Washington Babylon — August 20, 2008, 1:14 pm

Convicted Felon: Congressional ethics bill filled with loopholes

From The Hill:

Former Representative Bob Ney (R., Ohio) said Wednesday that the lobbying bill passed in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal that sent him to prison probably won’t stop abuses in Washington. In his first interview since his release from a Cincinnati area halfway house, Ney told West Virginia-based talk show host Howard Monroe on the “Howard Monroe and the Morning Show” that the ethics law has loopholes. For example, Ney note that lobbyists are still allowed to host events at conventions.

“Anybody who thinks lobbyists aren’t paying for things—they are,” Ney said. “I think lobbyists are still needed, they are needed out there [but] the question is: Would a member do something for money? I think that the lobby bill will probably help somewhat, but it was most likely a cosmetic situation too because lobbyists are still allowed to host things at conventions and lobbyists are still out there.”

Ney served 17 of the 30 months he was sentenced to in January 2007 after pleading guilty in 2006 to corruption charges stemming from his relationship with Abramoff, the imprisoned former lobbyist who was sentenced to nearly six years in jail.

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