Corruption Watch

CORRUPTION WATCH….Here are three responses from the national media to Wednesday’s Democratic plan to fight congressional corruption:

  • Washington Post: “Democratic leaders from the House and Senate endorsed proposals that closely mirror Republican plans unveiled this week….”

  • Knight Ridder: “The Democratic plan resembles the reform agenda unveiled by Republicans the day before….”

  • Los Angeles Times: “But a crucial question remains: whether either party’s plans would alter the close relationship between the capital’s lobbyists and lawmakers.”

Not every newspaper played it this way, but enough did to convince me that the Dem plan was simply too mushy to make much of an impact, even if the presentation and delivery were better than usual for these kinds of things.

That’s too bad. As the latest Hotline poll shows, public awareness of Jack Abramoff is rising (nearly half have heard of him), as is awareness that he’s a Republican operative. What’s more, although independent voters mostly think corruption is a problem for both parties, a significant number don’t ? and of those, nearly all associate it more with Republicans than Democrats.

So there’s a real opportunity here. A more dramatic proposal on Wednesday could have done a better job of taking advantage of that.