The post-Abramoff lobbying disclosure reforms have started -- and so far, they're underwhelming. "Confusing shortcuts are already being mapped and loopholes mined," reports Jeanne Cummings. "Among the information that is supposed to be available to the public now is a listing of the financial backers of the shadowy coalitions with apple-pie-sounding names," like Americans for American Energy, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition and Americans for Prosperity. But most weren't listed in either the House or Senate disclosure database, and the few that were didn't "list the paying members of their coalition." Part of the problem is that Congress "exempted the financing of grass-roots lobbying from the law. That created a giant loophole for all advocacy organizations to exploit." In fact, Cummings found more on these groups, "culled from media reports, websites, press releases and Internal Revenue Service documents," on CMD's very own SourceWatch site.
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