Yesterday, uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff plead guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud, and tax evasion. Implicated in his nest of graft are a number of elected officials and highly-placed GOP leaders (Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, among others). The GOP has spent more than a decade building up the K Street Project and creating a system of revolving doors between government, lobbying, and corporate interests.
Abramoff was among the lobbyists most closely associated with the K Street Project, which was initiated by his friend Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), now the former House majority leader, once the GOP vaulted to power. It was an aggressive program designed to force corporations and trade associations to hire more GOP-connected lobbyists in what at times became an almost seamless relationship between Capitol Hill lawmakers and some firms that sought to influence them. (WaPo, Jan 4, 2005)
The silver lining to scandals is that they bring an opportunity for change--for example, Enron brought Sarbanes-Oxley, which has done much to clean up Wall Street. Given this sliver of opportunity, what do you think would clean up Congress?