by Max Brantley
Not on your life. As Brummett analyzed yesterday, a Stephens report today says the notion of House members voting to disclose lobbyist gifts -- much less swear off of them -- is far-fetched. When your public officials work this hard to protect a perk and keep it secret, you begin to believe the perk is valuable and influential. Else why try so hard to hang onto it?
Slop the hogs.
ALSO: Remember how I wrote that the Greenberg/Harrelson proposal was deficient because it only required reporting on gifts from lobbyists, not others? The Washington lobby corps has already found a way around the new ban on gifts from lobbyists -- they just funnel them through other givers.
AGAIN: The only solution is a legislated end to ALL gifts of any size by anyone except family members and, perhaps (though this is dangerous, too), people with whom a public official has had a friendly relationship that predates public service.