Stand by...

You're about to be redirected to

November 30, 2006

ASAE Sets Sights on Deflecting Congressional Travel Ban

Once again, ASAE is ramping up efforts to influence a possible vote to ban congressional travel when the 110th Congress commences in January. Yesterday's InTouch newsletter carried the headline "ASAE DELEGATION MEETS WITH PELOSI STAFF ON LOBBYING REFORM." And a post to The Hill's Congress Blog by ASAE's President & CEO John Graham, CAE on the subject appeared on Tuesday.

There's another side to this story. Please check out the Center for Public Integrity's Power Trips project to read about the abuses of congressional travel.

See my earlier thoughts on a congressional travel ban:

I personally believe that there should be significant limits on privately-financed congressional travel. I like ASAE's pre-approval concept, but I don't think that goes far enough. I believe there should also be caps on...
  1. the total number of trips a company or association sponsors per year
  2. the total amount spent by as a company or association on congressional travel annually,
  3. the dollar value of trips a politician and his/her staff may accept annually, and
  4. the total number of trips a congressman/woman and his/her staff accept may annually
These thresholds should be set quite low.

Disclosure of congressional travel by elected officials and their staffs should also be easily accessible to the public through a Web site.

I still don't understand why ASAE is fighting this battle in public. Please educate me on why this issue is so important. The associations represented by the overwhelming majority of ASAE members don't lobby at all or pay for congressional travel. So how does the average ASAE member benefit from this?

Seems to me the political capital should be spent on reining in (or eliminating) 527s or exempting associations from some intellectual property laws for certain volunteer contributions.


No comments: