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Elephant in expensive suit makes thumbs up sign in front of private jet.
Earlier this week, National Journal's Shane Goldmacher caught the House Ethics Committee with its hand in the cookie jar when he discovered that congressional reps were no longer required to report lobbyist-sponsored travel on their annual financial disclosure forms. The change came thanks to the House Ethics Committee, and within days of Goldmacher's report, the committee's chairman announced it will reverse course:
House Ethics Committee Chairman Mike Conaway said Thursday that his panel would undo its controversial decision to delete the requirement that lawmakers list free trips they receive on their annual disclosure reports.
But while Conaway said his committee would re-impose the disclosure requirement, he nonetheless defended removing it, lashing out at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican colleague Mike Fitzpatrick, both of whom had called on him to reverse his decision, and pinning the blame on Goldmacher himself:
Conaway said the firestorm occurred "only because one reporter who makes a living jacking people up about these trips" wrote about the issue.

"We had gotten not one complaint from the public," he added of the unannounced change. "Not one person had looked for this information except this reporter."

Yeah, Conaway didn't get one complaint from the public ... until the jacked-up guy spoiled everything. I suppose Conaway would have been happier if Goldmacher hadn't looked for the information, or had simply shrugged his shoulders when he couldn't find it. But if he really doesn't want to burden members of Congress with the requirement to disclose lobbyist-sponsored travel on their financial disclosure forms, maybe he should consider this crazy idea: Ban lobbyist-sponsored travel altogether.

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