Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut’s former Secretary of the State who is running to replace Joseph Lieberman in the U.S. Senate, released a video last week outlining a set of proposals she says will reform reform the lobbyist-influenced ways in Washington.
According to a release issued by the Bysiewicz camp, there were 12,951 registered federal lobbyists in 2010, which breaks down to almost 25 per member of Congress. Lobbyists, she said, spent $3.51 billion to influence Congressmen to vote for legislation favorable to their clients. In 2010, Bysiewicz said, Congress approved $16.5 billion for 9,129 earmarks.
Bysiewicz’s plan would permanently ban earmarks and contributions or gifts from lobbyists, require public disclosure of all meetings with lobbyists and prevent members of Congress and their staffers from becoming lobbyists for five years after they had worked in a legislative capacity.
Further, Bysiewicz would draft a Constitutional amendment to prevent campaign donations from corporations, mandate independent commissions to redraw Congressional districts and ban campaign-style mailings financed by taxpayers.