Sunday, October 22, 2006

Andrew Hurst wants to clean up Congress

Hi everyone,

I'm going to start off by talking about Andrew Hurst. Then I am going to talk about his idea of an inspector general for Congress.

"He received a B.A. in History from Seton Hall University in 1993, graduating magna cum laude. He then went on to the Georgetown University Law Center where he earned his J.D. in 1996, graduating cum laude. Andrew understands the value of education and will fight to ensure that every child receives the same opportunities he did.

Andrew is a partner in the international law firm of Reed Smith LLP, one of the fifty largest law firms in the world. He provides legal services for corporations and individuals, representing them in civil and criminal lawsuits. Andrew is well known in the legal community for his work defending Democrats under partisan investigation during the Clinton administration. He has argued in the highest courts in the nation, and is considered one of the country’s leading experts on a number of federal statutes.

Recently, Andrew was named Under-40 Lawyer of the Year by the Bar Association of D.C. for his community service and work with emerging corporations. He maintains an active practice which helps small businesses -- particularly minority-owned businesses -- deal with the regulatory issues involved in business and federal contracting. Andrew knows how small businesses operate, and will work to ensure their continued success in our community.

Andrew has been active in Democratic politics for more than a decade. He is a member of the Mount Vernon Democratic Committee and a sustaining member of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. He has served as a precinct captain, and recently worked hard on behalf of local Democrats Greg Werkheiser, Dave Marsden, David Bulova, Earnie Porta, Gerry Hyland and Bruce Roemmelt.

During the 2004 Presidential election, Andrew was an active member of U.S. Senator John Edwards’ campaign and served on his National Finance Committee. Andrew shares Senator Edwards’ commitment to eliminating poverty and improving the lives of working people by reforming the way things are done in Washington.

Andrew lives in Springfield with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children, Emma (9), John (7) and Henry (3). Elizabeth is a former teacher of learning disabled children and is now a full-time homemaker. The Hursts are active members of Sydenstricker Methodist Church. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys running, reading and working in the yard"

info thanks to free to go there and explore Hurst's site)

There has been a lot of corruption lately coming out of D.C.

An example of this corruption can be found in Republican Tom Davis.

Tom Davis is the Chairman of the Committee on Government Reform.

"CG is run by Davis' friend and campaign contributor Donald Upson and employs the GOP lawmaker's wife, state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-34), in a $6,500 per month consulting job. According to the report, ICG's clients enjoyed access to Davis through his relationship with the company.

"Should access to the chairman of the Committee on Government Reform be for sale?" Hurst said. "Does influence peddling have to be a way of life in Washington? Why can't ideas and solutions be the way to get access to members of Congress, not bogus jobs for congressional spouses or campaign contributions given in return for panel positions and time with the chairman?" -

Andrew Hurst has a solution to clean up the corruption. He has proposed the idea of an Inspector General for Congress.

(taken from

Because Congress can’t police itself effectively, we need to create a new independent Inspector General’s Office for Congress that will scrutinize, investigate, and publicize the manner in which Congress conducts itself. The Inspector General will also have the power to prosecute instances in which a member of Congress violated the law.

Specifically, the Inspector General’s Office will:

Monitor Congressional Travel
Before a member of Congress or staff takes any sort of trip that a lobbyist funds, he or she must submit their itinerary to the Inspector General’s office for approval;
Congressional travel would be subject to severe restrictions. For instance, a member of Congress or staff must pay for any type of recreational activity while they are traveling. Additionally, members of Congress and staff must travel by the same rules as a regular federal employee. ( e.g., having per diems for meals);
Their itineraries on the trip and the identities of the lobbyists funding the trip will be disclosed immediately on the Inspector General’s Internet website; and
The Inspector General can prosecute any violations with civil or criminal penalties.

Scrutinize Contacts with Lobbyists
Members of Congress and their staffs must report any meetings with lobbyists;
The Inspector General’s office will publicize on its Internet website any meetings between Members of Congress and their staff and any lobbyists;
Congressional staff must immediately disclose any gifts or items of value that they receive from a lobbyist; and
The Inspector General’s office will prosecute any failures to report contacts with lobbyists with civil penalties.

Scrutinize Congressional Fundraising
The Inspector General's Office will proactively monitor the identity of individuals and PACS that contribute money to a particular campaign and scrutinize how they are spending the money.
The Inspector General will have the power to prosecute any irregularities.


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