The following is the transcript from today’s Democrat Radio Address given by
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York:
“Good morning. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, Ranking
Member on the House Rules Committee.
“As Americans, we have a right to expect that our government will be
defined by the integrity of its office holders. And yet today, we are
suffering the consequences of what may be the worst corruption in the
history of our Congress.
“By now, you have all heard of the former Majority Leader of the House
who was indicted on criminal charges of money laundering, and the Republican
Congressman who pled guilty to bribery and resigned in disgrace. You know
about the Republican lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, who just this week pled guilty
to charges of bribing public officials, tax evasion, and fraud.
“But what we are up against isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t just the shameful work of individuals
like these. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a much broader problem, a problem rooted in the Republican
establishment which has held power in our nationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s capital for more than a
decade. Sadly, the legacy of Republican rule has been the fundamental
degradation of our democratic institutions and the abandonment of our core
“Since 1995, Republicans have turned our democratic government into an
engine of patronage, not one of responsible policy. They have linked their
Party, and the business of the country, to powerful lobbyists in an
unprecedented attempt to eliminate the will of the American people from the
“Over the last five years, the number of special-interest lobbyists in
Washington has doubled, from 9,500 to more than 34,000 today. There are 63
lobbyists for each Member of Congress. Along with the corporations they
represent and the numerous Republican legislators they court, lobbyists are
now writing the bills that are passed by our Congress. They have infiltrated
every aspect now of our government. Their money and donations shape the
opinions of corrupt lawmakers in a way that public opinion no longer does.
“Under Republican guidance, America has truly been put up for sale to the
“For example, in 2001, our nationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s energy policy was written in closed
sessions by representatives of major corporations. These authors thought
only of enriching themselves, instead of creating a sound national energy
policy, which we do not have.
“During the Iraq war, our national security was sacrificed repeatedly by
lawmakers who handed out defense contracts to their friends, instead of to
those most qualified. More than $9 billion from those contracts has
disappeared into the black hole of no-bid contracts created by lobbyists and
corrupt politicians. Our potential for success in the Middle East has been
diminished as a result.
“Today, seniors are struggling to understand a confusing Medicare
prescription drug bill written not for the elderly men and women who eed
help, but for the benefit of insurance and drug companies.
“From tax policy, to public television and radio programming, to laws
regulating the safety of our drinking water, nothing has proved too precious
to avoid being sold for a price.
“Clearly, the Republican Culture of Corruption touches all Americans. We
canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t afford to go on like this. The time for reform and change is now.
“Together, America can do better.
“My fellow Democrats and I have fought for an honest and open government,
one that is led by Representatives who uphold the highest standards of
integrity. We have fought for real oversight and real ethics reform in
Congress. We have worked to restore integrity to Washington, to curb abuses
of power, and to weaken the influence that lobbyists have over the
“In the year ahead, Democrats will continue to demand independent
commissions to investigate government waste and poor federal responses to
“And we will fight for the rehabilitation of the ethics process in the
House of Representatives. The House Ethics Committee, after a year of
inaction, must get to work immediately to investigate pending ethics and
corruption cases in the House, including those involving Members with ties
to Jack Abramoff. This is a necessary first step to restore a high ethical
standard to the Congress.
“As Democrats, we still believe that integrity should be the defining
feature of our democracy, and we know that the American people believe that
too. That is why under Democratic leadership, we will create the most open
and honest Congress in AmericaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s history.
“I am Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Thank you for listening.”
Listen to the audio
She brought up some very good points and hopefully they will trickle down to
the mainstream media. Just remember, this past year in the House they went
without an ethics committee because of Tom Delay. What has happened now. Tom
Delay has been charged with crimes, Randy Cunningham has pleaded guilty to
charges of bribery and we sit here and wait to find out what happens with the
Abramoff case, which could implicate up to 60 people in Congress. Glad Mr. Delay
felt we didn’t need an ethics committee in the House.