SENATOR OFFERS BILL TO END CORPORATE STACKING OF CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS
DAVID GOLDSTEIN, MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS - At 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jay
Moglio was standing at the head of a line at the corner of 2nd and C
streets near the Capitol. By 7 a.m., when the building opened, he was
first in line for a seat at a 10 a.m. Senate Commerce Committee hearing
on consumer complaints about cell phones. But Moglio, a 47-year-old
bicycle courier, had no intention of attending.
He's a professional "line stander." His job was merely to hold a place
in line for a wireless industry lobbyist who showed up minutes ahead of
the gavel. Moglio would pocket $70 to $90 for his time.
But to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a member of the
committee, the practice was anti-democratic.
"Once I realized this was happening, I was really offended," she told
reporters outside the hearing room. "This is the people's government and
these should be the people's hearings. I have no problem with lobbyists
getting into hearings, but they shouldn't be able to buy a seat."
McCaskill introduced legislation to bar registered lobbyists from doing
just that at hearings in the same way they're barred from buying
senators a steak dinner. The penalty would be the same, too: up to
$200,000 in fines and up to five years in jail. "I think America
believes that money runs this place, and unfortunately, I think sometime
it does," McCaskill said. "I think this is a great way for us to put our
BAD PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR
ONE WORLD - The world federation of consumer organizations, Consumers
International announced the winners of the International Bad Product
Awards. . .
This year's winners are:
- Coca-Cola - for continuing the international marketing of its bottled
water, Dasani, despite admitting it comes from the same sources as local
- Kellogg's - for the worldwide use of cartoon-type characters and
product tie-ins aimed at children, despite high levels of sugar and salt
in their food products.
- Mattel - for stonewalling US congressional investigations and avoiding
overall responsibility for the global recall of 21 million products.
With the overall prize going to:
- Takeda Pharmaceuticals - for taking advantage of poor US regulation
and advertising sleeping pills to children, despite health warnings
about pediatric use.