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David Sirota on February 21, 2006 - 9:34pm
With Congress refusing to seriously crackdown on the Big Money interests that have corrupted the political process, state lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands. Today, it's Idaho House Speaker Bruce Newcomb (R) who announced a push to "tighten the rules for political hired guns" - and his legislation has the support of both parties. The Idaho Statesman reports that Newcomb's bill has "the support of more than a dozen top lawmakers in both parties" with "almost all members of leadership in both parties are signed on as co-sponsors." Newcomb's measure specifically "would track which lobbyists and companies are talking with the governor, other elected officials and the state agencies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on contracts with private businesses." Newcomb has proven, at times, to be quite an interesting character. Before introducing the lobbying bill, he made headlines as one of the few conservative lawmakers in America to publicly indicate interest in supporting legislation to force large profitable multinational corporations like Wal-Mart to pay their fair share in Medicaid expenses when those corporations refuse to provide adequate health care benefits to their employees. Now he seems interested in cracking down on lobbying abuses. Stay tuned.