What would you expect politicians who claim to be reformers to say about a lobbyist making a $25,000 loan to a politician who then signs on to legislation promoted by the lobbyist? Well, apparently it depends a lot on whether the politician in question is a member of your party or the other party. Welcome to Washington.
The case involves six-term incumbent Congressman Jim Moran and now-defeated congressional candidate Terry Lierman, a drug company lobbyist. Both are Democrats and thus while Republicans are calling for investigations and resignations; Democrats are saying it’s all no big deal. That two men, one in Congress and the other seeking the office, could really be so clueless as to not notice that this type of transaction walks and quacks like a bribe is a sad commentary on the political talent we get to choose from.
Now Republicans are right to investigate this. But why have they given their own Republican Rep. Bud Schuster a free pass? Schuster’s dealings with a lobbyist have violated House rules but resulted in nothing more than a weak slap on the wrist. We can’t know what motivated the very inappropriate financial deal between Moran and Lierman, who are certainly innocent until proven guilty. But as for the double standard of career politicians who believe in one set of laws for you and another for them and their buddies . . . well, let’s just say: guilty as charged.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.