Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Democrats and Ethics
Reform - How Far Will They Go ? * Slimy Pair: Murdoch and O.J.
Jonathan Weisman in the Post:
Despite divisions among Democrats over how far to go in revising ethics rules, House leaders plan a major rollout of an ethics reform bill early next year to demonstrate concern about an issue that helped defeat the Republicans in the midterm elections.
But they will do it with a twist: Instead of forwarding one big bill, Democrats will put together an ethics package on the House floor piece by piece, allowing incoming freshmen to take charge of high-profile issues and lengthening the time spent on the debate. The approach will ensure that each proposal -- including banning gifts, meals and travel from lobbyists as well as imposing new controls on the budget deficit -- is debated on its own and receives its own vote. That should garner far more media attention for the bill's components before a final vote on the entire package.
"This will be the most significant ethics and lobbying reform that Congress has ever voted on," promised Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.), one of the point men on the effort.
The approach may be the first indication of how the Democrats plan to use their ability to control the House agenda as the majority power, setting the terms of debate while lifting the strict rules that Republicans used to curtail dissent.
By Lisa de Moraes and Bob Thompson
News Corp. has spiked its O.J. Simpson book and TV special in the face of public and professional outrage over the project, in which the former football star describes hypothetically how he would have killed ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said yesterday in a brief statement. "We are sorry for any pain this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."