote on any congressional earmark. And earmarks should be contained within appropriations bills themselves, not merely committee or conference reports.

** Reform the Corrupt Federal Campaign Finance System Broadcasters should be required to provide free or reduced cost TV and radio ads for candidates for federal office.

** Replace The Federal Election Commission With A Tough Watchdog The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is crippled by partisan gridlock, investigative lassitude, institutional design and financial starvation. Congress should replace the FEC with a wholly new enforcement scheme for federal campaign laws.

** Strengthen Enforcement Of Public Corruption Laws The Justice Department’s once reliable Public Integrity Section has repeatedly failed to enforce criminal laws designed to deal with public corruption—the 1996 election scandals being the most notable example.

** Put Congressional Documents On The Internet Congress should place its most useful documents on the Internet, including texts of bills, draft committee and conference reports, a searchable database of congressional voting records, and Congressional Research Service reports.

** Tighten Congressional Conflict-Of-Interest Rules The House and Senate should strengthen their conflict-of-interest rules to make sure Members do not enrich themselves by their own official actions, and that the judgment of Members of Congress is not impaired by their own financial holdings.

** Stop The Flood Of Gifts At The Political Conventions Because of huge loopholes in Federal Election Commission and ethics rules, Members of Congress and corporate lobbyists turned the 2000 and 2004 Democratic and Republican conventions into unseemly circuses of gifts and graft. Congress should shut down the convention gift loopholes.

** Ensure Legal Defense Funds Don’t Become Conduits for Special Interest Money

Contributions given to a congressional legal defense fund should be limited to the federal campaign contribution limit to ensure that the funds don’t become conduits for special interest money.

** Reawaken The Office Of Government Ethics The Office of Government Ethics should resume its role in enforcing federal ethics standards, instead of merely providing so-called “leadership” in federal ethics matters.

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Health news at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.