Congress Watch on Your Behalf

Citizen Direct asked Congress Watch staff to share with you some of their successes this year:

Frank Clemente, Director: To keep the public and the media informed, we launched which keeps track of lobbyists and we studied and published crucial information about the revolving door in and out of Congress.

Gordon Clark, Field Director: we have so many successes I can't decide, how about the following:

  • getting Congress to revoke "the DeLay rule" (the one that would have allowed him to stay as Majority leader even if indicted), as well as forcing the Republicans to revoke the other ethics rule changes they pushed through in an attempt to protect DeLay and other members of Congress
  • raising enough hell about DeLay to be causing a lot of his Republican colleagues, who are also now looking at his indictment, to consider finding a new majority leader
  • beating back multiple attempts to undermine campaign finance reform: two of the highlights included destroying the proposed Pence-Wynn bill before it ever got out of the blocks (this bill would have made numerous draconian changes in campaign finance law, even repealing rules that have been in force since the Watergate scandal); and second, forcing Sens. Frist and McConnell to withdraw a secret provision to change the rules on use of money from members' "Leadership PACs," in essence creating a slush fund in which members of Congress could transmit unlimited (and unregulated) amounts of money from PACs created for office and travel expenses to national party committees, then be funneled back to their reelection campaigns.
  • raising enough hell through the public to force Frist to withdraw his plan to permanently end the inheritance tax in September, and to force the Bush Administration to drop any plans for the same this year
  • pushing many major Democrats, and even a few Republicans, in Congress to create lobbying reform legislation.

Congress Watch Director Frank Clemente

Director of Congress Watch
Frank Clemente

Congress Watch champions consumer interests before the U.S. Congress and serves as a government watchdog. We lobby to strengthen health, safety and environment protections; demand an end to corporate subsidies; fight to preserve citizen access to the courts to redress corporate wrongdoing; and seek to ensure a strong democracy by exposing the harmful impact of money in politics and advocating for comprehensive campaign finance reform.

Jessica Kutch, Web Organizer: Connecticut's new clean elections law! It's the most progressive clean elections law in the country. And Connecticut is my home state, I'm proud.

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January 17, 2019


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