WASHINGTON - January 19 - League of Women Voters President
Mary G. Wilson today commended Senators for their quick action in
derailing this week’s efforts to table significant lobbying and
ethics reform proposals. After days of uncertainty and late-night
blockage of the legislation, the Senate last night voted 96 to 2 to
reduce the influence of lobbyists, strengthen ethics guidelines, and
limit the actions of spouses of Senators.
“The League commends Senator Reid and others for acting quickly
in response to Wednesday night’s stalemate and ensuring an honest
up or down vote on these historic reforms,” said Wilson.
“Voters have expressed a clear dissatisfaction with the unbridled
level of corruption in Congress, and last night’s overwhelming
passage of ethics and lobbying reform indicates their voices are at last
“We are deeply disappointed, however, in those Senators who
voted to defeat a proposal to create an independent ethics panel that
would provide a nonpartisan, professional channel through which ethics
rules could be enforced. Additionally, we regret that the "astroturf"
provisions were defeated. These provisions would require disclosure of
expensive campaigns by lobbying firms aimed at creating supposed
“Our work to restore ethical public leadership is far from
finished. League members in communities nationwide will continue to work
diligently to ensure citizens can have faith in their democracy at all
levels of government,” Wilson concluded.