The Poison Pill: McCain’s Secret Effort To Scuttle Lobbying Reform

McCain talks tough on lobbying reform. From Fox News Sunday, 1/22/06:

[L]obbying is out of control. But the reason why the lobbying is out of control is because of the process, the system that prevails here on Capitol Hill”¦ We need to have the lobbying reform. We need to close those loopholes.

Behind the scenes, however, he is undermining efforts for meaningful lobbying reform in the Senate:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., quietly submitted an amendment to the lobbying reform bill on the Senate floor March 9 that would cap donations to 527 groups… McCain’s move was a surprise, given that several senators had explicitly agreed to keep controversial 527 provisions out of the lobbying debate…Even pro-reform activists, who endorse tough new restrictions on 527 organizations, have testified that the 527 debate should be handled separately. They argue that dragging in 527-related provisions would complicate and undermine the lobbying reform effort.


McCain’s efforts to sideline lobbying reform by adding the “poison pill” of 527 regulation coincide with a aggressive push to raise money from lobbyists on K Street. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.